Celebrating the Release of Pastor Nerren
Pastor Nerren describes his 7-month ordeal and his personal observations of the current situation facing Christians in India today.
American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ.org) represented Pastor Bryan Nerren when he was detained in India. The above is an excerpt from ACLJ's interview of Pastor Nerren upon his arrival back in the U.S. (Go to the full interview here.)
Wrongfully detained in India for over 7 months, Christian Pastor Bryan Nerren – a U.S. citizen from Tennesee who has trained Sunday school teachers in India for more than 17 years – has finally been freed to return to America. But what was behind the false charges leveled against him?
On his way to attend conferences in India and Nepal, Pastor Nerren (who heads up the non-profit ministry Asian Children’s Education Fellowship) was targeted and arrested in Bagdogra, India. His alleged crime? Evading a customs duty on the funds he was carrying for the conference trip. But the amount of money he was carrying, which he openly declared to customs in New Delhi, was less than the minimum required to constitute a crime under India law. In fact, Pastor Nerren was never even questioned by customs officials about the duty. Instead he was asked if he was a Christian and if the funds he declared would be used to support Christian causes.
Unfortunately, India is ranked No. 10 on Open Doors 2020 World Watch List, which monitors Christian persecution. It has moved up 11 spots since 2015, indicating a sharp increase in extreme persecution. Open Doors states that “the primary force for persecution in India is Hindu nationalism, which advocates for the belief that India belongs to Hindus and people of other faiths should find somewhere else to live, work and worship.”
Pastor Nerren experienced first- hand the nightmare consequences of this belief when he was targeted, detained and even spit on simply because he was a Christian visiting Christians in India. Thankfully, he had advocates in the Unitied States government and the prayers of believers that secured his release. But Christians living in India are less fortunate.
While we celebrate the miracle of Pastor Nerren’s safe return, let’s not forget Christians in India who suffer persecution daily for their faith. Watch the video as Pastor Nerren recounts his personal ordeal and miraculous release.