Two Schools Shut Down For ‘Teaching Christianity’
JAMMU, Jammu & Kashmir (SAR NEWS) — Two schools in Kuwara district have been shut down by the authorities for allegedly including lessons and pictures of Jesus Christ in the curriculum.
Reports reaching here June 1 from Kuwara, 104 kilometres from Srinagar, the state capital, said the schools functioning under the name of “Voice of Aqra Educational Institute” and “Sunshine Public School” along the Line of Control (LOC) were sealed “for trying to lure students to the institutions by preaching Christianity”, as the authorities put it.
An inquiry has been ordered into the charges.
The schools have reportedly introduced the Vikas series of English textbooks that contain pictures of Jesus Christ and as such are in contravention to the Islamic tradition that forbids keeping of pictures of any sort.
To register their protest against the alleged blasphemous practices adopted by the schools, people in large numbers from Kupwara town and adjoining villages of Villagam, Tarathpora, Kralapora and Trehgam took to the streets shouting slogans against the school administration and demanded stringent action against them.
Vehicles went off the streets and government office and educational institutions were closed down.
It is reported that the District Adminstration immediately swung into action and a team of officers was deputed to the two institutions which sealed them and ordered a probe into the functioning of these schools. The principals of the two schools are reportedly absconding.Islamic tradition does not recognise Jesus Christ as the Son of God and also does not believe that he was either crucified or rose from the dead, as is contained in the Vikas series of English textbooks.This correspondent, on enquiry, learnt that the two schools are neither run by the Jammu-Srinagar Catholic Educational Society nor has any link with the schools run by the Church of North India.Catholic schools in the Valley have been facing rough weather for some time now. There was trouble in the Burn Hall School, Srinagar and St. Joseph’s School,
Baramulla, over the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission.
In 2003, Father Jim Borst of the Mill Hill Mission, London, who ran two schools at Pulwama and Shivpora, was served “leave India notice” by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed then, as it was alleged that the two schools were propagating Christianity in order to lure students.Later, buckling under pressure from Catholic groups, the government withdrew the expulsion order.
In 2009, a pastor, Cap. Matthew Sammuel, was arrested on charges of converting people to Christianity in the border areas of Samba, Kathua and Hiranagar in the Jammu division. A criminal charge under Section 153 RPC (creating hatred between religious communities) was slapped on him and he is facing trial in the Session’s Court, Jammu.SAR News tried to contact Abdul Gani Bhat, the principal of Sunshine Public School, but he was not available.