Sunday, March 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bishop writes to Jathedar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 15
The fact-finding committee, constituted by the Diocese of Amritsar, Church of North India, today claimed that Christian missionaries were not responsible for conversions in the border belt.

Mr Pardip Kumar Samantrai, Bishop of Amritsar, in a communication to Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Akal Takht has urged for a joint meeting of Sikhs and Christians to clear any “confusion created by certain vested persons” on this sensitive issue.

Mr Samantrai clarified that the Christians themselves were in minority not only in Punjab but also in India and, hence, they could not impose conversion on anybody. He told the Jathedar that it was necessary to convene the meeting at Akal Takht so that the “nefarious designs of the politically motivated forces” could be defeated at the earliest.

The Bishop claimed that Christians never lured any person belonging to other communities to embrace Christianity. He said both Sikhs and Christians had been maintaining very cordial and harmonious relations. He said following the statements given by Bhai Ram Singh, general secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), that SGPC was responsible for “large-scale” conversion of Sikhs into Christianity, a two-member fact-finding committee led by Mr Daniel B. Dass had reported that nobody was forced to convert. Meanwhile, the SGPC has convened a meeting of its Dharam Prachar Committee on March 21 at Fatehgarh Sahib to discuss the issue.


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