INDIA / USA – Tennessee pastor arrested and stranded in India, attorney says

Tennessean | Natalie Neysa Alund and Brinley Hineman | Oct. 30, 2019

A Middle Tennessee pastor has been arrested in India and is unable to return to the U.S. due to alleged religious persecution, according to information from his church and his attorney.

Bryan Nerren, leader of the International House of Prayer Ministries in Shelbyville has been stuck in Bagdogra for more than three weeks, according to a petition posted online by CeCe Heil, an attorney with the American Center for Law and Justice.

Nerren, who is from Jackson, runs the non-profit ministry Asian Children’s Education Fellowship which has trained Sunday School teachers in India and Nepal for nearly two decades, Heil wrote in the petition. During a recent trip to attend conferences in India and Nepal, Nerren was “targeted and arrested as he stepped off the plane in Bagdogra, India.”

 Heil said that on Oct. 5, Bryan and two other pastors were traveling for mission work and were approached at an Indian airport by a customs agent.

Nerren, who was carrying money to cover the expenses of two conferences with 1,000 attendees and 13 other ministers, was stopped by a security agent. When the New Delhi agent saw the money, he called a customs agent over to assess the situation. 

The customs agent asked Nerren about his faith and if the money was being used for Christian causes, Heil said.