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   News -> Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim & Sikh Chaplains for MOD  
NEWS 2005

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As featured on News Now

(15 November 2005)

Left to right: Chaplain General - The Rev. David Wilkes; Muslim Immam – Asim Hafiz; Buddhist Chaplain – Dr Sunil Kariyakarawana; Dr Reid SofS for Defence; Hindu Chaplain – Krishan Attri; Jewish Chaplain – Rabbi Malcolm Weisman; Sikh chaplain – Mandeep Kaur.
Left to right: Chaplain General - The Rev. David Wilkes; Muslim Immam Asim Hafiz; Buddhist Chaplain Dr Sunil Kariyakarawana; Dr Reid SofS for Defence; Hindu Chaplain Krishan Attri; Jewish Chaplain Rabbi Malcolm Weisman; Sikh chaplain Mandeep Kaur.
The newly appointed Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh Chaplains to the Armed Forces were today welcomed to their roles by the Secretary of State for Defence, John Reid. Dr Sunil Kariyakarawana (Buddhist Chaplain), Krishan Attri (Hindu Chaplain); Imam Asim Hafiz (Muslim Chaplain) and Mandeep Kaur (Sikh Chaplain) are all civilians with cross-service responsibilities. They were appointed last month following an external recruitment campaign earlier this year.

Welcoming the chaplains, John Reid, said: 'We are committed to providing an environment that welcomes and encourages people throughout society to build a successful military career. Ensuring that they enjoy spiritual support is integral to this, and the chaplains will make a huge contribution to service personnel and their dependents. I am delighted to welcome them to the chaplaincy family.'

The Chaplains are fully integrated members of the Armed Forces chaplaincy service. They will provide spiritual, moral and pastoral support to service personnel and their dependents, including conducting or arranging for appropriate ceremonies, leading communal prayers and providing group teaching to members of their own faith. They will also support the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces by providing advice on faith specific issues.

The new chaplains have been appointed on a three year fixed contract. To reflect the anticipated workload only the Muslim chaplain post is full-time, the others are all part-time. At present the numbers of adherents of the Buddhist,Hindu,Muslim and Sikh faiths within the Armed Forces are relatively small, and do not justify the appointment of regular commissioned chaplains. Specifically, these are made up as follows: Buddhist (220); Hindu (230); Muslim (305)and Sikh (90).

The Hindu Council UK raised this issue in a meeting with General Palmer 18 months ago and said "we are delighted that the MOD has now appointed these Chaplains". Om Parkash Sharma MBE of the Hindu Council UK and National Council of Hindu Temples is on the MOD Religious Advisory Panel.

The Buddhist and Muslim chaplains are based at Wellington Barracks, the Hindu chaplain at Catterick Garrison and the Sikh chaplain at HQ5 Division in Shrewsbury.The Armed Forces have 300 regular commissioned Christian chaplains and one honorary officiating Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Wiseman.

The new Chaplains are MoD civil servants and will be appointed at C1 level.



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