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New Zealand Denies Asylum To Indian Evangelist Who Feared “Hindu Extremists”

AUCKLAND – An Indian evangelist who claimed “Hindu extremists” in India were threatening to kill him would be deported by New Zealand, which has twice rejected his asylum plea, a media report said today.

The Christian evangelist, identified only by his initials BD, was arrested and imprisoned in 2012 for overstaying his visa in New Zealand.

The man, in his 40s, has been fighting his deportation order on humanitarian grounds ever since and his first claim for refugee status was rejected by the Immigration and Protection Tribunal in 2015. However, he made a subsequent claim on the basis that a stint in jail had strengthened his faith so much that the preaching he would be compelled to do when back in India would put his life in danger.

Justice Peters noted “whether or not (the man’s) faith has intensified” did not increase his risk of attack, because he was already a well-known evangeliser.

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