FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | November 7, 2019
WASHINGTON—As of Monday, nearly 90,000 individuals have signed onto a petition calling for the release of American pastor Bryan Nerren, who has been arrested and detained in India for the past month.
Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC), which advocates on behalf of hundreds of millions of Christians facing heavy persecution worldwide, says Nerren has been targeted, detained and harassed for his Christian faith.
“We call on India to immediately free Pastor Nerren from the travel ban imposed on him unjustly,” said Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians. “The actions of the customs agent and officials in Bagdogra are appalling. The Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion but, increasingly, Christians and other religious minorities experience oppression and outright violence for practicing their faith. This abuse arises from religious nationalists entrenched in government at the highest levels who consistently give impunity and encouragement to Hindutva extremists seeking to rid India of all other expressions of faith.”
According to Persecution.org, Nerren and two other pastors from Tennessee arrived in India Oct. 5 to attend two conferences in India and Nepal. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) reported that Pastor Nerren was then targeted and arrested by Indian customs agents after he told them he was a Christian. ACLJ is spearheading the petition of support for Nerren.
Word & Way reports Nerren further experienced religious discrimination from a doctor at the hospital where he was sent by officials to manage his sleep apnea. “When the doctor learned that I was a Christian, he spit on the ground and only then took a look at me,” Nerren said.
The Christian Post also reported that Nerren leads the International House of Prayer Ministries in Shelbyville, Tennessee, and also operates a nonprofit organization called Asian Children’s Education Fellowship. In a statement, Nerren said he was jailed for six days, and then allowed to pay bail. He is staying with Nepali partners while on bail and is now able to communicate with his family. The judge presiding over Nerren’s case ordered a travel ban and retained his passport. A hearing that was set for Oct. 22 never took place and the case has been pushed back until Dec. 12.
The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians is to save lives and save souls by disseminating actionable information about the magnitude of the persecution taking place globally and by mobilizing concerned Americans for the purpose of disincentivizing further attacks on those who follow Jesus.
For believers around the world, Save the Persecuted Christians seeks to bring awareness about targeted Christians through the “The People of the Cross” exhibit, which features images, facts and quotes about the persecution of Christians in multiple countries, such as India, which ranks in the top 10 of Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List, as well as North Korea, Nigeria, Turkey and China.
This exhibit has been joined by another, “Warfare on Women,” released during the 2019 U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, which reveals the specific terror-tactic used to demean and degrade female believers to instill fear into the heart of Christian communities. To learn more about hosting a traveling exhibit contact Save the Persecuted Christians or visit the website, where panels are available to view online.
According to Aid to the Church in Need’s biannual report on Religious Freedom in the World, 327 million Christians experience persecution. According to Open Doors USA World Watch List, 245 million Christians are victims of high to extreme levels of persecution,an increase of 14% over 2018. Open Doors also estimates 1 in 9 of the world’s Christians experience persecution, and that every month 345 Christians are killed, 219 Christians are abducted and imprisoned indefinitely without trial, and 106 churches are demolished.
Save the Persecuted Christians has developed a dedicated news aggregator—ChristianPersecutionNews.com—to capture current instances of persecution and to provide readers with an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others. Stories are categorized and resource reports are easily accessible.
With so much of the world’s Christian population being attacked, imprisoned and/or exiled for their beliefs, like American Pastor Nerren, the need has never been greater for the sort of grassroots campaign STPC’s SaveUs Movement is working to foster. Its efforts are modeled after a miraculously successful one that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution—Soviet Jews—by penalizing those in the Kremlin responsible for such repression. Through this movement, Save the Persecuted Christians endeavors to provide American policymakers with the popular support they need to effect real change worldwide and alleviate systemically the suffering being experienced by so many of those following Christ.
To interview a Save the Persecuted Christians representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com