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Sharia Court convicts Anglican priest of blasphemy for baptizing Muslims: The Church of England Newspaper, January 20, 2012 p 6, January 21, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of North India.
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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The All India Christian Council has condemned an indictment issued by a Sharia law court in Kashmir that charges two priests with blasphemy by enticing Muslims to convert to Christianity.

On 11 January 2012 Muslim leaders in the Northern Indian state issued a statement saying that “it was proved beyond doubt that the accused” the vicar of All Saints Church in Srinigar, the Rev Chander Mani Khanna of the Church of North India, “along with other accomplices was luring Muslim people to change their religion.”

A second priest, Fr. Jim Borst, a Roman Catholic missionary who has worked in Kashmir for 46 years, was also charged with converting Muslims to Christianity.

“The Kashmir situation is going through a critical phase and if such elements are not brought to book it will have a serious and negative impact on the (Kashmiri Muslim) society,” the Muslim leaders said.

“It is shocking and surprising that the state government was allowing such activities. Kashmir society will not tolerate such activities at all and we stand united against such elements,” Mufti Muhammad Nasir-ul-Islam said.  The sentence from the court would be announced shortly, he added.

On 19 Nov 2011 Mr. Khanna was arrested by the Jammu & Kashmir police on charges of fomenting civil unrest.  He was released on 1 Dec 2011 and has since left the state for fear for his life.

However, Christian leaders have denounced the indictment stating that Sharia courts have no civil standing.  In a statement released on 13 January 2012, the All India Christian Council (AICC) said it was “deeply disturbed” by the Sharia court’s actions.  “Such statements can encourage extremist elements to indulge in violence,” the Council said.

“It was hoped that religious and secular authorities, and the state government, would show maturity and responsibility,” the AICC said, “keeping in view the delicately poised public peace situation” in Kashmir.

The “Church does not accept as genuine any conversion brought about by fraud or force,” the AICC said, noting that a fact finding team which went to Srinagar shortly after the arrest of Mr. Khanna and “interviewed Church personnel, Ulema, school, authorities and the police, found no evidence of force or fraud in baptisms that have been carried out over a period of time. Each baptism has been proved to be voluntary.”

The head of the AICC, Dr John Dayal, said it “devolves on the Jammu and Kashmir Government, religious leaders and people of goodwill in the Kashmir valley to ensure that the nights of minorities are respected, their welfare assured, and communal harmony strengthened in the region which so desperately requires and environment of peace for its development and well being.”



1. Sharia Court Convicts Priests of Blasphemy for Baptising Muslims « Fr Stephen Smuts - January 21, 2012

[…] Source  Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. […]

2. Bishop A. T. Cross - January 21, 2012

Muslim authorities MUST take such coercive action because the message of Muhammad cannot stand in the face of the Gospel. I have read the Quran from al-Fatihah to al-Nas and, while it contains some truths, it cannot compare to the Bible’s in-depth treatment of God’s relationship to man or the consistency of its message over so long a time, through so many men of so many stations of life.

3. alkidya - January 22, 2012

I have read the Qur’an and aHadiths.
There is no tolerance in Islam.
“Truly, if the Hypocrites stir up sedition, if the agitators in the City do not desist, We shall urge you to go against them and set you over them. They shall have a curse on them. Whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain without mercy – a fierce slaughter – murdered, a horrible murdering.” Qur’an 33:60

“The Prophet said, ‘If a Muslim discards his religion, kill him.'” Bukhari:V4B52N260

JEYAYARAJ W. EDWARD - January 23, 2012

Dear Alkidya, I in the name of my LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST forgive you for your arrogance.

4. WHEN A RELIGIOUS COURT CHALLENGES THE STATE COURT ——- « Fr. Orthohippo - January 24, 2012

[…] Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of North India. Tags: All India Christian Council, Chander Mani Khanna, Kashmir, Sharia Law, Srinigar trackback […]

5. david Griffith - January 24, 2012

Hmm I don’t know the intricacies of the Indian Constitution but if it has ANY basis in English Common Law, then let’s go back to burning witches. If my fellow priests are being tried by a pseudo-secular Kashmiri Judicial system then they should ‘appeal to Caesar’ and take this accusation to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Rev. David M. Griffith
Nairobi, Kenya
[where ICC has successfully brought evidence
against alleged perpetrators in post-election
Isa 56:1 So says Jehovah: Keep justice and do righteousness, for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed.

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