GURDASPUR – Punjab Police have booked two ‘self-proclaimed’ pastors for forced conversions who allegedly tried to change a local’s religious beliefs.
SSP Deepak Hilori has confirmed that a case under ICC Section 295A has been filed against Balkar Masih and Jagtar Singh. He said both had been arrested and the matter was still under investigation.
According to the FIR, Upkar Singh, who runs a poultry farming business in Kalanaur, had approached the police, saying that Balkar and Jagtar regularly asked him to convert to Christianity from Sikhism. He alleged that he asked the duo to stop visiting his farm, but they didn’t.
According to reports, on Sunday evening when the arrested defendants approached Upkar again, they were surrounded by members of the Sikh community who took them to the police station.
Meeting between Akal Takht Jathedar and Christian Sabha
With the exception of alleged forced conversions by ‘false’ pastors, a delegation from the Catholic Church of India and the Church of North India under the banner of the Masihi Maha Sabha, today met Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh and Takht Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Giani Ragbir Singh.
During the meeting, it was decided to form a joint committee of the two communities to solve religious problems and to urge the government to examine the financing of missionary events, which mislead people to adopt Christianity.
The bishops urged the Jathedar to work with major churches to expose the deep-rooted conspiracy to disrupt harmony between Sikhs and Christians. They said some so-called “guardians of the Christian faith” posed as officials of the Anglican Church of India, which has no legal status.
Giani Harpreet Singh stressed that Christian leaders should take legal action against “false” pastors, who engage in “pakhandwaad” (pretend), superstitious and fraudulent practices to mislead people and vitiate the peaceful atmosphere. “Christian leaders will have to take stern action against them. The Sikhs will cooperate with you,” he said.
Reverend Dr PK Samantaroy, head of the sabha, and Bishop Agnelo Gracias, Apostolic Administrator of Jalandhar Diocese, said that the mainline churches never harbor any kind of strength or attraction to convert anyone. “If anyone claims to possess miraculous powers to heal or solve problems, it will be nothing less than an insult to the Almighty. We strongly condemn these elements openly and deny them. Based on evidence of their wrongdoings , they will be subject to legal action,” Bishop Samantaroy said, adding that a circular would be issued on biblical principles.
Bishop Gracias said Christianity preaches harmony among all communities. “We have a long tradition of living in peace with everyone. We will not allow “small groups” to disturb the harmony.