Kashmir High Court stays proceedings against Anglican clergy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

by Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

KASHMIR, INDIA (Worthy News)-- The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir stayed further proceedings against an Anglican clergyman.

Last November, an Islamic court summoned Rev. Chander Mani Khanna to answer charges he had forced seven young Muslims to convert to Christianity in exchange for money, but both Khanna and the converts rejected the allegation.

Khanna was arrested and then released a week later, but in January, the court ordered his expulsion, along with other Christian missionaries.

"With the court order, the pastor can finally leave the state," said Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians. "Because of the threats from the Islamic court, his family has already left. They are no longer safe there."

"The atmosphere is increasingly tense," Sajan said. "The situation is precarious and unstable. Islamic fundamentalists have threatened to seize all the properties of the families of the converts in order to have them go back to Islam.

"Intimidations have had their effect, at least partly. Three of the seven converts have decided to abjure Christianity.

"What is shameful is the fact that the Islamic court has not legal authority in Jammu and Kashmir. Yet, the grand mufti's charges have led to a major case of anti-Christian persecution."