International Day of Prayer for Peace – 21 September 2015

National Council of Churches in India

Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation

IMG_2994The World Council of Churches calls the global churches and faith communities to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace on the 21 September which is also the United Nations-sponsored International Day of Peace. The Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation of the National Council of Churches in India joining its members in  observing the same by organizing special programmes, worships, candle light vigils and prayers and on 21 September every year to observe the International Prayer Day for Peace.

The International Day of Prayer for Peace offers an opportunity for church and faith communities in all places to pray and act together to nurture lasting peace in the hearts of people, their families, communities and societies.

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Hope in the midst of violence

Chhattisgarh Council of Churches unites churches, Mahila Mandals and organizations to protest and resist atrocities on Women from Minority Christian Community

pic1Atrocities on Christians are increasing at an alarming rate in India. Worst victims of such atrocities are women and missionaries at the grassroots who have dedicated their lives to serve the community, the poor and the downtrodden. On 19th June, a nun was gang-raped by men in masks in ‘Christo Sahay Health Center’ where she was serving as nurse in Raipur the capital of Chhattisgarh state. ‘Strategized Rape’ is used as a weapon to create fear, shame and humiliate the Christian community which is a minority community in India.

The All India Council of Christian Women and National Council of Churches in India gave a clarion call to women’s fellowship of member Churches and leaders of Chhattisgarh Christian Council (CCC) to respond to end this culture of rape and atrocities of Christian missionaries in India.

AICCW – NCCI Condemn the Heinous Crime of Rape of Salesian Nun in Chhattisgarh

for blogAn Indian Nun in her mid forties from Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate,was brutally attacked, molested and raped in Raipur capital of Chattisgarth state in India on Saturday 22nd June 2015. She was found semi clad, unconscious and hands tied in a medical center run by Christian Missionaries near Pandri locality in the state of Chattisgarh.

Sister Annie John, the nun’s superior revealed that the victim was wakened by the sound of cupboards being opened and the victim asked if they were looking for money. Sister Annie further reports that the victims mentioned the culprits said “We need money, but something else also,” The attackers forced the victim to swallow tablet before they raped her. The victim is in acute trauma and pain. (Source : ucanews.com reporters, Delhi, 22nd June 2015)
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Appeal for upholding secular and pluralistic credentials of India. PCI Memorandum

On Wednesday April 22, 2015 a group of Church Leaders (Presbyterian Church of India, Catholics & a few others) met Mr. Amit Shah, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President, and submitted their respective memoranda.

The PCI memorandum contained three points, viz. (1) for PM Modi to state in Parliament what he stated at the Syro-Malabar Church meeting; (2) for the Government not to enact a law banning religious conversion; (3) for not bringing a law to ban cow slaughter.

Please see below the Presbyterian Church of India (PCI) memorandum submitted to Mr. Amit Shah, National President of Bharatiya Janata Party.


PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF INDIA
SHILLONG ::: MEGHALAYA

 
22 April, 2015.

Mr. Amit Shah,
National President,
Bharatiya Janata Party,
Camp: Shillong.

Subject: Request for upholding secular and pluralistic credentials of India.

Sir,

Welcome to North East India! Welcome to Shillong!
First of all, thank you for this opportunity to meet you on your maiden visit to the North East and to Shillong, the Scotland of the East which is also the national headquarters of the Presbyterian Church of India which population is 1.4 million and established 174 years ago with the first congregation being Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church at Sohra (Cherrapunjee), the famed tourist destination of Meghalaya with its cascading waterfalls, world renowned caves and from where one can have a panoramic view of the plains of Bangladesh.

As stated above, the Christian mission came here way back in the earlier part of the 19th Century bringing with it, holistic development to the indigenous peoples through education which includes giving scripts for written language and you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that the first missionary, viz. (L) Rev. Thomas Jones I, from Wales is honoured and acknowledged as the father of the Khasi alphabet as well, health service through setting up of hospitals, rural health centres and mobile dispensaries. Alongside, they tried to inculcate a sense of industriousness in the people through farming, horticulture, cottage industries including smelting of iron which are still in vogue today near Shillong, mining, etc.

It can be mentioned that the indigenous peoples of the North East are what they are today, in terms of progress and development are due to the efforts of the erstwhile Christian missionaries from the West who spared no effort to empower the peoples though infrequently, they had faced opposition from the British rulers but which fact, has been conveniently brushed under the carpet.
In an independent and free India with democratic governance and enshrining the principles of fraternity, equality and justice in the Constitution as also stating in its Preamble that India is a secular nation with respect to all adherents of varied religious persuasions and provided with a number of Articles in the Constitution, as Christians, we have been feeling safe and secure to practice and follow the precepts and tenets of our faith-teachings though we are a microscopic minority in the whole of India.
We have also been responding to issues of national needs and solidarity in times of crises, viz. wars, famine, natural calamities and even take up the issue of peace making when conflicts arise between communities and ethnic groups in the region.
As our Christian teachings and conscience dictate, we are still continuing with our mission to the have-nots, the marginalized, the vulnerable so that they will have equal space and opportunity with human dignity as well enjoy sustainable development and sustainable livelihood. Unfortunately, such endeavours have been misconstrued and misinterpreted with a lot of misinformation and disinformation. The negative outcome of such misdemeanour, the whole of India has heard, seen and witnessed through attacks on churches and their institutions, intimidating Christian priests and nuns to change nomenclature of their designations as per their respective religious order, rape and so called ‘ghar wapsi’ events.
It is not necessary for us to relate to you all such matters for you would know better than us and we are fortunate that such unwanted events have not taken place in the North East though racial profiling of the people from the region was quite prevalent in the National Capital Region (NCR) and in Bengaluru.
Through you Sir, we would like for the Union Government to take the following initiatives and proactive action.
1. For Honourable Prime Minister to make Statement in Parliament on upholding and maintaining secular credentials and religious plurality to co-exist as usual without threat and curtailment:
That what the Honourable Prime Minister had stated at the meeting of the Syro-Malabar Church in February, 2015, should be stated in Parliament which has reconvened on 20 April, 2015. Then only would we be assured that the present Government upholds secular credentials of the nation and that religious minorities and their institutions and personnel will not be intimidated, threatened, coerced including putting a stop to malicious misinformation and disinformation campaigns against them.
2. That Government should not contemplate bringing an anti-conversion law:
It is learned that the Union Government is contemplated bringing a law to ban conversion or change of one’s faith/religion to another. We hope that this is only a rumour. However, should the matter is on the anvil, then we would urge upon the government to bring such into law in the country for it very much goes against the basic rights for one to follow and adhere to a religious of his/her choice without any force, intimidation and threat, even to change.
Religious faith is a personal matter and cannot be based on generational legacy through birth alone. One has the freedom to take another path opposite from that trailed by his/her parents and earlier generations, based on his convictions and understanding of truth, even to the extent of not accepting the fact that God exists.
If such a law is enacted then it implies that one is not allowed to be released from the confines of his/her caste and other oppressive structures as per dictates of his/her religious teaching.
It also contradicts with the changes taking place, viz. (a) one changes his/her political affiliation and ideology to what he/she thinks is more service oriented and people centric, etc., (b) does not necessarily vote for the same candidate and/party in each and every election and, (c) seeks up gradation of his/her social and economic status.
When these are allowed and encouraged, what is the logic in banning one from changing his/her religious belief?
3. That Government should not bring a national law to ban killing and export of cattle:
We do not want to enter into a debate on the pros and cons on banning of cow slaughter enforced in Haryana and Maharashtra though plenty of analysis have been done on its economic fallout. However, such unilateral banning is an encroachment on the rights of those whose religious belief does not dictate non-eating of beef or pork or any other meats. People have every right to make their own choice on what they eat and what they do not want to eat either from religious or health perspective as also from one’s personal choice.
Such actions by States and possible action by the Centre is taking a religious majoritarian approach and defeats the very spirit of the Constitution enshrined in the Freedom Rights under Arts. 19, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. Instead, if killing of cows, etc. is offensive to persons adhering to one particular religious persuasion, there must be designated places for such acts, and specific markets for commercial transactions.
We hope that you, the BJP National President, the Honourable Prime Minister and the whole Government will consider these fervent requests placed before you this evening for and behalf of upholding the secular credentials of our nation, India.
Thank you for your time and patience.
Yours sincerely,
 
For and on behalf of members of the Presbyterian Church of India,
Rev. W. C. Khongwir
Treasurer 
Rev. D. T. Lhouvum
Sr. Administrative Secretary

Rev. V. L. Luaia Hranleh
Administrative Secretary

Rev. G. S. Lyttan
Administrative Secretary

Rev. D. S. Sohkhlet
Member, Working Committee and
Sr. Executive Secretary, KJP Synod Sepngi

Rev. H. L. Marsing
Member, Working Committee and
Sr. Executive Secretary, Ri Bhoi P. Synod

Rev. C. Syiem
Member, Working Committee and
Sr. Executive Secretary, KJP Synod Mihngi

Rev. Dr. P. B. M. Basaiawmoit
Member, Peace & Justice Committee

 

(Source: Sent in by Rev. Dr. P. B. M. Basaiawmoit)

North West India Council of Churches elects its new leadership

DSC_0184 (Small)To promote grass-roots ecumenism, the Regional Christian Councils need to be strengthened locally. A vibrant Christian Council is the need of the hour for Church unity in India.  North West India Council of Churches (NWICC), in the last six months had various meeting to revitalize the regional council.  The adhoc -committee called for the ordinary Council meeting, which was held on 15th April, 2015 at Mar Thoma Centre, New Delhi.
The Council was well represented by the member Churches, Christian Institutions and ecumenical bodies. The devotion was led by Bishop Collin Theodore on “Mystery of Resurrection” and stressed that Resurrection should be experienced every day by believing in the ‘Risen God’.

Press Release from North-West India Council of Churches (NWICC)

PRESS RELEASE
The Council of the North West India Council of Churches (NWICC) met on 15th April, 2015 at  Mar Thoma Centre in Delhi.  The main agenda of the meeting was revitalizing the North West India Council of Churches (NWICC) and its activities. Bishops, Head of Churches, Official Representatives of Church bodies, Organizations of NWICC  gathered in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and together we reflected on how to become effective witnesses of God’s grace and love in our situation and to serve humanity (as servants of God).
  • We endorse that all humans are created in the Image of God and Churches and all their agencies are called to be responsible to work with specific mandate for the betterment of humanity as well as God’s creations.
  • We express concern over growing inequality created by humans on the basis of caste, creed, colour, food, language, gender and religion and recent controversies based on faith, practices and habits of individuals and communities.  We also express concern over the continuous attacks against minorities particularly on churches and the Christians.
  • We believe that cultural homogeneity is impossibility in a pluralistic society like ours, and therefore, we affirm to work with all for the betterment of human situation where every individual can live with dignity and honour.
  • We rededicate ourselves to work for the transition from exclusive to inclusive society. We affirm dignity of life and denounce all forces that work to create division in human society and exploit human and natural resources for selfish purposes.
  • We express solidarity with the farmers, landless, tribals, dalits, maha-dalits, adivasis  and women and children and condemn all types of violent activities against the weaker sections of the society.
  • We are proud of our Democracy, Constitution and Independent Judiciary and urge every citizen, Government, Political Party and Civil Society to uphold them so that the secular character of our nation is sustained.
Bishop Subodh C Mondal
President, NWICC
Bishop Collin Theodore
Secretary, NWICC

Requesting proper authority to ban the entering of Mr Pravin Togadia to Kondhmal

Utkal Christian Council acts in the context of the rising phenomenon of Hatred Speeches


The UTKAL CHRISTIAN COUNCIL
(A Regional Council of the National Council of Churches of India)

   Regd. Office: Bishop’s House, Mission Road, Cuttack- 753 001, Orissa Phone:0671-3250268, Mobile:1406627, Emails: jrpatro2000@yahoo.com; doccni@gmail.com

To
The Superintendent of Police, Kandhamal
Phulbani, Dist: Kandhamal, Orissa.
Sub: Request for ban on entering  of Mr. Praveen Togadia into Kandhamal District on 27th Feb 2015 which is likely to  disturb peace and communal harmony prevailing in the state because of his provocative and inflammatory speech.  
 
Sir,
Greetings from Utkal Christian Council.
1. This is to inform you that the U.C.C. is the regional Council of Churches in Orissa for furthering the objectives of member Churches and to  represent the grievances of the churches of Odisha and  protestant churches in particular.
2.This has come to the knowledge of the undersigned that Mr. Praveen Togadia is coming to  Kandhamal District on 27th Feb 2015 for conducting a public meeting which is likely to  disturb peace and communal harmony prevailing in the state because of  his provocative and inflammatory  speech. People of Odisha especially of Kandhamal have not yet forgotten his calculated inflammatory provocative speech which triggered communal violence in Kandhmal and spreaded over alarmingly to other parts of the state and resulted in serious destruction of life and property of people including property of the Government. The people of Kandhamal District are still living in anxiety and fear.  The visit of Mr Togadia’s visit will have consequences both immediate and long range, as we know from past experience.

Chhattisgarh Unity Convention presents People’s Manifesto on rebuilding Chhattisgarh

News from Chhattisgarh: Please find here below the People’s Manifesto on rebuilding Chhattisgarh prepared and presented by the Chhattisgarh Unity Convention of Secular – Democratic – Progressive forces.

BELOW IS THE DOCUMENT IN ENGLISH. FOR HINDI CLICK HERE.

Unity Convention of Secular-Democratic-Progressive Forces

“Threats from Fascist & Imperialist Forces in India, Challenges & Strategies” 

January 22 & 23, 2015 (Thursday & Friday): Gondwana Bhawan, Raipur: Chhattisgarh 

People’s Manifesto On Rebuilding Chhattisgarh

We, the participants at the Chhattisgarh Unity Convention of Secular-Democratic- Progressive Forces held on 22nd & 23rd of January, 2015 at the Gondwana Bhawan, Raipur (Chhattisgarh) representing people’s organisations, political parties, social movements, trade unions, social and cultural action groups, NGOs and progressive intellectuals, who believe in the Vision of a Socialist-Secular-Democratic India and, in turn, work for the realization of such a Vision, reaffirm our faith in and commitment to the Constitution of India, which avowedly declares in its Preamble:

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a
SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC 
and to secure to all its citizens
 JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the [unity and integrity of the Nation]”

We express our deep concern that, for the first time in the electoral history of India, the religious fundamentalist forces (with a declared historical agenda for “Hindu Rashtra”) trying to gain political control over the State, thus, posing grave threats to the very core and content of the Constitution of India.

We had no doubt in our minds that the Narendra Modi-led NDA government with Bhartiya Janata Pary (BJP) in absolute majority would pursue and realize the vision of a Hindu Rashtra, as projected in the ideological documents of the Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh (RSS), written by their founders. Historical reality has established beyond doubt that the BJP is fully under the control of the Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh (RSS), (and its many allies and front organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, etc.).

In this regard, the violent history of communal forces in India since Independence, more so the genocide in Gujarat under Sri Narendra Modi as its Chief Minsiter, has been revived under the autocratic control of State machinery by the BJP, as demonstrated in the subsequent events during the last 200 days of NDA Rule in India.

Presently almost all parliamentary democracy institutions and processes are being weakened through autocratic legal action, such as leading to the resignation by the Chairperson and members of the Censor Board, many journalists and media persons being sacked or shifted only because they are suspected of having left-orientation, and communalisation of education, leading to changing the vice-chancellors and heads of institutions, imposing strictures and violent attack on screening of films, etc.

We are also well aware of the hidden agenda behind the slogan of development of a New India, and “good times ahead” under the leadership of Sri Narendra Modi. It is crystal clear that the BJP-led NDA Government is pursuing the goals of globalization serving the interests of the Corporate World (domestic and multinational), by putting the vast natural and human resources of our country into their hands for profit-making. Policies of privatization and liberalization are being pursued at the cost of the vast majority of marginalized masses are who are systematically and ruthlessly pushed to the periphery. The autocratic leadership has scant regard for the human rights and democratic values enshrined in the Indian Constitution!

  • Reversal of Labour Reforms earned by historical labour movements;
  • Land Acquisition Ordinance, Coal Ordinance, Insurance Ordinance and Ordinance Raj
  • The fresh data and debate on “poverty line”;
  • The unilateral decision increasing the height of Narmada Dam;
  • Targeting of select NGOs/Social Movements in the IB Report, branding them as anti-development, meaning, anti-national;
  • The red-carpet treatment of the newly formed Government by the globalized/imperialist countries, Adani’s Australian coal mine contract ( with State Bank of India providing Rs. 60,000 crores of ; nuclear liability negotiations with Obama;
  • Home Ministry’s aggressive militaristic attitude to conflict in Central India.

These are only a few indicators pointing towards the contours of the ‘Corporate- Communal-Security-State’ taking shape under the present autocratic regime. No doubt, the State Machinery is nakedly and un-ashamedly at the service of the rich and powerful, and ruthlessly and openly against the poor and marginalized.

While the national scenario is clearly moving towards the road-map of ‘Corporate- Communal-Security-State’, in Chhattisgarh, the plunder and loot by the Corporate World, and the sidelining of democratic processes have been already underway during the past tenure of the present regime. Now with the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, the State Government is acting more bold and bloody in adopting authoritarian-rule-of-law to suppress all dissenting voices and democratic movements resisting globalization, combating communalism and defending democracy.

  • The reincarnation of Salwa-Judum in its new avatar like the recent resolutions by about 50 Gram Sabhas to ban the non-Hindus from preaching and practicing their  religion in the villages in Bastar, are like the same old wine of fascism in a new bottle.
  • The systematic violent attack on Christians and other minorities, and the campaigns like “Ghar vapasi” are deliberately on the increase to create a rift between the adivasis, dalits, landless and marginal farmers so as to carry on with the Corporate Agenda without any hindrance from people’s united action.
  • The linkage between the Corporate agenda in Bastar (and in all of Chhattisgarh), and Salwa-Judum (and now the banning of non-Hindus) was well exposed not only by the human rights and people’s organizations, but declared as un-constitutional and anti-democratic by the apex court of the country.

Therefore, the designs of the Corporate World in achieving their goals can be clearly seen on the one hand, diluting the pro-people provisions of the Land Acquisition Act and Forest Rights Act, and on the other hand, in diverting the basic purpose of the Gram Sabhas in protecting their natural and cultural resources from plunder and loot for profit, greed and endless pursuit of affluence at the cost of basic human rights of life and livelihood of the vast majority of the people, in this case the adivasis and dalits.

The Chhattisgarh situation is even more sensitive due to conflict between the Maoists and the State in a large area of the State. This has led the State to inject more stringent and draconian repressive laws (like the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005) and machinery (heavy deployment of para-military forces in large areas inhabited with adivasis and dalits, affecting their lives, livelihood and culture, etc.) which, in turn, violates the human rights of citizens, especially in the conflict zone. This conflict-context would call for fresh reflection-action-reflection process to be initiated by the progressive parties and individuals in Chhattisgarh.

We are also conscious of the fact that other coalitions like the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) are committed to and also have been pursuing ruthlessly the goals of a Global-Corporate India, even if without the blatant aggression of the fascist forces.

We also express our concern that the primary thrust of the present regime is an aggressive onslaught on left-democratic forces, silencing the voices of dissent and constricting freedom of expression. This enables implementation of the corporate agenda with the rule of an iron hand, sidelining established institutions and discarding procedures laid down in the Constitution of India.

The political backdrop in India, more so in Chhattisgarh, has made it mandatory for the people’s organizations, social movements, progressive intellectuals, trade unions, social action groups and left parties to join forces to re-formulate strategies and agenda for future action for the realization of the VISION OF A SOCIALIST-SECULAR-DEMCORATIC INDIA.

This Convention declares on the basis of conclusions drawn through discussions that:

1. The principles of sovereignty, socialism, democracy, secularism as enshrined in the Constitution of India be widely proclaimed and strengthened;

2. Freedom of Expression to the followers of all religions, and to let them live freely without fear according to their religious beliefs;

3. Land Acquisition Ordinance 2014 be repealed, and the Land Acquisition Act 2013 be restored, with additional provisions in favour of the farmers;

4. Coal Ordinance be repealed, and following the directives given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, auction of coal mines be held as per the real need and not for the benefit of the Corporate Sector; along with it the consent of the gram sabhas be made mandatory; impact on environment and forest be taken into consideration as per the provisions of the law before the allotment of mines;

5. Exploitation of natural resources and mineral wealth in favour of the industrialists be stopped forthwith;

6. Anti-labour amendments/provisions introduced in the Labour Laws benefitting the industrialists and employers be withdrawn forthwith, regularization of workers be made mandatory in public and private sector, and contract system be totally abolished;

7. Privatization of water, forest and land, privatisation of public sector, and disinvestment be stopped forthwith;

8. “Made In India” policy be introduced instead of “Make In India”, so as to increase employment opportunities, urban and rural unemployed be provided jobs on priority basis so as to increase their purchasing power;

9. Free quality education be provided from KG to Post Graduate; Health Services Rights Act be legislated, with provisions for free medical treatment for all;

10. Farmers be paid profitable price for their produce. Employment should be guaranteed throughout the year under MNREGA, with provision for, at least, 200 days in a year. Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme be also enacted on similar lines. Workers under MNREGA be paid on a regular basis;

11. MNREGA should not only be linked with agricultural/rural labourers, but also reviewed against the backdrop of agriculture and farming;

12. Those forest dwellers who are denied rights over the occupied land under the Forest Rights Act be provided with legal documents (pattas) forthwith;

13. Implementing the Food Rights Act, the public distribution system be made effective and inclusive;

14. Rising prices be controlled, and corruption be brought to an end;

15. “Religious conversion” and “ghar wapasi” should be brought under the provisions and principles enshrined in the Constitution; laws related to these be reviewed and repealed accordingly, so that religious freedom for all citizens is restored;

16. Legal action be taken against drugs, liquor and decadent culture, and social reforms movements be strengthened against such social ills;

17. Violence and atrocities against women, especially trafficking related crimes be strictly dealt with by the law enforcing machinery, and social struggles should continue against these;

18. The Governor should take appropriate legal action under the provisions of “PESA” and 5th & 6th Schedule, so that exploitation and repression in scheduled areas is stopped;

19. Repression and anti-constitutional laws must be repealed forthwith, such as AFPSA, Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2008, and colonial legal provisions like Sedition, etc. ;

20. In the name of combating Maoists, the deployment of para-military forces, and advocacy of direct military action by the NDA government should be opposed, and in order to establish peace in Chhattisgarh, issues such as social justice, people’s rights must be taken into consideration, so as to preserve and promote citizens constitutional rights to life and livelihood.

PLEDGE

We are committed to internalize and implement this Manifesto and programmes into and through our organisations, and pledge ourselves to stand united and in solidarity through dialogue and struggles.

We the participants at the Chhattisgarh Unity Convention adopt it on 23.1.2015:

1. Communist Party of India; 2. Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha; 3. Akhil Bhartiy Adivasi Mahasabha; 4. Kheti-Bachao, Jeewan-Bachao Andolan; 5. People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Chhattisgarh; 6. Baiga Mahapanchayat – Chhattisgarh; 7. Chhattisgarh Mahila Jagriti Sangathan; 8. Pardhi Mahapanchayat – Chhattisgarh; 9. Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan; 10. Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha ( Mazdoor Karyakarta Samiti); 11. Chhattisgarh Mines Shramik Sangh; 12. Chhattisgarh Labour Institute; 13. Nadi Ghaati Morcha; 14. Chhattisgarh Christian Fellowship; 15. Akhil Bhartiy Krantikaari Kisaan Sabha; 16. Ekta Parishad- Kanker; 17.Chhattsigarh Christian Forum; 18. Bhartiy Muslim Mahila Andolan – Chhattisgarh; 19. Chhattisgarh Bal Shramik Sangathan; 20. Sabla Dal (Domestic Workers’ Union); 21. Communist Party of India (Liberation); 22. Muslim Baitulmaal Foundation; 23. All India Secular Forum – Chhattisgarh; 24. Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF); 25. Dalit Mukti Morcha; 26.All India Progressive Forum – Chhattigarh; 27. All India Peace & Solidarity Organisation –Chhattisgarh; 28. National Alliance of Women (NAWO); 29. Jan Sanskritik Manch; 30. All India Law Forum.

Presidium: 1. Chittaranjan Bakshi (94252-02641); 2. Janak Lal Thakur (94241-07557); 3. C L Patel (98266-41016); 4. Nand Kumar Kashyap (94062-13116); 5. Sudha Bhardwaj (99266-03877); 6. Lakhan Singh (77730-60946); 7. Anand Mishra ((98933-54482)):

Treasurers: Ganesh Ram Chaudhry (99932-33527); A P Josy (94255-43304)

Steering Committee: Rajendra K Sail (98268-04519); Sudha Bhardwaj (99266-03877); Alok Shukla (94076-04811;Gautam Bandopadhyay (98261-71304); Sheikh Ansar (99932-33537); Tej Ram Vidrohi (89596-66036)

__________________________
Contact Address:

Shashi Krishi Farm, Village & Post, Tumgaon, Dist. Mahasamund :Pin-code: 493445: Chhattisgarh: India. E-mail: <rajendrasail@gmail.com>

CLICK HERE FOR THE HINDI VERSION OF THIS DOCUMENT

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We weep with you oh Mothers, Sisters and Brothers of Pakistan – A letter from AICCW

“Guns of Darkness! Why would I not curse you?

You turned love-filled homes into broken debris” (Pashto Couplet from Book ‘I am Malala’)

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18)

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

__________________________________________

My Dear bereaved Mothers, Sisters and Brothers in Pakistan,

We cannot wipe away your tears but we want to let you know that we weep with you and feel your pain.

1We are shocked and pained to know about the murder of 132 innocent students and nine staff members who were killed on 16th December 2014 Tuesday by Taliban terrorists who entered a school in Peshawar. We are horrified to know that teachers were believed to be burnt alive while students were forced to watch as Taliban gunmen stormed the school in Pakistan. We can only imagine what trauma these innocent children might have gone through and what trauma you all and your country is going through now.

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Kerala Regional Celebrations of the Centenary of the National Council of Churches in India

Kottayam: As part of Centenary celebration programs of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) in various regions around the country, Kerala Council of Churches (KCC) hosted a three-day long (September 26th to 28th, 2014) program in Kottayam and Tiruvalla.

The Kerala bound celebration was inaugurated by Prof P J Kuriam, the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, on the 26th of September at the CSI Retreat Centre in Kottayam. Rt Rev Thomas K Oommen, the Deputy Moderator of the Church of South India, chaired the meeting in which Rt. Rev. Taranath S. Sagar (NCCI President) delivered the Centenary Message. The former president of NCCI H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos (Mumbai), Archbishop Kuriakose Mar Severius (Knanaya), H. G. Dr. Kuriakose Mar Theophilus (Jacobite),  H. G. Awgin Mar Kuriakose, Mr. M. M. Philip (WCC Central Committee Member), Ms Pearly Jose (NCCI Vice President) gave their felicitations. Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad conveyed the greetings of NCCI and handed over mementos to the Church of South India and KCC. The delegation from NCCI and the Executive Committee members of KCC were present in the event. Fr. Dr. M. P. George sung the Prayer Song in Sanskrit and the choirs of Sruti, FFRRC and CSI Youth presented melodious songs. Rev. Joby Joy extended the vote of thanks.

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