Christian communities hurt over being discredited by responsible authorities

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) expresses deep anguish over the completely baseless and sweeping blanket opinions expressed by one of the judges of Honourable High Court, Chennai against Christian missionaries and Christian educational institutions in a verdict connected to Madras Christian College, Tambaram. It is painful that these comments were made ironically in a case where it was a Christian management which impartially took action against one of the staff, based on the complaint by some students.

These unfortunate comments deeply hurt the sentiments of Christian communities in India who have contributed a lot for the development of education in this country. Tens of millions of Indians belonging to different faiths have graduated from Christian institutions without facing any pressure to convert and remain in their respective religions. They are living testimony contradicting the utterly false conclusions drawn about the vast majority of Christian institutions in India today.

We do feel that expressing an opinion on the possibility of gender-specific laws being misused by women can lead to victimising the victim and turning them away from approaching law enforcement agencies or seek protection under law.

Narratives such as these can be misused by persons and organisations who are anti-minorities further victimising and shaming individuals and groups of minority communities.

The NCCI calls on all concerned including those in responsible positions to be sensitive to and respect the sentiments of minority communities who have and are serving the people of this country with great diligence and commitment. The NCCI expresses its gratitude to all those who stand in solidarity with the community.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary
National Council of Churches in India

One Nation, nuanced differentially . . .

We have travelled a long way, as people(s) of one nation. Over the last 72 years we have planned together; we have implemented them together, we have evaluated ourselves together, we have voted governments to power, and we have changed them at will. It has always been as one nation but, more importantly, as one nation nuanced differentially – and that is the key to our existence as a secular, socialist, democratic, republic.

We have held ourselves together through the critical complementarities of the different faiths that we profess and the many beliefs that we hold. Despite provocations and accusations to the contrary, we have never dared to force individual convictions on the other. As a large and vibrant democracy we have always made space for all especially the least amidst us. As a large and vibrant democracy we have ensured to ourselves, and proved to the world, that the strength of any democracy lies in how its minorities are treated.

As we move on and mature, we recognise the need to exercise discretion and discernment. We recognise that the uni-polar world and its proponents the free and unbridled market, along with the accompanying individualistic ideologies and fascist tendencies, has the potential to be apathetic to the needs of the least amidst us; power in terms of sheer arithmetic has the potency to count the least out – be it ethnic, religious, economic, or the social in terms of the people with disability and those with different sexual orientations and gender identities.

As we mark the anniversary of our independence this year, the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) representing the Christians of the protestant and orthodox faith traditions, and serving the nation through its 75 institutional national constituents including 30 mainline protestant and orthodox nation-wide churches, pledges its commitment to all fellow citizens who uphold the values of pluralistic society in continuing to nurture the spirit of secularism and participative democracy as core values of our being and growing together. In pledging thus the NCCI commits to and calls on fellow citizens to such a collaborative search and concerted exercise of discretion and discernment – that which will bless the country as an abode and haven of all.

God bless India.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary
National Council of Churches in India

Greening the Globe for Sustainable living : An International Eco Conference | 1-4 August, 2019 | CSI Synod, Chennai

The Most Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh President of National Council of Churches in India  and Moderator of Church of North India gave the inaugural speech at “Greening the Globe for Sustainable Living” an international eco conference at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai from      1 – 4 August 2019. 

Dignitaries on the dais, leaders of the Churches and Ecumenical organizations in India, friends representing the World Council of Churches and ecumenical partners from around the world, academicians and scientists, leaders of the host church – the Church of South India, fellow office bearers and colleagues from the National Council of Churches in India, friends:

I greet you on behalf of the leadership of the National Council of Churches in India – the ecumenical fraternity represented by the ecumenical witness of close to 14 million people confessing protestant and orthodox Christian faith in India. I also bring greetings to you from my own Church – the Church of North India which later this year will be celebrating 50 years of witness to humanity and thereby to God.

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NCCI Youth Futsal 2019

“Youth Futsal 2019” is the first of its kind initiated for the youth of the 18 Regional Councils of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) to come together and strengthen the ecumenical fellowship through sports for a cause. Youth Futsal 2019 focuses on the issue of Migration and the problems faced daily by migrants in India. The Youth Futsal 2019 is launched under the theme “Towards Just and Inclusive Communities: Affirming Identities in Migration through Sports”. The Youth Futsal 2019 comprises of 36 teams – 2 teams (men and women) from each 18 Regional Councils, spread across the country into 4 zones – North, South, East and Central respectively.

 

NCCI joins NCDC to include Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in Scheduled Caste list

 

The outcry of the Dalits has always been suppressed in different ways by the dominant hierarchical groups in India. The sheer interference in letting them accept a religion which breaks the bondage of caste and treats them equally comes in the limelight when it tries to uplift them from their suppression. But the tyranny of caste still remains with them as these chains does not leave them free. The reservation policies made to uplift the subaltern groups not only provides them a social status but also uplifts them from their social identity. In this times of trials and tribulations the Dalit Christians and Muslims have faced the termination of enjoying the equal rights which their brothers and sisters of similar identity holds in other faiths especially in Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh religions.

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Call for applications to the post of NCCI Executive Secretary – Women Concerns Ministry

Copy of the advertisement of the NCCI calling for applications to the post of NCCI Executive Secretary – Women Concerns can be download here…

Please encourage suitable candidates to apply for the same.

Thanking you,

Sincerely,

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI

Vidarbha Centre for Labour Concerns Bounce Back to Life

Date: 6th March 2019

Venue: Vidharbha Centre for Labour Concerns (VCLC), Butibori

The youth and women living on the fringes are quite often ignored by the mainstream of the society. They are not provided opportunities to explore their potentials. Devoid of a domain to learn and an orifice to demonstrate their skills, add to the disheartenment of many youths and women. Discrimination prevails even within the margins. In a society where the earnings of man is given credence, the ability of the youths and women to bring about a change is undermined or rather not bothered at all. This concept is being inverted through a Youth and Women Program jointly conceived and executed by four institutions viz. National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), Church of North India – Social Service Institute (CNI-SSI), Mure Memorial Hospital and Christian Service Agency (CSA). As a part of this endeavour a Mobile Training Centre was inaugurated on 6th March 2019 at the Vidharbha Centre for Labour Concerns (VCLC), Butibori, Nagpur. The program aims to equip the youth and women of Tembhari village – Butibori.

The inauguration program witnessed officials from NCCI, CNI-SSI, Mure Memorial Hospital and the residents of Tembhari village. There were around 50 participants. The dignitaries present were; Mrs. Aradhana Upadhyay – Director – CNI-SSI; Mr. Rajesh Jadhav – Coordinator – VCLC; Mr. Jianthaolung Gonmei – Executive Secretary – Youth Concerns – NCCI; Dr. Pranit Kashyap and Dr. Swapnali Rao – Doctors of Mure Memorial Hospital. The program commenced with a brief introduction by Mrs. Aradhana Upadhyay concerning the Mobile Training Centre and the courses which would be offered i.e. tailoring, beautician, embroidering and electrical management. She encouraged the people present there to make use of the opportunity to the fullest and also to spread the information so that many more could avail this prospect. Followed by her speech, Mr. Rajesh Jadhav, Mr. Jianthaolung Gonmei and Dr. Pranit Kashyap expressed their wishes and prayers for the success of the program. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Siddhart Bhange – CNI-SSI. Soon after the inauguration a medical camp was organized for the people under the aegis of the doctors from Mure Memorial hospital. To share the joy of this initiative sweets were distributed and everyone partook in the refreshments thereafter.

This program marks the renewed vigour of Vidarbha Centre for Labour Concerns which is an arm of NCCI-URM working among labours in Asia’s largest SEZ since 2002. Plans are afoot to further the work on rights, dignity of labours in the 12 districts in the Vidarbha Region of Maharashtra State.

Consultation on Ecumenical Formation and Capacity Building for Young Dalit, Tribal/Adivasi Theologians

National Council of Churches in India- Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns
in partnership with
Henry Martyn Institute, Christian Service Agency and EMW Germany
 Consultation on Ecumenical Formation and Capacity Building for
 Young Dalit, Tribal/Adivasi Theologians
11-13 February 2019, Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad

The tyrannical social system of caste is creating a major disturbance in the society and community. Human dignity is being trampled ruthlessly every day. The Tribal communities as well who are the heart and soul of our civilizational heritage are being dDalitsisplaced in the guise of development to serve the vested interests of the dominants. In such a time as this the National Council of Churches in India – Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns reaffirms the divine praxis of liberation of human beings from the clutches of all dehumanizing forces at work so as to achieve authentic humanization ensuring each individual self-respect and dignity in the midst of systemic evils and structures which threaten the very existence of all lives on this planet. The intrinsic value of the entire cosmos needs to be reclaimed. These concerns were the subsistence of the consultation organized by the Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns of National Council of Churches in India on “Ecumenical Formation and Capacity Building for Young Dalit, Tribal/Adivasi Theologians” from 11-13 February 2019 at the Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad. The consultation bore witness to 39 delegates and 17 resource persons. 15 Theological Colleges affiliated to Senate of Serampore delegated their students for the consultation. Read more

Rev Dr Gnana Robinson passed away

The National Council of Churches in India is deeply saddened by the demise of Rev Dr Gnana Robinson, an eminent ecumenical leader in India. He was a visionary and an able leader who led many Christian institutions including the Untied Theological College, Bangalore and Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary, Madurai. He was also the founder president of the Peace Trust, Kanyakumari.

His ecumenical contributions are exemplary. Being an Old Testament professor, he proved his scholarly skills and inspired many students who became leaders of the Church now. He was keen on developing a second layer leadership in Indian Church. His passion for the liberation of the common masses in the southern hemisphere of the world had been expressed through his writings.

He left behind his wife Rev Florence Robinson and children Jeevan Robinson and Ratna Robinson. On behalf of the constituent bodies of NCCI, we convey our deep condolences to the bereaved family and pray that may God grant eternal peace to them.

NCCI Republic Day Message 2019: Let us Arise and build . . .

We have been a unique republic. It is with great joy and a sense of satisfaction that we look forward to another year, and many more, organising ourselves as a people – different and diverse, rich in heritage and righteous in spirit, sincerely hoping that we will sustain the legacy of this great nation for generations to come. Read more …

Rev. Asir Ebenezer

General Secretary

National Council of Churches in India

Secretary,

Christian Service Agency