NEW DELHI—Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, who is the Sikh head priest, has raised his concerns over what he called the “forced religious conversion” of Sikhs in border areas of Punjab. Meanwhile, Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) has launched a counter- campaign against it.
He expressed his concern in a statement released to media at Amritsar two days ago.
He accused the Christian missionaries of targeting the Sikhs living in districts bordering Pakistan.
The Sikh head priest alleged that Christian missionaries lure innocent Sikhs to Christianity.
Singh said that conversion activities have been going on for the last few years. “We have received several reports regarding conversions,” the head priest alleged, adding “it is a dangerous attack on the Sikh religion.”
Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), he said, has launched a counter-campaign to check the conversions of Sikhs.
“Forced conversion or luring someone can never be justified. All Sikhs should support the SGPC in strengthening the campaign against forced conversions, a serious challenge. We have to combat it. (The) SGPC campaign should be run all over India. Right now, we have been focusing on the areas that are more affected,” The Indian Express quoted the Jathedar having said.
According to the head priest, missionaries are mainly targetting the Dalit Sikhs who face discrimination in villages due to illiteracy and poverty.
Amritsar-based activist Dr. Kashmir Singh heading the Dalits and Minorities Organisation Punjab said that the Dalit Sikhs were being told that conversion to Christianity would help them settle in foreign countries.