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'Freedom!!!' American Pastor Held on False Charges for 7 Months in India Finally Returns Home


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American Pastor Bryan Nerren, a US citizen, is finally home after he was falsely charged and held as a prisoner in India more than seven months ago.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which represents Nerren, first reported the erroneous charges against Nerren were dropped and the judge lifted all travel bans so the pastor would be free to leave.

After more than 17 years ministering to the people of Nepal and India and training Sunday School teachers – he was stopped last year on his way to a conference in India. 

Nerren was questioned about his Christian faith and whether the funds he was carrying would be used to support any Christian work; he was subsequently arrested and was detained in India on October 5, 2019. 

CBN News previously reported last October that Nerren, the leader of the International House of Prayer Ministries in Shelbyville, TN, was initially detained along with two other pastors. Nerren's supporters believe this was part of a coordinated action by law enforcement. 

When he arrived in Bagdogra, Nerren was immediately arrested and told he had violated India's Foreign Exchange Management Act. Nerren was "targeted and arrested as he stepped off the plane in Bagdogra," the ACLJ noted.

"In Bagdogra, Pastor Nerren was taken into custody and transported to Siliguri, India where he was incarcerated and was not allowed any visitation, including from the US Consulate or his attorney."

ACLJ adds that the misunderstanding which led to Nerren's arrest could have been settled within a few hours rather than it taking nearly one year to resolve.

Pastor Nerren's wife, Rhonda, issued an urgent call to prayer last October, asking everyone to pray for her husband's release.

"My husband has done nothing wrong," she said. "His only crime is living out his steadfast love for Jesus." 

In a Facebook message shared on Tuesday, Rhonda was overjoyed for her husband's return home. 

"He is almost in the USA! This is the day that I have waited for, for 7 1/2 months! I am just so thankful for God's goodness!"

Pastor Nerren wrote in a recent Facebook post, "Freedom!!! Freedom!!! May God bless the many good people of India and give much mercy. Look out Shelbyville I am coming back."

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About The Author

Andrea Morris

Andrea Morris is a Features Producer for The 700 Club. She came to CBN in 2019 where she worked as a web producer in the news department for three years. Her passion was always to tell human interest stories that would touch the hearts of readers while connecting them with God. She transitioned into her new role with The 700 Club in August 2022.