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Christian Tourists in Kashmir Face Violence over Conversion Claims

(Updated) United Jihad Council warns missionaries to leave Kashmir or "suffer the consequences."

Update (May 10): Asia News reports that the United Jihad Council (UJC), a militant Islamist group, is warning Christian missionaries to leave Kashmir, the only Indian state with a Muslim majority. Sadagat Hussain Syed, a UJC spokesman, accuses Christians of offering economic help to poverty-stricken Indians if they convert and says missionaries "will suffer the consequences" if they do not leave.


Now is not the time to visit Kashmir if you're a Christian tourist. AsiaNews reports that local Christians–but especially foreigners–in the picturesque but contested Indian state are increasingly in danger of anti-conversion violence.

According to AsiaNews, a mob attacked nine British citizens living in Srinagar last week, accusing the foreign residents of trying to convert local Muslims to Christianity. In February, a group of Christian tourists–eight Americans and four South Koreans–were similarly attacked by a mob at their Srinagar hotel after conversion accusations were posted on Facebook.

The violence is only the latest wave of anti-Christian sentiment. In 2011, an Anglican clergyman was arrested after a YouTube video allegedly showed him baptizing several local Muslims. The pastor was later released, but not before "allegations of allurement ... turned Muslim clergy and separatist leaders against the Christians."

CT previously noted the growing fear among Kashmir Christians last February, and has reported the religious tensions in Kashmir as far back as 2002. Most recently, CT noted that India's most-Hindu state (which borders Kashmir) partially repealed its anti-conversion law.

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