When a sea captain, in a fit of anger, threw Bartholomaus' money overboard, the governor of Tranquebar refused to force the captain to repay it. He also forced Bartholomaus' converts out of their jobs, and tried to force them from the region. The Danish colonials in the area refused to worship with his local converts, convinced that they were far superior to the people of India. His work hindered the Danish enslavement and abuse of the Tamil locals, and no doubt convicted them. They tried to expel him from India, but it didn’t work out for them
At one point his defense of the locals resulted in his imprisonment. This incident began when he was trying to help the Tamil widow of a local barber collect on a debt owed by a Catholic translator employed by the Danes. When called in for questioning on his role in this incident, Batholomaus refused to cooperate with procedures because he knew what they were doing was illegal, including calling him in for questioning. As a result, result, he was placed in solitary confinement for four months – charged with inciting rebellion as he converted the local Tamil people. He took this as the perfect opportunity to write two books: The God-Pleasing Life of Pastors and The God-Pleasing Life of Christians.
To make matters more complicated, it seemed that when the King of Denmark, who funded this missionary outreach, became involved in war he would forget to send Bartholomaus his funding. For a time he faced some difficulties with the local Brahmins, who had plotted to have him killed after he criticized them for their disregard of those of lower caste.
Bartholomaus persevered, however. Despite all of this, his sermons and talks were popular among the people, probably due in no small part to his commitment to defend their rights against the imperialistic Danish. When he found out his converts were losing their jobs because of their conversion, he gave them money out of his own meager funds so they could survive
Sara McCaslin is an engineer, a computer scientist, and a freelance writer.