Assam Hindu group starts poster campaign against missionary schools

This followed the expiry of a deadline set by another group to remove the idols of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary from the school premises

February 24, 2024 05:36 pm | Updated 05:47 pm IST - Guwahati:

A lesser-known radical Hindu group has started a poster campaign asking missionary schools across Assam to remove Christian symbols and churches from their premises and stop using educational institutions for religious purposes.

The posters were pasted on the walls of missionary-run educational institutions in Guwahati, Barpeta, Jorhat, and Sivasagar towns by an organisation called Sanmilita Sanatan Samaj. The posters came up after the expiry of a similar diktat by Kutumba Suraksha Parishad, another radical group, on Friday.

The group threatened to launch a mass movement if the missionary schools did not remove the churches or chapels, idols of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary, and other Christian symbols from their premises. It also asked the principals and teachers to stop wearing “religious dresses” to school.

Also Read | Police probe threat to missionary school in Assam

“This is the final warning to stop using the school as a religious institution... stop anti-Bharat and unconstitutional activities, or else…” the poster in Assamese read.

“We are not against the Christians. But we are against the subtle use of religious symbols aimed at conversion. The missionary schools focus on propagating Christianity, not India or Indian culture,” a member of the group said.

Members of the Assam Christian Forum declined to react to the posters by “fringe elements” but said Assam’s Director General of Police and police chiefs of districts where some missionary schools have been targeted, have been requested to take necessary action.

“Some parents have said we should seek security but we know it would not be possible for the government to provide police protection to some 400 missionary schools across Assam, the oldest of which is 180 years old,” a member of the forum said.

“Our institutions have always respected and accommodated individuals of all religions and cultures, maintaining a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. Had conversion been our goal, at least half of Assam would have been Christians by now,” he said.

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