Kandhamal Day

Kandhamal Day Homage to Communal Riot Victims tby offering Prayer for Peace.August 25, 2008 was an unforgettable day which caused a deep scar on the Indian Democracy. This was the day, when a group of right wing Hindu fundamentalists brutally attacked and tormented several hundred Dalits and Adivasis in Kandhmal (Odisha). This pre-planned and organised ‘communal attack’ against minorities was the biggest in the history of India. It is against the spirit of the Indian Constitution drafted by Dr. B R Ambedkar and against the spirit of Unity and Harmony in India.

Dr. M M Thomas Birth Centennial Public Lecture

Prof. Dr. Ram Puniyani Delivers Dr. M M Thomas Birth Centinniel Lecture on 'Democracy and Inclusive Governance'2015 is the Birth Centenary year of the late Dr. M. M. Thomas a globally renowned Church Man, Ecumenist, Christian Theologian, Socialist and Humanist. To offer an ecumenical tribute to this great person, the National Council of Churches in India, along with CASA and in partnership with CISRS, ECC and SCMI organized a Dr. M M Thomas Birth Centenary Public Lecture on 24th August 2015 at ECC Bangalore, on the theme ‘Democracy and Inclusive Governance’.
Prof. Dr. Ram Puniyani a secularist, writer and scholar delivered the Lecture. He described how the inclusive spirit of democracy drafted and affirmed by Dr. B R Ambedkar is ‘out –casted’ by the right wing exclusivist ideologues and political parties in recent days. He called the Churches to work for an inclusive society through promoting and affirming democracy and inclusive governance rather than positioning themselves as one of the faith communities in the country.

International Youth Day Celebrations

ALL INDIA RADIO PANEL PRESENTATION

IMG_1095 (1)The NCCI-Commission on Youth organized a 20 minutes radio programme with a panel discussion on the theme “Youth Civic Engagement” at All India Radio, Nagpur as an observance of International Youth Day on 12th August 2015. Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, NCCI gave the keynote address on Youth. Various perspectives from educational institution, social activist and secular on Youth Civic Engagement in present society and its negligence were addressed in the panel which was moderated by Ms. Panita Sandela, Intern. ELC in MP Nagpur Youth presented a special number and greetings were given by Rev. Sweety Helen, Executive Secretary, Commission on Youth-NCCI.

Street Theatre on Youth Civic Engagement

Commission on Youth- NCCI organized a street theatre in India Peace Centre on August 12, 2015 at 5:30 pm. The theme of the Street theatre was “Youth Civic Engagement”.  The Street theatre brought to focus the challenges young people face and about the deprivation about the rights of young people. The Street Theatre group was from Bahujan Rang Bhoomi, Nagpur.

Independence Day friendly match

DSC05362 (1)In observing the Independence Day, the NCCI-Commission on Youth organized a friendly sports meet for the North-East youth at the NCCI campus at 3:00 pm. Rev. Sweety Helen, Executive Secretary, Commission on Youth rendered the welcome address and Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, NCCI offered the prayer to inaugurate the friendly sports meet. About 30 youth attended and participated the Sports meet. Volleyball and Badminton were played. Mr. Zuchon Ovung, Pastor, North East Christian Fellowship Nagpur offered the closing prayer and the sports meet was concluded.

Youth Sunday

NCCI-Commission on Youth observed Youth Sunday in association with North East Christian Fellowship conducted at India Peace Centre on 16th August 2015 following the liturgy prepared by the Commission on Youth. Rev. Sweety Helen, Executive Secretary, Commission on Youth delivered the Sermon on the theme on “Living together in the Household of God”.

Youth for Social Justice- Commission on Youth

REPORT ON YOUTH FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE CAMP, BANGALORE

DSC02596The NCCI-Commission on Youth successfully organized the Youth for Social Justice Camp at Visthar, Bangalore from 3rd – 7thAugust in partnership with NCCI-Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation, International Justice Mission and Visthar. The five days camp was allocated with different social problems – Trafficking, Sexual Minorities, Child Rights and Disability.

The camp was inaugurated with a welcome address by Rev. Sweety Helen, Executive Secretary of Commission on Youth-NCCI, who gave a brief introduction about the Camp and sessions of the program which are going to be conducted throughout the Camp i.e. on Sexual Trafficking, Gender, Disability, Child Abuse and Sexual Minorities. The first day was apportioned with the theme on Trafficking. After the inaugural session, Rev. Helen conducted the Bible Study from Luke 4:18 about the proclamation of good news, recovery of sight and freedom to the oppressed. The ted talk video of Ms. Sunita Krishnan, on Child Trafficking encompassing the lives of children who were trafficked for commercial sex work and were found in the most awful manner. This ted talk made people realize that trafficking is a real and a big issue in India. The introduction session was carried out by Rev. David Selvaraj, Director, Visthar, with a game and later an interactive with thought provoking points. He emphasized mostly on criminal and social justice, i.e. retributive and restorative justice. The first session was conducted by Mr. Shantanu Dutta, Director of Public Engagement, International Justice Mission, he elaborated on the topic of trafficking which includes not only sex trafficking but organ trade and bonded labour by deceiving people showing opportunities to grow and also showed some documentaries getting the participants deep into the issue which was followed by an interactive session with Ms. Erin from IJM. In the evening an ice breaker session was organized where the participants got to know about the other and were divided into four different groups namely Othniel, Deborah, Jephthah and Gideon. In the evening, vesper was led by Team Othniel.

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NO MORE KANDHAMAL

NCCI Commission on Unity, Mission and Evangelism

NO MORE KANDHAMAL

August 25, 2008 was an unforgettable day which marred the face of Indian Democracy with an ugly scar. This was the day, when a group of right wing fundamentalist people brutally attacked and tormented several hundred Dalits and Adivasis in Kandhamal (Odisha). This day should not have happened. It’s occurrence is against the spirit of the Indian Constitution drafted by Dr. B R Ambedkar and against the spirit of Unity and Harmony in India.

This pre-planned and organised ‘communal attack’ against minorities is among the biggest in the history of India, after the Gujarat Godhra attacks. Over 350 Churches were demolished and around 6500 houses of Dalits were looted , 90 innocent lives were taken, 40 women were sexually assaulted and over 56000 people were displaced.

Eight full years have gone by but no justice is established favouring the victims of this communal violence. Rather the culprits have been legally freed. Several cases of forced ‘ghar wapsi to hindusim’ have been initiated by the hindutva elements.

Therefore, the Commission on Unity, Mission and Evangelism of the National Council of Churches in India, appeals to all the member churches and organisations to organize events for one week around August 25, 2015 to mark the memory of Kandhamal.

We appeal to you to express solidarity with the struggle of the people of Kandhamal, in order to provide adequate pressure on the governmental institutions to provide justice for the victims and survivors.

Let us encourage all the local congregations to pray for the communal riot victims in Kandhamal and other such places.

Let us unite ourselves to pray for ‘NO MORE KANDHAMAL’.

With Prayers,

HG Rt. Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Philoxenos
Chairperson

Rev. R. Christopher Rajkumar
Executive Secretary

YOUTH CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN INDIA- COMMISSION ON YOUTH

Short Film Contest

short film Competition PosterAugust 12 is observed as International Youth day all over the world every year. Commission on Youth also has been observing International Youth Day through organizing various programmes through its constituent members who are around 14 million people. Among the 14 million, approximately 4 million are young people. Commission on Youth has been catering to these young people on International Youth day by enabling them to realize their skills and by acknowledging the contributions youth make to the Church and society.

In 2012, Commission on youth organized Bible quiz, Elocution and painting competitions for young people on the theme “Arise and shine lets build the earth”. In 2013, a musical concert with young musicians was organized and also a seminar on “Youth and Migration” was conducted. In 2014, we organized an essay writing competition on our modified centenary theme “youth towards integral mission and grassroots ecumenism”. This year the UN theme is “Youth Civic Engagement”.

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Dalit Christians Reiterate the Demand for Equal Rights

DSC06412Beck Began, Kolkata, August 10th 2015: Church leaders, priests and members of various churches such as Church of North India, Church of South India, Salvation Army, Mar Thoma, Presbyterian and Baptist observed a candle light vigil in front of the Bishop’s College in Kolkata as part of the observance of the ‘Black Day’ demanding equal rights of Dalit Christians. This protest was jointly organised by the Commission on Dalits of NCCI, Bishop’s College and various member churches of NCCI.

The Christians of Dalit origin were denied Scheduled caste status by a Presidential order in 1950, which was signed on 10th August. Rev Sunil Raj Philip, the Executive Secretary of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) informed that the Dalit Christians across India observe this day as the Black day under the auspices of the NCCI. Rev Dr Sunil M Caleb (principal, Bishop’s College, Kolkata), Rev Philip Philip (Mar Thoma Church), Lieut Colonel Daniel Raju Dasari (National Secretary, Salvation Army), Major Babu Samraj (Executive Committee member, NCCI), Rev. Papiya Durairaj and J. Goldwin (Student leader) addressed the gathering.
The student community of Bishop’s College in Kolkata, Priests from various denominations and the leaders of the National Secretariat of the Salvation Army participated in the protest meet. Those who were in protest sang songs, raised slogans and held candles in demand of ‘de-linking religion from caste- based reservation’. The protesters pointed out that though the order initially suggested, “No person who professes a religion other than Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of the Scheduled Caste”, by a later amendment Sikhs (1956) and Buddhists (1990) were included in the Scheduled Caste net. Hence keeping the Dalit Christians from the fold of Scheduled caste list is seen as an injustice.

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Tribal and Adivasi Sunday Celebrated Across India

DSC06340The member churches of the National Council of Churches in India celebrated  Tribal and Adivasi Sunday across India on the 9th of August (on the United Nations Indigenous Peoples’ Day) with the theme, “Tribals and Adivasis: Custodians of God- given Land and its Eco- systems”.

This celebration was  a meaningful and timely one because the question of the rights of Tribals and Adivasis to their land is becoming more and more a pertinent and disturbing one in the present Indian scenario. The ancestral land of the indigenous people of India is being forcefully grabbed by the affluent as well as by the State under the  ‘development’ rhetoric. On the other side, the rest of the world, which is experiencing the devastating effects of consumerism and ecological pollution, is  gradually starting  to realize that the closely- knit bond between nature and Tribals/Adivasis has to be imbibed to responsibly address the ecological concerns the world faces.

Tribal-Adivasi Sunday celebration in Nagaland

The Executive Secretary of the Commission on Tribals and Adivasis attended the celebrations which were held at the Lotha Baptist Church in Dimapur in Nagaland along with the Rev Dr Solomon Rongpi, the General Secretary of the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI). The special songs and sermon on the basis of the Tribal and Adivasi Sunday theme made the celebration a very meaningful one.

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Legal Literacy and Training Programme for Mission Leaders and Grass-roots Mission Staff

Commission on Unity, Mission and Evangelism
Legal Literacy and Training Programme for Mission Leaders and Grass-roots Mission Staff
5 -7 August 2015, NCCI Campus, Nagpur
DSC08032NCCI – Commission on Unity, Mission and Evangelism on the request from Indian Missions Association (IMA) organized 3 days ‘Legal Literacy and Training Programme for the Mission Leaders and Mission Workers. There were 35 Mission Leaders and Mission Staff including 3 women from 18 Mission Organization from all over India representing 7 language groups. It was a first time experience for the participants in working with NCCI.

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Black day protest in Delhi

Black Day Protest in Delhi on 10th August, 2015

For Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims

Jointly Organised by

CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERRENCE OF INDIA (CBCI), NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN INDIA (NCCI) and NATIONAL COUNCIL OF DALIT CHRISTIANS (NCDC)

IMG_5809The Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950 was signed on 10th August 1950 by the then President of India which says that “No person who professes a religion other than Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of the Scheduled Caste” which was later amended to include Sikhs (1956) and Buddhists (1990) in the Scheduled Caste net. This order is against the secular nature (Preamble of the Constitution) of the country, against Article 14(Equality before the law), article 15(Prohibition of discrimination of any citizen on ground of only religion), Article 25 (Freedom of Conscience and free to profess any religion), Article 26 (Equality before the law and equal protection of the law) and against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a party.

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