Indian Evangelist Claiming Threat To Life From ‘Hindu Extremists’ Denied Refuge In New Zealand

The Afghan Church of St John the Evangelist, Mumbai. 

An Indian Christian evangelist in New Zealand will be deported despite his claims that "Hindu extremists" in India have threatened to kill him, media has reported. The man, identified only as BD, was detained and jailed in 2012 for overstaying his visa. Since then, the Indian Christian evangelist has been fighting the deportation order on humanitarian grounds.

The Immigration and Protection Tribunal in New Zealand turned down his first claim for refugee status in 2015. He made another claim saying that his stay in jail had strengthened his Christian faith so much, that the preaching he would be compelled to do when back in India would put his life in danger. The evangelist’s lawyer cited Vishva Hindu Parishad as a ‘threat for minorities’, including Christians in India, according to the media report on Thursday. These claims were turned down by the Auckland High Court.

Hindu and Christian leaders in Auckland's Indian community, however, labelled BD's religious claims a "baseless" excuse to remain in the country. Veer Khar, a Hindu and the president of the Indian Central Association, said all faiths were tolerated in India. lamgo Krishna Moorthy, the president of the New Zealand Hindu Temple Association, said "a lot of evangelists" visited India regularly and the man would not be stopped.

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