Tennessee Pastor Bryan Nerren Is Finally Home!
Save the Persecuted Christians Applauds National and Community Efforts to Bring Home Pastor Who Was Detained in India for Seven Months
May 20, 2020
WASHINGTON—Tennessee Pastor Bryan Nerren safely landed in Nashville Tuesday night, after seven months of detainment in India following a missions’ trip to train Sunday school teachers in Nepal and India.
Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC), which advocates on behalf of hundreds of millions of Christians facing heavy persecution worldwide, has followed Pastor Nerren’s plight closely and called on President Donald Trump to help bring Nerren home.
“We rejoice with the news that Pastor Bryan Nerren is back with his family, congregation and community,” said Save the Persecuted Christians Executive Director Dede Laugesen. “His homecoming was an extraordinary, concerted effort by President Trump, members of Congress and the State Department, as well as countless volunteers and community members who both took action and prayed. While we are ecstatic that Pastor Nerren is home, we remember that millions of others around the world are marginalized, imprisoned, beaten, tortured or even killed for their beliefs.”
The International House of Prayer Ministry leader had his passport taken away and a travel ban placed on him after traveling to India in early October for a missionary conference. Even as progress was made in his homecoming, the global shutdown due to the coronavirus trapped Nerren indefinitely.
“Pastor Nerren’s wife shared that ‘it took a village to get him home,’” said Hulda Fahmi of the Jubilee Campaign, which is a coalition partner of Save the Persecuted Christians. “We thank all for raising their voice. While the religious freedom situation in India remains dire, even more so during this pandemic with the mandatory government lockdowns making the vulnerable even more vulnerable, this is one small victory.”
According to a previous report by NewsChannel 5 in Tennessee, Nerren was stopped in New Delhi due to the money he was carrying to support the trip and other ministers. “Nerren was eventually cleared by the customs agent and allowed to fly to his next destination without the proper documents for the funds,” the station reported. “Once he landed, he was arrested for violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act. His attorney claimed he was arrested because of his faith.”
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) worked to help free Pastor Nerren, which reported that on Friday, the false charges against Pastor Nerren were dropped, the prosecution was withdrawn, and the judge lifted all travel restrictions and returned his passport. “A misunderstanding that should have taken just hours to resolve administratively within customs, turned into a seven-month ordeal, involving false arrest, false charges, jail time, seizure of passport, travel ban, court hearings, custom reports and appeals,” according to ACLJ.
In its recently released Annual Report, the International Religious Freedom Commission (USCIRF) has recommended to the U.S. State Department that India be listed as a Country of Particular Concern. Open Doors, another STPC coalition partner, ranks India at No. 10 on its World Watch List 2020, saying, “Since the current ruling party took power in 2014, incidents against Christians have increased, and Hindu radicals often attack Christians with little to no consequences. The view of the Hindu nationalists is that to be Indian is to be Hindu, so any other faith—including Christianity—is viewed as non-Indian. Also, converts to Christianity from Hindu backgrounds or tribal religions are often extremely persecuted by their family members and communities.”
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.
With so much of the world’s Christian population being imprisoned and/or harassed for their beliefs, like American Pastor Bryan Nerren was, 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, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.