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    » 11/22/2011, 00.00

    INDIA

    Christian leaders for the release of Kashmiri pastor arrested for forced conversions

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Rev. Channa Mani Khanna is in prison for having baptized seven Muslims. Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "We must stop the Talibanisation of the only Indian state with a Muslim majority." Anglican Bishop P.K. Samantha Roy, of the Diocese of Amritsar, "he officiated valid baptisms, he has not done anything illegal."
    Srinagal (AsiaNews) - "The Rev. CM Khanna and seven Muslim converts to Christianity were exercising their constitutional rights to religious freedom and freedom of choice, they have done nothing illegal. " So says Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), commenting on the arrest of Channa Mani Khanna, Anglican pastor of All Saints Church in Kashmir, accused by the Grand Mufti of the region of having forced the conversion of young Muslims in exchange for money. For the Anglican bishop P.K. Samantha Roy, of the Diocese of Amritsar, "the way the police have arrested the pastor is humiliating. Rev. Khanna has never acted in secret. We ask the government of Kashmir for justice. The Anglican Church will seek a legal redress for our innocent pastor. "

    A few days before his arrest, on 19 November, the Grand Mufti Bashir-ud-Din had called the Rev. Khanna before a sharia court, to answer charges of forced conversion. On 17 November, the Grand Mufti had then written a letter to the pastor, in which he stated: "Having failed in what I had asked, we will be forced to take action under Shari'a." In addition to Rev. Khanna, the police also arrested the seven Muslim that he baptized, beating them to obtain a confession against the pastor.

    Msgr. Roy said he had discussed what happened in the Islamic court with the pastor: "The interrogation went on for four hours. When we spoke, the Reverend was serene and calm, not afraid because he was sure of his innocence and that he had not committed any violation of canon law or civil law. The baptisms he officiated are valid. "

    "The request to appear before a Shariah court - said Sajan George - is alarming. We must stop the Talibanisation of the only Indian state with a Muslim majority. India is a secular country with a secular constitution, which states without exception, and demands respect for the principles of equality among citizens of the republic. "

    The state of Kashmir has no anti-conversion laws: the police arrested the pastor according to art. 153A (people who promote disharmony, enmity or hatred based on religion, race, residence, language or caste) and 295A (people who offend the religious feelings of any class, with deliberate and malicious acts).

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    See also

    02/11/2011 INDIA
    Kashmir, false accusations of forced conversion against a Protestant pastor
    C. M. Khanna, pastor of All Saints Church in Srinagar accused of converting Muslim youth. The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians denounces the continuing cases of pressure and violence against the Christian minority in Kashmir.

    08/11/2011 INDIA
    Kashmir life in danger of a pastor falsely accused of forced conversions
    The Grand Mufti has called the Rev. Khanna of the Church of North India to a Sharia court to explain the alleged forced conversions of young Muslims. The protests of Bishop Samantaroy and the President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, Sajan K George, an "inappropriate and unconstitutional demand, a humiliation to the Constitution of our country."

    24/11/2011 INDIA
    Kashmir life of the Anglican clergyman who christened 7 young Muslims at risk
    The son of Mani Khanna warns of the deteriorating health of his father, arrested on November Chander 19 on charges of forced conversion. A video spreads hatred against Christians. On Youtube and Facebook Muslims vow to burn buildings, churches and Christian schools.

    02/12/2011 INDIA
    Rev. Khanna: After release, I'm not afraid to go back to my Church
    In an interview with AsiaNews, the pastor of All Saints Anglican Church says he was "the victim of a conspiracy," but holds "no grudge". The rev. Khanna spent ten days in jail for having baptized seven Muslims.

    19/04/2007 INDIA
    Kashmir: Christian beheaded, his head left in front of a mosque
    A group of hizbul militants, the Islamic “warriors of freedom”, kidnapped and killed, Ahmad Chat, 33, member of the Salem Voice Church. Pastors report daily persecution and violence in the province.



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