Suzanne Marie Olsson is an American author. In 2005, her self-published book, Jesus in Kashmir, The Lost Tomb, documented her research into the belief that the Roza Bal in Srinagar, Kashmir contains the remains of Jesus. The claim is rejected by mainstream scholarship: A. Mathias Mundadan, general editor of History of Christianity in India, described it as "a work of fiction". The local Kashmiri authorities at Srinagar have rejected the view that the remains of Yuz Asaf in the shrine of Roza Bal belong to Jesus of Nazareth and believe it to be the tomb of a Sufi saint. Local discontent with her activities led to the shrine being closed to foreign tourists.
Life and career
In 2002 in support of her research at Roza Bal, Olsson claimed to be a 59th generation descendant of Jesus, but has since renounced this claim. Olsson appeared in the 2008 TV movie, Jesus in India, and in the 2010 Indian documentary, The Rozabal Shrine of Srinagar. Kashmiri academic Fida Hassnain co-authored a book with Olsson, entitled Roza Bal the Tomb of Jesus.
AFP reported in the New Straits Times that Olsson excavated at Murree under archaeologist Ahmad Hassan Dani's supervision, and that she had suggested testing DNA from there and from Roza Bal, along with carbon-dating, to establish a connection between the two sites. In 2002, Olsson wrote to the custodians of the Roza Bal shrine using personal claims of descendance from Jesus, whom she referred to as "our grandfather", to request access to the shrine's graves under Islamic law, referring them to the book Bloodline of the Holy Grail by Laurence Gardner. Olsson also wrote that she was prepared to go to court to exhume the remains, which she wanted to remove from Srinagar.
Olsson said Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, who owned the trust that controlled the Roza Bal shrine in Srinagar at the time of her visit, had given his approval for her DNA research at the Roza Bal shrine, and said it was to be led by several respected Kashmir University professors of history. However, local sensitivities were aroused after a caretaker at Roza Bal, who thought her theories about Jesus blasphemous, alleged that Olsson had attempted to exhume the tomb's contents and expressed concern that she intended to plant evidence; accusations that she denied. The outcome was that shrine managers closed the shrine to foreign visitors, and filed a police complaint accusing Olsson of 'causing hurt to Muslim beliefs,' also seeking the cancellation of her visa.
- Suzanne Olsson (as Suzanna Olsson, 2004), In Search of Jesus: Last Starchild of the Old Silk Road. AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1418479862.
- Suzanne Olsson (2005), Jesus in Kashmir: The Lost Tomb. BookSurge. ISBN 978-1419611759.
- Fida Hassnain and Suzanne Olsson, (2008), Roza Bal The Tomb of Jesus, BookSurge. ISBN 978-1419697586.
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