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Punjab Christian body cautions Sikh high priest of self-appointed Christian leaders

P K Samantaroy (left) and Jathedar Akal Takht (right) of Amritsar. (Photo supplied)

A Christian organization has cautioned religious leaders of the Sikh faith in India's northern Punjab state against people who pose as office bearers of mainstream churches and publish false statements.

The Masihi Maha Sabha (MMS) has alerted Giani Harpreet Singh, the acting Jathedar (high priest) of Akal Takht, the chief center of the religious authority of Sikhism, to be wary of people who misrepresent mainline churches.

The MMS comprises the Catholic Church, the Diocese of Amritsar and Chandigarh, Punjab, the Church of North India (CNI), the Salvation Army, and the Methodist Church.

The church body September 6 held a press conference in Amritsar, Punjab, and said, "MMS and the Christian community hold the Sikh brotherhood in high regard and would never act in a way to hurt religious sentiments."

"The Sikh high priest should collaborate with mainstream churches to expose the deep-rooted conspiracy aimed at disturbing peace and harmony between Sikhs and Christians," said MMS president, P K Samantaroy.

Recently, a certain section of society allegedly said that Christians have been involved in "forced conversation," a charge Christians deny.

"Mainstream churches have never used any kind of force or allurement to convert anyone, nor do they nurture any such future agenda," said Samantaroy.

He denied all allegations against the mainstream churches of indulging in any ill means or magical healings for conversions.

He said, "A large number of independent churches and self-appointed, individual Christian priests had commercialized the religion and were advertising magical healings and even giving allurements to people to adopt their Christianity."

Later in the press meeting, Daniel B. Das, the director of the Socio-Economic Development Program (SEDP) and property manager of the Diocese of Amritsar, referred to a viral video on social media. 

He said, "Some self-styled custodians of the Christian faith were posing as office-bearers of mainstream churches which have no legal standing, so the Akal Takht Jathedar should not be misled by them."

"They have been issuing misleading statements about the Bible and its teachings. They have also been deceiving the Akal Takht Jathedar on the legality of the Christian leadership in India," Das said.

He requested the Akal Takht Jathedar to ignore, be cautious of such people and verify all reports regarding conversions or any other issue harmful to Sikh-Christian harmony with the members of the MMS.

Sikhism has approximately 25 million adherents worldwide, with Punjab being a Sikh-majority state.

Christians are now estimated to make up 10% of Punjab's 28 million people.  - Atanu Das 


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