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  • Writer's pictureShamsher singh

The Rise of Christian Conversion in Punjab Majha Area

The Punjab Majha area, comprising the districts of Tarn Taran, Amritsar, and Gurdaspur, has witnessed a significant rise in Christian conversion in recent years. The trend has sparked a debate within the Sikh community, with many expressing concern about the conversion of Sikh youth to Christianity.

According to the 2011 census, Christians constitute only 1.26% of the population in Punjab. However, in the last decade, there has been a marked increase in the number of people converting to Christianity in the Majha area. Statistics show that in Tarn Taran district alone, the number of Christians has increased from 6,137 in 2011 to 12,436 in 2021, a growth rate of 102.73%.

number of Christians in Gurdaspur district , has reportedly increased by four lakh (400,000) over the last five years, according to a report by Ravi Dhaliwal in The Tribune. The report alleges that some individuals and groups are resorting to lies and deception to propagate Christianity in the region.

The reasons behind this trend are complex and multifaceted. Many people who have converted cite personal reasons, such as seeking solace in times of hardship or a desire for a closer relationship with God. Others have converted due to the influence of Christian missionaries who have been working in the area for several years. The trend has sparked a strong reaction from the Sikh community, with many expressing concern about the conversion of young Sikhs to Christianity. Sikh leaders have accused Christian missionaries of using unethical methods to convert vulnerable youth, including offering money, jobs, and education in exchange for conversion. "Christian conversion is a threat to the Sikh way of life and our community," said jugraj Singh, a local Sikh leader. "We need to do more to protect our youth from falling prey to these tactics." In response to the trend, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the governing body of Sikh temples, has launched an awareness campaign to educate Sikhs about the dangers of Christian conversion. The campaign includes workshops and seminars in local gurdwaras, as well as outreach programs to educate youth about Sikhism and its values. "We need to be vigilant and proactive in protecting our youth from falling prey to these unethical practices," said Harjinder Singh Dhami, the current President of the SGPC. "We will continue to work towards preserving the Sikh way of life and ensuring that our youth remain true to their faith.


The Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, has also expressed concern about the rise in Christian conversion. In a recent statement, the Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh called on the Sikh community to remain vigilant and to promote the teachings of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. "We need to remain true to the teachings of Guru Nanak, which emphasize the importance of living a moral and ethical life and of serving others," said Giani Harpreet Singh. "We must also promote interfaith dialogue and understanding to build a more peaceful and harmonious socity"

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church in Punjab has responded to the allegations of unethical conversion practices by Christian missionaries. In a recent statement, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) expressed concern about the allegations and affirmed its commitment to ethical evangelization practices. "We are committed to promoting the teachings of Jesus Christ and his message of love d compassion, but we do so in a way that is respectful and sensitive to the cultural and religious traditions of the people we serve," the statement read.expressed concern about the allegations and affirmed its commitment to ethical evangelization practices.

But some Sikh Activities believe that "just plain newspaper statements," and that there has been no impact on the ground.

According to the report, some leaders are visiting churches for votes, and the government has not taken action to address the alleged deceptive tactics used to convert individuals to Christianity

The rise of Christian conversion in the Punjab Majha area is a complex issue that requires a nuanced and sensitive approach. While it is important to respect individual choices and freedom of religion, it is also important to safeguard the cultural and religious identity of communitiesties.



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