Friday, November 25, 2011

Pastor’s Arrest Stir’s Anti-Christian Sentiment in Kashmir, India

Bishop says area Christians in danger from angry Muslims after accusation of ‘allurement’

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

KASHMIR, INDIA (ANS) -- Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that charges that a pastor in Jammu and Kashmir state “lured” Muslims to Christianity by offering money are false and have put the lives of the clergyman and other Christians in danger, according to Bishop Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy of the Church of North India denomination.

Bishop Samantaroy
CDN says that following the arrest on Saturday (Nov. 17) of the Rev. Chander Mani Khanna, pastor of All Saints Church in Srinagar, Bishop Samantaroy told Compass by phone that the time has come for the church to speak up against the “discriminatory action” by authorities in India’s Kashmir Valley. The bishop of the Amritsar Diocese said the pastor told him his life was in danger, as the charges have angered area Muslims.

The government must provide protection to the pastor, churches and Christian institutions “immediately,” he said. Pastor Khanna was arrested for creating “enmity” between religious communities and hurting religious sentiments. Bishop Samantaroy said the allegation made by Kashmir Grand Mufti Bashir-ud-din Ahmad that Pastor Khanna had converted Muslims by offering money was “totally baseless and untrue.”

The story added that the Superintendent of Police of East Srinagar Sheikh Zulfkar Azad, however, told Compass there was “certain evidence” of allurement by Pastor Khanna, though he did not specify it. Seven youths who were baptized have denied to police that they were offered money to convert, a local Christian told Compass.

“A source who requested anonymity previously told Compass that police beat the converts from Islam when asking them if Christians had given them money for their conversion,” the CDN story also stated.

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Dan Wooding, 70, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 48 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. He now hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on KWVE in Southern California which is also carried throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK and also in Belize and South Africa. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 200 countries and also provides a regular commentary for Worship Life Radio on KWVE. You can follow Dan Wooding on Facebook under his name there or at ASSIST News Service. He is the author of some 44 books. Two of the latest include his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel “Red Dagger” which is available this link.

** You may republish this story with proper attribution.

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