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Wife's karva chauth costs pastor his job

Wife's karva chauth costs pastor his job

Publication: Hindustan Times
Date: November 24, 2008

A Pastor has been a dropped from the panel of pastors by the Assembly of Believers' Church after his wife observed the karva chauth fast.

Satyeendra Shrivastava, who along with his wife Anita converted to Christianity 11 years ago, has threatened to end life, if the decision isn't revoked.

"Is karva chauth the copyright of one religion? What wrong did my wife do by fasting for me. Wives of my Muslim friends fast. It's common these days," said Satyeendra, who is also the vicepresident of the United Pastor Committee.

Last month, a local newspaper wrote about some non-Hindu women observing the fast, which was on October 18. Anita was one of the women it wrote about. The church took note. "The next morning they asked me why I observed the fast when it wasn't part of the custom," she told HT. She said though she fasts for her husband, she doesn't follow oth- er rituals. "A woman would do anything for her husband's long life. Ifasted because my husband was once a Hindu," said Anita, sitting next to Satyeendra in their Bakarmandi home.

The church first relieved Satyeendra from marriage and funeral duties. Recently it dropped him from the panel of pastors.

The all-powerful Bishop Council left him out of the list of pastors sent for approval to Bishop Anthony Augustus in Lucknow. Another pastor who, too, had been left out told Satyeendra of his exclusion.

He took up the matter with Bishop Council head Rev. E.J. Singh and sought a written reply Satyeendra claimed he was told that when he was made pastor, it wasn't conveyed in writing, so why should his exclusion be conveyed in writing.

For the last two weeks, Satyeendra has been on his own. "I've approached everyone even the bishop but no one is ready to listen."

The United Pastor Committee took up the issue with the church, but got no response even though they "talked to Pastor Singh twice", coordinator Pastor Aashu Thoplus said. HT tried to contact Bishop Augustus and Pastor Singh over the phone several times, but the calls weren't returned.

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