The northern Indian state of Punjab has banned a controversial book on the founder of Sikhism because of its derogatory references to Christians.

In mid-July, the Punjab government published an official notification banning the "publication, translation, reprints, sale, and possession" of the book. The notification said that The Life and Liberation Path of Guru Nanak Dev by the Sikh author Satnam Singh "contained certain derogatory and malicious remarks which were intended to arouse passion and hurt the religious sentiments of a particular community."

Sikhism is the majority religion in Punjab, where Christians account for less than 1 percent of the state's 23 million people. Christians called on the Punjab state government to arrest the author and to ban the book. The author is awaiting a trial.

The book includes a brief chapter on Christianity, with comments that many Christians found highly objectionable. One passage describes Jesus as an illegitimate child thrown into an open stable by his mother Mary. The passage says that Mary wanted the baby Jesus to die because of her shame, but he was kept alive by the warmth of sheep in the stable.

Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy, bishop of Amritsar in the Church of North India, told Ecumenical News International, "Our demands have been met. We do not want any more publicity for the author."



Related Elsewhere:

In June, Christianity Today reported on Christian protests in Punjab over the Sikh book.

ReligiousTolerance.org has a description of Sikhism's history and beliefs.

An online biography of Guru Nanak Dev (from a Sikh perspective) follows the founder from his Pakistan birth in 1469.

Gospelcom's Apologetics Index archives news articles about Sikhism and other topics.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.