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ALLAHABAD, INDIA, January 27, 2001: Stepping into one of the hottest religious controversies in South Asia, the Dalai Lama has joined Hindu leaders in condemning the Muslim and Christian practice of actively seeking converts. "Whether Hindu or Muslim or Christian, whoever tries to convert, it's wrong, not good," the Dalai Lama said Thursday after a meeting with leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. "I always believe it's safer and better and reasonable to keep one's own tradition or belief," the Dalai Lama, a winner of the Nobel peace prize, said. He spoke after the Hindu Council's general secretary, Ashok Singhal, had said, "Buddhism, Hinduism and other non-aggressive religions have to unite to douse Islam ... an aggressive religion." The Dalai Lama and others signed a statement saying: "We oppose conversions by any religious tradition using various methods of enticement." At dusk, he joined the Shankaracharya of Kanchi, one of India's four top Hindu religious leaders, in a special prayer on the river banks. The two stood on an elevated platform and worshipped the Ganges with 108 lighted lamps. Then he scooped up water from the river and sprinkled it on his head in a mark of respect. The Dalai Lama planned to stay through Friday, to meet and bless Buddhists and give a public speech on world peace at the festival grounds.