There was breaking news. Pastor Bryan Nerren was released and is back in the United States.
On today’s Jay Sekulow Live we discussed Pastor Nerren’s release from India and the work we at the ACLJ did to help make that happen.
We at the ACLJ have been diligently working on this for seven months and I am very happy to report that Pastor Nerren, who had been held in India, has now been released and returned to the United States. This is a big day.
ACLJ Senior Counsel CeCe Heil leads the team that deals with our global work for the persecuted Church, and they did an incredible job. The Trump Administration did a great job as well. I want to thank President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo, and others in the Administration that stayed on this case.
We at the ACLJ had over two-hundred thousand people sign a petition for Pastor Nerren’s release. He was over in India doing mission work. He was kind enough to join us on the broadcast via phone just minutes after arriving back into the United States, so I asked him to explain what happened. Here’s what Pastor Nerren had to say:
I just want to say thank you to all those people, though. Thousands and thousands of people praying kept me alive and kept me going, especially ACLJ Senior Counsel CeCe Heil. I talked to her almost every day for the past seven months. There were dark times when she bailed me out and helped me through it. I appreciate all the prayers and everything that everybody did.
October the Third, I left Nashville, going to India on the way to Nepal; a friend of mine in India was receiving a party and an award for twenty-five years of children’s service. So I was going through India to do that for three days and onto Nepal where I’ve been going for twenty years.
I went through the airport and customs, one in the morning. It was during their festival so there was very few people working there. Couldn’t find customs agents; finally got to a security agent; we checked in with him. We declared the money, talked to four different people about the amount of money that I had with me. They cleared me to go to Bagdogra, which was another airport. When I reached Bagdogra, they were waiting for us right outside the plane; took us into custody. The original problem and the original concern they had was are you a Christian and are you going to see Christians. Of course, that’s a huge story and I can’t tell all but I was arrested in Bagdogra, spent six days in prison because I was coming to meet Christians in India. It eventually turned into this whole thing about the money but in the beginning it was just Christians and Christians, me being a Christian pastor and going to meet with Christians. Of course they built all kinds of stories and legal things about I was there to do conversions, the money was there, I was taking the money to build an orphanage, and many many different details.
One of the customs guys made it simple to understand. He said, we have been ordered by the Central Government to crush Christianity, to stop you Americans from bringing money here, and to eliminate Christianity. And we’re going to do that.
We’ve handled a lot of these cases over the decades and it’s always about the faith. It’s always about Christianity and then the turnaround is, certainly the case here, they try and turn it into something that is some kind of criminal action.
ACLJ Senior Counsel CeCe Heil made the following point:
They can’t admit that it’s persecution of Christians or religion, so they spin it. The charges that they brought against Pastor Nerren were a complete sham. There was no way that he could be guilty of what they had charged him with and they knew it from the very beginning. We’re just so blessed because this Administration and the President deserves our thanks for sure because they make U.S. citizens a priority.
It was a pleasure to hear from Pastor Nerren on the broadcast and we are so glad that he has been freed.
Watch the full broadcast below.
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