Christian Pastor Accused of Forcing Muslims to Convert in India

The Grand Mufti has called on Rev. Chander Khanna, of the Indian Church of All Saints, to answer allegations that Christian missionaries are forcing Muslims to convert to Christianity in the Muslim dominated region.

Rev. Khanna was summoned to the Sharia Court of Srinagar, by the Grand Mufti of Kashmir valley in Basheeruddin.

A letter was sent from the Grand Mufti to Rev. Khanna explaining that he would be held personally responsible for the forced conversions of young Muslims.

“I will take all necessary measures to exercise the powers vested in me by Islamic Sharia. It is a matter of grave concerns that Christian missionaries active here should be running an organized and integrated campaign to convert young Kashmiri Muslims to Christianity,” he said.

The Grand Mufti reportedly has a videotape that shows Rev. Khanna forcibly converting young Muslims.

Bishop Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy, head of the Diocese of Amritsar for the Church of North India, fearing for the safety and well-being of Rev. Khanna came out in defense of him.

"These allegations are fabricated as we neither have the money nor do we have any material benefits to offer anyone desirous of Baptism,” he said.

Bishop Samantaroy said, “I have verified that these people used to come to the Church for more than one year and they expressed their desire for baptism.” He has also stated that the converts in detention have denied the allegation that they were forced to become Christians.

Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, in a letter to Chief Minister of Kashmir wrote, "Given the recent serious developments in Kashmir, which could endanger the life of an innocent Christian pastor, and put at risk the harmony between the communities in the country, we demand immediate action to take the necessary measures to protect the life of the unfairly targeted person, Rev. C.M. Khanna.”

When asked what he thought about the charges against Rev. Khanna, George sternly replied, “It is uncalled for, unconstitutional and also very much humiliating the very constitution of our country.”

The Indian constitution allows for freedom of religion.