Christians, Hindus in Pak claim possession of temple

September 27th, 2008 - 2:35 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore , Sept 27 (ANI): A temple in Lahore has become the centre of feud between the Hindus and the Christians. While both the communities claim full rights over the temple, with each putting forth arguments in its favour, the Christian converts (Hindus who converted to Christianity) currently assume control of the temple site.

The ancestors of the Balmiki Christians, who currently have possession of the temple, converted to Christianity from Hinduism about 30 years ago, but are still affiliated with the Swami Balmiki, for whom the temple was built.

They maintain that they have full rights to the temple despite being Christians, and will not give it up, reported the Daily Times.

Conversely, the Hindu Sudhar Sabha, an association of citys Hindu population, has alleged that the Christian caretakers harass them and prevent them from worshipping in the temple. They claim that their actions have made the temple the site of a hub of activities that are against the respect of the temple. However, the Christians claim that they do not want any occupier to intervene in the internal affairs of the temple, added the paper.

A committee of Christians look into the temples financial and other related affairs currently runs the Balmiki Temple independently. However, the shops outside the temple have been rented out by the Auqaf Department.

A few years ago, when the Baber Masjid in India was demolished in India , some protestors partially demolished the temple in retaliation. However, it was repaired afterwards.

Hindu Sudhar Sabha president Heera Lal said that it was illogical to have a Hindu Temple run by Christians. He said that the temple was not the personal property of anyone and the converts had no right to retain it after changing their faith.

Sabhas Programme Director Amar Nath Randhwa said that the Balmiki Temple had no qualified pandit. He said that if the Christians who had possession of the temple wanted to keep it under their control, they should convert to Hinduism.

He alleged that when Hindus tried to worship at the temple, the Christians hooted at them and teased their women. He claimed that they had turned the temple into an adda of illegal activities. (ANI)

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