Rein in 'self-styled' Christian missionaries, Akal Takht appeals to Centre : The Tribune India

Rein in 'self-styled' Christian missionaries, Akal Takht appeals to Centre

Rein in 'self-styled' Christian missionaries, Akal Takht appeals to Centre

Giani Harpreet Singh, Akal takht jathedar



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 1

Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh has claimed that Christian missionaries funded by “foreign forces” are targeting Sikhs and Hindus from backward classes and converting them.

“Some so-called Christian missionaries have cropped up in the state. They convert Sikhs by alluring them fraudulently — a practice not permitted in Christianity. Although there are legal provisions to book those who indulge in such practises in the name of religion, vote bank politics prevent governments from taking action,” he said today.

Last week, more than 150 Nihangs were booked for allegedly disrupting an event organised by Christian missionaries at Daduana village in the district.

Funded by foreign agencies

We have learnt that missionaries funded by foreign agencies organise religious conversion campaigns in Amritsar. —Giani Harpreet Singh, Akal takht jathedar

Forced conversions condemnable

Christians abide by the Constitution. If there are instances of forced conversions, these are condemnable and should be dealt with sternly. We are a peace-loving community. —Rev PK Samantaroy, Bishop, Diocese of Amritsar

Akal Takht has convened a meeting at Anandpur Sahib on September 5, and a resolution will be passed after a discussion on this issue.

The Jathedar called upon the Central government to take immediate steps. “We have learnt that self-styled missionaries funded by foreign agencies organise religious conversion campaigns in the border district. The Centre should rein them in,” he said.

The Jathedar demanded that the case against Nihangs should be quashed.

Without naming anyone, Rev Dr PK Samantaroy, Bishop, Diocese of Amritsar, Church of North India, said the practice of “foreign-funded” congregations and “forced conversions” did not exist in Biblical principles.

“Christianity is not a European religion as it is believed to be. It was introduced in India in first century AD by St Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ, long before it was introduced in Europe,” he said.

“The question of foreign funding does not arise. Christians abide by the Indian Constitution, which allows every Indian to pursue a religion of his or her choice. Nobody can be forced to adopt a particular religion. If there are instances of forced conversions, these are condemnable and should be dealt with sternly,” said Bishop Samantaroy.

He emphasised that Christians were a peace-loving community and completely dedicated to the cause of nation-building.

#akal takht #giani harpreet singh #Sikhs

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