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ICC Note

Christians are prohibited from providing aid work to earthquake victims due to fear that they are trying to convert them.

Christian Post (02/14/06) – Christian missionaries providing aid work in the earthquake-affected regions of India have been forced to shut down their operations after locals accused them of carrying out conversions.

Aid workers of the Bible Society of India have been assisting in relief and rehabilitation work in India ’s Jammu and Kashmir regions after the devastating South Asia earthquake struck last October. Locals in the Madiyan and Kamalkote villages, however, complained that they were using relief work to convert people to the Christian faith.

A senior police official, who said the missionaries were given a warning to stop conversion activity, reported their recent distribution of gas cylinders, water bottles, audio cassettes and copies of the Urdu New Testament to each family in the villages.

Villagers also accused the missionaries of promising people money and houses “in lieu of change of faith.”

A case was registered against the Kashmir chapter of the Bible Society of India, and police are investigating into the locals’ complaints, starting, once again, to place a scrutinous eye on the role of missionaries. The Senior Superintendent of Police Varmul, Ashkoor Wani, said police found a pack of cassettes propagating Christianity, Urdu translations of the New Testament and other religious material.

The Bible Society, which serves as “the arm of the Church” to provide necessary scripture materials, has been active in the state on the educational front for over 150 years.

Christian relief groups have been at the forefront in relief work after the South Asia quake shook Pakistan and its neighboring countries. Response has remained high as supplies are continually distributed and comfort is given to the tens of thousands of families.