- By: Javaid Malik
Srinagar: Most Christians in the Valley have taken a strong exception to a misinformation campaign launched by some vested interests about they being unsafe after the recent conversion controversy came to fore.
Christians who spoke to Greater Kashmir dispelled reports about any threat perception to them. They described it as a “vicious campaign” aimed at creating a sense of insecurity among the community members who have been living here amicably for decades. “We were born here and have been living here for the past many decades. We never felt threatened. We stayed here in the most difficult times. When militancy was at its peak no one touched us, neither did anyone ask us to leave the Valley,” said one of the teachers of famous missionary school Burn Hall.
Another teacher, Munni Mam, of Burn Hall School, who retired 2-years ago, said that thousands of Muslim students whom she taught are at the top positions within and outside JK. “We feel proud when we see our students achieving big goals,” she said.
“Our roots are in the Valley, and nothing has shaken them over centuries. I don’t see any threat from my Muslim neighbours who always come to my rescue when I need them and are part of my grief and celebrations,” said Jacob Masih of Shivpora, Srinagar.
“It seems some people want to give an ugly twist to conversion controversy by unleashing propaganda that Christians are unsafe in the Valley. Had we felt any threat we would have left long back. History stands testimony to the fact that not a single Church was ever attacked in the Valley even during the turmoil,” said James Mathews, of Sonawar.
A teacher of a missionary school said she has been putting up in the Valley for the past 21-years and has never felt “insecure” or threatened. “Many of us were even unaware about the conversion controversy till it came up in the media. But the mudslinging has hurt us. No one is guilty till it is proven,” she said. “No one till date has stopped us from performing our religious duties nor has anyone ever interfered in our religious affairs. We are very much safe and secure in the Valley.”
Farooq Ahmed Parray of Sonawar said he was surprised when he came to know about that some people were claiming that Christians are not safe in the Valley. “Many Christians are putting up in Sonawar area of the city for ages and they are like our own brothers and sisters. They have been a part and parcel of our society,” he said. “It seems that some people want to create a wedge between Muslims and Christians by resorting to such propaganda.”
Most of the Christians in the Valley blame the ‘ignorant’ national media for “spreading canards” about their safety.