American Hindu Convert Denied Entry into Orissa Temple

November 7, 2005

Source: New Kerala News

Wire Service: IANS

On November 7, 2005 the Indo-Asian News Service reported, "An American woman who claimed she had converted to Hindusim but was denied entry into the 'Hindu-only' Lingaraj temple in the Orissa capital, said she would continue her struggle to seek entry even as the Congress and a major Hindu group announced support for her. Pamela K. Fleig, who said she had changed her Christian religion after marrying Anil Kumar Yadav, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, was denied entry into the 11th century temple on Oct 30. The temple priests said they would only allow Yadav in and denied entry to his wife saying she was a foreigner and not a Hindu... 'The temple has never allowed any foreigner because most of them are Christian,' a priest at the temple said. 'Even devotees of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskon) are not allowed to enter the temple,' he said. Meanwhile, leaders of the Congress and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) came out in her support. Subash Chouhan, a VHP leader, said: 'Anybody who expresses she or he is Hindu should be allowed to enter the temple.'"