Solidarity group opposes Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) ordinance

Please find here below the press release from BHOOMI – a Forum for Protection of Land in India (FPLI) opposing Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) ordinance.

Bhoomi – a Forum for Protection of Land in India (FPLI)

PRESS NOTE

New Delhi, India | 27 January 2015

The solidarity group resolved on 22nd January 2015 at Visakhapatnam meet to call upon people of our country to oppose and resist the undemocratic Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) ordinance to take away the democratic rights of the farmers, tribals given in the Act 2013. The soul of the new Act was that the acquisition could not be done without consent of 80% land owners and Social Impact Assessment on which the public hearing was a must. But without consulting the public, people and organizations, and political parties and Parliament members the Union Government’s ordinance to end the democratic action of land acquisition process is nothing but to establish despotic corporate rule in our country at the cost of life and livelihood of millions of farmers, agriculture workers, Fishers, Adivasis and Dalits.
This arbitrary anti-people decision is the gateway of corporate governance which will also mill the Forest Rights Act 2006 and the autonomy of Gram Sabha, PESA CRZ regulations, environment protection on laws by which the Fishers, Adivasis, Dalits all the marginalized people depending on natural resources like sea, forest, land of any category, rivers in name of so-called development. As main opposition party BJP had extended support to the LARR in two houses of parliament to be smoothly passed but its newly elected government did not hesitate to murder a democratic people’s law made after more than hundred people sacrificed their lives resisting forceful land acquisition under 1894 law. As a result of this ordinance, corporates will continue to take over the common people’s resources for their own growth in the name of nation development that will further aggravate the trend.

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Church Leaders Called on the President of India on the Christmas Eve

Meeting with President of IndiaChurch leaders representing the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) and the Regional Christian Council of North West India met the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan on 24th December, 2014. The Church leaders greeted him on the occasion of Christmas and offered prayers for his health and for the Nation.
The leaders also raised their concern with the President about the attacks on Christians in the different parts of the country as well as about conducting of Government functions on 25th December which is a public holiday (Christmas). The President affirmed that India is a pluralistic society and all the religious communities are to be given equal respect. He was very concerned that the social harmony, which has existed for a long time in India, should not be allowed to be disturbed.
The delegation consisted of Bishop Subodh Mondal, Bishop of Delhi Episcopal Area, Methodist Church in India; Mrs. Sudipta Mondal; Bishop Collin Theodore, Delhi Brotherhood Society; Bishop Warris. K. Masih, Moderator’s Commissary, Diocese of Delhi CNI; Archbishop Anil Couto, Archdiocese of Delhi Catholic Church; Bishop Simon John, Believers Church, Delhi Diocese; Dr. Sushant Agrawal, Director, CASA; and Mr. Samuel Jayakumar, Executive Secretary, CoP, NCCI.
We hope that the President will take some proactive steps in addressing the concerns presented by the delegation.
Samuel Jayakumar
Executive Secretary,
Commission on Policy, Governance and Public Witness, NCCI.

NUCF Press Statement

National United Christian Forum
( CBCI, NCCI and EFI )
Yusuf Sadan, 1 Ashok Place, New Delhi – 110001
+91 11 23343457/ 23362058    Fax: +91 11 23746575

Catholic Bishops Conference of India National Council Of Churches in India Evangelical Fellowship of India
His Eminence Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Bishop Dr. Taranath S. Sagar Rev. Hali Likha
President, CBCI, President NUCF, President NCCI, Co-President NUCF Chairman EFI, Co-President NUCF
Father Joseph Chinnayyan Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
Deputy Secretary General CBCI,
Co Secretary NUCF
General Secretary NCCI,
Co Secretary NUCF
General Secretary EFI,
Secretary NUCF

PRESS STATEMENT

National United Christian Forum Raises serious concerns
New Delhi: 20/12/2014We, the members of the National United Christian Forum (NUCF) comprising the three leading Churches of India, i.e. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) and the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), together express our serious concern about the current situation of the minorities, particularly the Christians in India.

The recent happenings in Bastar forcing the school to put the statue of Sarsawati Maa in a Catholic school and forbidding the children to address the principle with the honorific ‘Father’; the burning of a church in Delhi; the declaration of ‘Good Governance Day’ on 25th December to undermine the importance of Christmas; the provocative call by some fundamentalists to convert 4000 Christians to Hinduism in Agra on Christmas Day and the regular targeting of the Christian community, calling them even anti-national is a cause of great concern for us.
The Christian Community being a small minority of just 2.33 percent of the Indian population doing its day to day work in a peaceful manner and setting a good example of how dutiful citizens must abide by law, is highly distressed with the types of announcements and statements made by certain groups belonging to a right wing ideology.
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Letter to the Indian Prime Minister expressing concern over the “good-days” and “good-governance”

To

Shri Narendra Modi,

Prime Minister of India

Honorable Prime Minister,

This letter is a continuation of the concerns expressed in the letter of 2ndDecember 2014 sent from the NCCI Secretariat. The NCCI is a council representing about 14 million Christians in India belonging to the Protestant and Orthodox Traditions in India. We are committed to unity, witness, service and exemplary practice in the country. As a well-read person, you are certainly aware of the tremendous contribution made by Christians of all traditions (Including Catholics), in history and up to the present, towards nation building through education, health care, orphanages, old people’s homes, counseling ministries, relief services provided during natural calamities, and the ongoing work for rehabilitation and development. The Church in India continues to be committed to the cause of dalits, tribal/adivasis, women, youth, children, the disabled, PLWA, mother earth – indeed all creation, particularly those who have been marginalized. We are committed to an India developed on the principles of justice and peace.

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Message from NCCI General Secretary for Christmas and New Year 2015

God with us: Gospel in a Groaning World

Our Groaning World

We live in a world marked by several sufferings: “Many continue to reel from the impact of wars; ethnic and religious animosity, discrimination based on race and caste mar the façade of nations and leave ugly scars. Thousands are dead, displaced, homeless, refugees within their own homeland. Women and children often bear the brunt of conflicts: many women are abused, trafficked, killed; children are separated from their parents, orphaned, recruited as soldiers, abused. Citizens in some countries face violence by occupation, paramilitaries, guerrillas, criminal cartels or government forces. Citizens of many nations suffer governments obsessed with national security and armed might; yet these fail to bring real security, year after year. Thousands of children die each day from inadequate nutrition while those in power continue to make economic and political decisions that favor a relative few.”
(An Ecumenical Call to Justice and Peace, Resource Material for International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica, in May 2011, under the theme “Glory to God and Peace on Earth”)

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People’s Reporter features NCCI’s Centenary Celebrations Finale

National Council of Churches in India Centenary Celebrations Finale featured in People’s Reporter Volume 27, Issue 22 (November 25 – December 10, 2014).

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Homage to Justice Dr. V. R. Krishna Iyer

iyerThe National Council of Churches in India is deeply saddened by the demise of the world renowned and a genuine Indian Human Right defender Honourable Justice. Dr. V. R. Krishna Iyer.

Dr. V R Krishna Iyer was socially sensitized and spiritually kindled judiciary and a moral rebel against human injustice. He was a peace lover and a visionary.
Without being a member of any political party, he associated himself with political figures, freedom fighters, social reformers, constructive public workers and, with his wife, helped women’s organizations and backward classes including fishing communities. Compassion was his passion.  He identified himself with human rights causes and poor litigants found a defender in him.

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Fire destroys St. Sebastian Church in Delhi. NCCI Letter to Prime Minister

Below is the text of a letter written to Indian Prime Minister by Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of National Council of Churches in India.


December 2, 2014
Honorable Prime Minister,
288700-delhi-church-burntOn behalf of the NCCI, I strongly urge you to take immediate measures to ensure that minority communities are not subject to attacks by fundamentalist communal groups. The Christian church in the country wants to see that democratic secularism in spirit and practice is strengthened by your government.
Instances of atrocities against Christian communities are on the rise in the country. Earlier in November, Catholic priests in the Bastar region in Chhattisgarh were told that all their schools were to install statues of Goddess Saraswati and they would not be allowed to be called “Father”, the usual honorific, by the students, but would be called “Pracharya” and so on. In other districts of Chhattisgarh, village panchayats under political influence have passed regulations banning non-Hindu religious persons from organising prayers or opening places of worship in their territory. On 16th November 2014 a Mar Thoma Prayer House was attacked during Holy Communion Service at Kongalnagaram, Udumalpet, Tiruppur District, Tamil Nadu. On Sunday, 30th November 2014, two house churches in Annupur district of Madhya Pradesh were attacked. We are aghast that St. Sebastian Church in Dilshad Garden, East Delhi has been gutted by a fire set off by miscreants on 1st December 2014.

ACT Alliance elects new moderator, approves new strategic plan

sushantDelegates at the ACT Alliance general assembly have elected governing board member Dr Sushant Agrawal leader of the highest body of the network.
Dr Agrawal, director of Indian agency Churches’ Auxiliary for Social Action, is the new moderator of the alliance, a global network of 148 humanitarian and development agencies. He replaces Rev Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel.

WCC – Theological Consultation on ‘Economy of Life’

World Council of Churches

Theological Consultation on ‘Economy of Life’

27 – 30 October 2014, CSI Guest House, Chennai, India

0The Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), joining the Board of Diaconal Ministries of the Church of South India (CSI) Synod hosted the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Theological Consultation on ‘Economy of Life’ from 27 – 30 October 2014 at CSI Guest House in Chennai, India.

40 participants representing different geo-political landscapes and peoples’ groups, global and contextual theological and ecumenical fraternities, civil society  movements, christian churches and local congregations, interfaith communities and ecumenical movements from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America actively participated in the consultation.

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