Bell tolls in Srinagar's oldest church

In a lesson on solidarity in the strife torn valley of Kashmir, representatives of different religions came together at Srinagar's oldest Catholic Church to inaugurate a bell, as the original was damaged in an arson attack in 1967.

The 120-year-old church established by the British in 1896, was silent for the last 50 years. But, on Monday, the new brass bell, weighing 105 kg, tolled resoundingly. Besides the parish priest, Fr Roy Mathews, Muslim cleric Haji Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Hindu priest Swami Amratdass Udasin and Sikh Granthi Gyani Saranjeet Singh were present on the occasion. All four are members of Inter-Religious Forum, an organisation meant to promote interfaith understanding.

Haji Malik said, “We decided to come together to participate in the bell ringing to clear misconceptions that Kashmiris are intolerant of other faiths.“

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