On the weekend we got a message from Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy, Bishop of the Diocese of Amritsar of the Church of North India, asking for solidarity while facing violence against the Christian Community.
The Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau is in a long partnership with the Diocese of Amritsar. On Friday night Bishop Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy asked us for signs and prayers of solidarity as the Christians in Punjab suddenly find themselves being targeted for persecution on the completely baseless charge of converting the masses by force and allurements. Since many years the Diocese is deeply involved in inter-faith and peace- building efforts in the region and the Christian community enjoyed the patronage of people of all faiths.
Now there have been two incidents of violence within the span of one week, the Bishop informed us: the disruption of church services and vandalism in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district. As a first public sign against this violence the Heads of Churches in the region invited to candlelight prayers in churches of all denominations across the state on last Saturday.
As a sign of solidarity a group of delegates, participants and guests from the 11th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches sent the following picture on Saturday from their pilgrimage to Kehl and Strasbourg praying for peace and religious freedom in Punjab.