Expel three Christian priests: Kashmir Sharia court

January 19th, 2012 - 6:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Jan 19 (IANS) A Sharia court Thursday issued a decree seeking expulsion of three Christian priests from Jammu and Kashmir and monitoring of the activities of Christian missionary schools in the Valley.

Maintaining that the decree of the Sharia (Muslim Personal Law) court was not against the Christians in any manner, Kashmir’s grand mufti Bashir-ud-Din told a media conference here that three priests had been attracting local youth to conversion through monetary allurement.

“The Sharia court has unimpeachable evidence against these three priests who are non-locals. They have been using financial allurement to convert some local youth to Christianity.”

“The Sharia court has issued a decree for their expulsion from the state and the administration must ensure that they do not enter the state,” Bashir-ud-Din said.

“The decree has been issued to preserve harmony between followers of different faiths in the Valley,” the mufti said.

The decree also asked the state government to monitor the activities of the local missionary schools where a majority of the students were Muslims.

“These schools should include a period for Islamic education in their daily teaching programmes and a prayer written by poet Iqbal should be part of the school assembly prayers at these schools,” the decree said.

A row had broken out here last year after video clips showing conversion of local youth to Christianity were uploaded on the Internet.

Police had also arrested a Christian priest in connection with these alleged conversions. The priest was later released on bail.

Christian missionary schools have contributed immensely towards the spread of modern education in the Valley.

The services of the Christian missionaries in healthcare and social service are also acknowledged by Kashmiris.

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