Tennessee pastor detained in India; judge retains passport and orders travel ban


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A Tennessee pastor heading up a non-profit ministry was detained in India.

Shelbyville Pastor Bryan Nerren has been traveling to India and Nepal for the past 17 years, training people there to become Sunday school teachers.

On his most recent trip, Indian customs agents arrested Nerren, claiming he violated the Foreign Exchange Management Act.

An attorney representing Nerren says a judge in India retained his passport and ordered a travel ban. He was carrying funds to cover expenses for two conferences in India and Nepal along with money for 13 ministers during that two week trip.

A friend and fellow pastor described his arrest as a “set up.”

The attorney representing Nerren says the problem wasn’t that it’s illegal to have the funds or travel with them, but the fact that officials in New Delhi did not provide the necessary documentation to account for them.

“At any time had he been given any declaration form, he would have absolutely filled that out,” said ACLJ attorney Cece Heil. “He was actually let out on bail after 6 days of staying in jail. The bad thing about that is the judge retained his passport and put a travel ban on him, so Pastor Nerren right now is currently trapped in India.”

Still, he’s able to communicate with his attorney, family and friends.

A friend and fellow pastor described his arrest as a “set up.”

A hearing scheduled for Pastor Nerren on October 22 did not happen. He has another court date set for December 12. In the meantime, a fellow pastor encourages people to not only pray, but to also put action behind their prayers and speak up about this case to lawmakers.

Several DC lawmakers, lead by Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn, will meet on October 30 to look at the next steps for the pastor.

(Original version of this story from wate.com)

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