Police Detain, Beat Converts from Islam in India
Police in India's Kashmir Valley detained and beat seven converts from Islam and were expected to arrest Christian workers after Muslim leaders alleged that Muslim youth were being "lured" to Christianity, Compass Direct News reports. Police got the names of the converts, as well as the names of their pastors, from a video recording of their baptisms that was posted on YouTube, and, in addition to beating them, asked them if Christians had given them money for their conversion. One of the pastors, Chander Mani Khanna, has been summoned by the mufti, the head of the sharia (Islamic law) court, to appear in court next week, and the converts have all agreed to sign affidavits saying there was no duress or allurement to convert. Khanna said the Muslims had been coming to the church on their own initiative: "I can't convert anyone; it's the work of the Holy Spirit," he said. India's constitution provides for religious freedom, including the right to propagate and the right to change one's religion. Christians have generally had good relations with the Muslims in the region, but recent tensions have been brewing as a result of thousands of young Muslims converting to Christianity.