ASIA/INDIA - Islamic militants to the Christian missionaries: "Leave Kashmir"
Jammu (Agenzia Fides) - New allegations and threats by Islamic extremists against the Christian missionaries in Kashmir, where the social and religious situation remains explosive. As sources of Fides report, the "United Jihad Council", an organization that brings together different Islamic movements in Kashmir, says that "Christian missionaries in Kashmir have a hidden agenda, exploit the poor and the needy, offering them economic aid to convert them to Christianity." In a statement by the spokesman, Syed Hussain Sadaqat, the "United Jihad Council" defines the approach of Christian missionaries "highly reprehensible", noting that "Islam is the religion of peace and harmony, which protects minorities. However, anti-Islam activities cannot be tolerated." Therefore, as already done in the past, the Council calls on all Christian missionaries "to immediately leave the valley of Kashmir", warning: "If not, they will suffer the consequences." The Jihad Council then launches an appeal to other Islamic charitable organizations to help poor families in Kashmir.
The accusations against the missionaries are not new. Recently, some mullahs (Islamic leaders) have accused the volunteers of "Agape House", a social, and educational center operated by Indian Christians in Srinagar, of "conversion of children" (see Fides 17/04/2013). In 2012, the Christian pastor C.M. Khanna, who was arrested in Srinagar and sentenced by an Islamic court for "forced conversions", was later acquitted by the High Court of the state of "Jammu and Kashmir".
The "United Jihad Council" was created in 1994 to unify the various groups of armed Islamic militants who are fighting against the Indian government in Kashmir. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 02/05/2013)
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