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Church questions 'conversion' claim

February 20, 2005 19:44 IST

Church leaders in Guwahati have questioned the authenticity of the claim put forth by the National Commission for Minorities stating there is an 'abnormal growth of Christians in the North East, particularly in districts bordering Bangladesh'.

NCM Chairman S Tarlochan Singh had made the statement while discussing census data pertaining to the Christian community at a recently held seminar in Kochi in Kerala.

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Four church leaders, including Archbishop of Guwahati Rev Thomas Menamparampil and General Secretary of the Baptist churches in Northeast Rev Nugul Khan Pau, denied the claim in a letter to Singh.

They pointed out that the commission never contacted the church leaders to verify the facts.

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The church leaders said the commission, which was constituted to safeguard the rights and interests of the minorities, has undermined the image of the church by making such 'irresponsible and provocative statements'.

They alleged that the commission was using data selectively to raise a false alarm.

The church leaders also expressed surprise over the commission's motive in holding a seminar on the issue without any representation from the region and demanded that the NCM sends a detailed report on the Kochi seminar.

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