Assam archbishop denounces as “calumnies against Christians” charges leveled against three Swedish tourists


“The incident leaves a bitter aftertaste. It looks like an attempt to please the majority and slander Christians”. This is the comment made to AsiaNews by Mgr John Moolachira, Archbishop of Guwahati (Assam), after the local police announced the expulsion from the country of three Swedish tourists accused of proselytism.

The three allegedly violated the terms of their tourist visas by participating in an event of the United Churches Fellowship and Bless Assam Mission Network in the Naharkatiya area. According to Indian media, the accused allegedly recited sermons in an attempt to convert some locals to Christianity. The police fined them 500 dollars each; the three are said to have already returned to Sweden.

The organisers of the meeting said they had obtained the necessary authorisations from the district authorities.

According to MSgr. Moolachira, who is in Bangkok for the meeting of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, the fact that tourists attend religious services does not mean that these are attempts at conversion. “I am sorry for the people expelled and for the organisers of the religious meeting, who found themselves in a very embarrassing situation.