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2013-05-10

ASIA/INDIA - Two missionaries who distributed biblical pamphlets: beaten and arrested

Srinagar (Agenzia Fides) – First the onslaught of the crowd that beat them savagely. Then arrested by the police, who rescued them from a secure lynching. This is the fate of two missionary lay Christians, who were accused of carrying out "acts of proselytism" towards young Muslims in Lasjan, a village near Srinagar, in Indian Kashmir. According to what local sources of Fides refer, the two were arrested on May 6 by the police in Srinagar, but one of them is hospitalized in Jammu (another city of Kashmir) for serious injuries. According to preliminary reports, the two are accused of distributing pamphlets and publications with biblical passages to some young Muslims. Once a Muslim mob found out what was happening, they looked for them and started to beat them up.
Recently, the "United Jihad Council", an organization that brings together various militant Islamic movements in Kashmir, accused the missionaries of "conversion", inviting them to leave Kashmir (see Fides 02/05/2013). In addition, some mullahs (Islamic leaders) have accused the volunteers of "Agape House", a social, and educational center run 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. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 10/05/2013)

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