01/19/2012, 00.00
INDIA
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Kashmir, clergyman’s wife accused assisting in conversion

by Nirmala Carvalho
Two national newspapers have launched a smear campaign against Kanta Khanna, wife of the pastor targeted with a fatwa for having converted young Muslims. The Anglican clergyman: "My wife's health has worsened." The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) urges the central government to intervene in order not to create "a dangerous precedent."
Srinagar (AsiaNews) - "The safety and health of my wife are in grave danger. We are afraid of being kidnapped, or something far worse happening” says Rev. CM Khanna following the publication of some articles against his wife two national newspapers. "Some newspapers - says Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) - affirm that Mrs. Kanta Khanna has enticed and Involved in conversion the seven young Muslim baptized by her husband. We ask the central government and that of Jammu and Kashmir to provide a 24 hour protection to this Pastor and to his family. "

In November 2011, the Islamic court had summoned the Rev.. Khanna, claiming to he baptised 7 young Muslims in exchange for promises of money. Based on these accusations - always rejected by the pastor and the converted themselves - the man was arrested and only released after a week. A few days ago, the Shariah court accused the Rev.Khanna and Fr. Jim Borst (a Catholic missionary) of proselytizing.

"This smear campaign against the minister's wife - said the president of the GCIC - exacerbates the trauma that the family is going through. Rev. Khanna has often said that the young people have chosen to be baptized in freedom, motivated by a fervent desire and only after a process of catechesis. There was no compulsion, nor any illegal activity. "

On 26 January, as India celebrates the 62nd Republic Day. "Our Constitution - reaffirms Sajan George - enshrines religious and individual freedom. But the Grand Mufti's statements have fueled the hatred of Islamic fundamentalists against the small Christian minority in the region. The Islamic courts have no legal authority in India, but what is happening against Rev. Khanna risks creating a dangerous precedent, which can damage the Church's missionary nature. It is a shame for secular and democratic India ".


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