Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Closer Look at Claims of ‘Persecution’ Of Christians in Kashmir

Interfaith Dialogue

Yusuf Jameel disagrees with the media reports that Christians are fleeing from Kashmir.

He writes, “Lately there have been many media reports of Christians fleeing Kashmir, but such reports are inaccurate and fail to tell the entire story.

Such stories fail to mention that thousands of Kashmiri families relocate to various places, such as Jammu, the winter capital of the Himalayan state, and New Delhi, ahead of peak winter season to escape harsh weather back home. With the start of winter vacations at schools and other educational institutions in December and spreading from two to three months, many other people — including students and their parents – also tag along. It is naive to call such emigrations “forcible expulsions” as many of the people will be returning to the Kashmir Valley as the weather improves and the winter vacations for schools and colleges are ending.

That said, purporting the situation as being persecuted continues to happen among some sections of Christians, primarily evangelical Christian activists, and given the above mentioned background could be tantamount to being a false statement. Some of these Christian may find it difficult to work among the local Muslims after openly being accused of luring the members of the majority Muslim community, mainly the youth, into Christianity by offering them “riches’ – a charge that is vehemently denied by the Christians. In such a vein, one Christian news portal reported last week, “The church is still there, but at this point, it seems as if Christian activity has been driven completely underground and has been severely curtailed.”

Again, such claims do not tell the entire story.”

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