NCCI letter to Prime Minister of India

August 3, 2017

To,

Shri Narendra Modi,
Honourable Prime Minster of India.

Dear Prime Minister,

Greetings to you from the National Council of Churches in India!

Your good self and indeed all the citizens of the country are well aware of the phenomenon of minority targeted violence in the country. In the long list of such occurrences, we mention just a few recent incidents:

  • Ainul Ansari attacked in Jharkhand on suspicion that he was taking beef to an Iftaar gathering in June 2017.
  • Junaid Khan stabbed to death by a mob in a train on the eve of Id in Ballagarh in June, 2017.
  • Alimuddin Ansari lynched in Jharkhand on suspicion of carrying beef in June 2017.
  • Sultan Masih, a Christian pastor was killed in Punjab on 15th July, 2017 and the culprits have not yet been arrested.
  • In Goa, incidents of desecration of Holy Crosses and Graves are happening very frequently in places such as Curtoriam, Chandor, Gudi- Paroda and Churchorem in South Goa. The atmosphere in Goa is communalized and the Christian and Muslim communities are facing serious discrimination and threat.

We are deeply disturbed about the various expressions of vigilantism in different parts of our Country. We strongly condemn incidents of lynching and mob violence, particularly against Muslims and Dalits. In fact minority communities are experiencing horrendous forms of Symbolic, Structural and Physical violence. Such occurrences not only corrode the secular ethos of   our Country but also tarnish the name of India in the international sphere.  On the one hand while we are boasting about our technological and economic development, our record in human relational secular development is not so laudable.

What makes us feel so exasperated is that the State and Central Governments are not taking severe action against the different expressions of vigilantism. Mere words of condemnation are not enough. We are horrified that various states are bringing severe anti cow slaughter acts where as there is so much reluctance to bring in anti lynching / mob violence acts and to implement them. Unfortunately, because of the link of vigilantes with political parties and cultural originations, state mechanisms are afraid to take action against them.  Some of our national leaders keeping asserting that “law and order” is a state subject; nevertheless the Centre needs to pressurize the states to act. Since governance of the country in our times revolves around you, we strongly urge you to bring in a new act to address the present situation or execute severe action against perpetrators of violence using the existing laws.

At the same time the churches are deeply pained about the killing of 7 Amarnath Yatra Pilgims by terrorists. We urge you to provide more security to the pilgrims and bring the culprits to the law.

Therefore we call upon you to take effective positive steps for the inclusive multi-dimensional development of all the communities in our beloved country, India.

We also assure you the Christian community continues to pray for the country and to contribute to its all round development.

Yours sincerely,

SD/-

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,

General Secretary, NCCI.

Letter to Prime Minister of India | August 3, 2017 | Page 1 of 2

 

Letter to Prime Minister of India | August 3, 2017 | Page 2 of 2

 

NCCI Letter to President of India

August3, 2017

 

To,

Shri Ram Nath Kovind,
Honourable President of India.

Your Excellency,

Greetings to you from the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI)!

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) represents 14 million Protestant and Orthodox Christians in the country. On behalf of the Council, we congratulate you for being elected as the 14th President of India. We pray that the God will grant you wisdom and health to lead our great country, India.

As a guardian of the Constitution, we expect and request you to safeguard the democratic secular republic character and ethos of the Constitution of India. We are glad that you have affirmed the diversity of our country in your inaugural address. At the same time, we urge you to ensure justice to, and the dignity and development of, marginalized communities in our country. As the President of India we also are hopeful that you will ensure that constitutional rights of minority communities are upheld and protected.

May your term as President of India be blessed by God so that your office could be a blessing to all citizens of the country!

Yours sincerely,

SD/-

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
General Secretary, National Council of Churches in India.

 

Letter to President of India | August 3, 2017

 

Interfaith Round Table on Disability

Interfaith Round Table on Disability

National Council of Churches in India

Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment

Interfaith Round Table on Disability

August 7 – 9, 2017, Pallottine Animation Centre, Nagpur, Maharashtra

Press Note

The NCCI – Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (IDEA) is organizing an ‘Interfaith Round Table on Disability from 7 – 9 August 2017 at Pallottine Animation Centre, Nagpur.  It is jointly organised by the World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network, Spalding Trust, World Vision India and Christian Service Agency. The theme for the Round Table is “Faith Journey Together Towards ‘Inclusive Communities’”

It is a first event of its kind. There would be around 60 participants including clerics, theologians and academicians from  major faiths including Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Indigenous Traditions, Jainism, and Sikhism  from all over India.

This Round Table aims to…

  • invite different faith communities, to engage in conversing on ‘disability’ from their own faith and theological perspectives and experiences;
  • suggest and facilitate ‘faith-alliance building’ among the faith communities at leadership and religious adherents’ levels to serve PWDs and strengthen advocacy and policy development initiatives.

Features of this Round Table are …

  • Listening to Scriptures: “ What do our ‘Holy Books’ say about Disability?”
  • Exploring our Religious Traditions: “How do our faith traditions treat PWDs?
  • Examining whether our ‘holy shrines’ are accessible and inclusive.
  • Getting to know the policies and programmes of Governments that ensure inclusion and how faith communities could join together to make those policies accessible to the PWDs and Public.
  • Formulating Common and Collective Faith Based Action Plans.

The inauguration of the Round Table is scheduled on 7th August 2017 at 10:30 am. Honorable Prof. Dr. Siddharthavinayaka P. Kane, the Vice Chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Nagpur, and the Most Rev. Dr. Michael G. Jackson, the Arch Bishop of Dublin, Church of Ireland, have consented to be guests of honor at this inauguration. The Rt. Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh – President of NCCI, Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad – General Secretary of NCCI, Rt. Rev. Paul Dupare –  Bishop of Nagpur Diocese, CNI,  Mr. Thomas Cherian –  World Vision of India, Ms. Rachna Singh, Member, Executive Committee – NCCI and Rev. Dr. Joshva Raja – Church of England  have also consented to jointly inaugurate the round table along with Ven. Bhante Dhammashree Sarathi, Mr. Santosh H. Chahande, Mr. Ankit Bhuptani, Janab. Ahammad Kutty, Prof. Dr. Amrit Kaur Basera , Swami  Kedar Joshi Ji and Shri. Hamant Lodha and other faith representatives.  As a mark of  celebrating  unity,  these interfaith leaders  will join the other participants in planting a tree symbolically at 10.30 am in the Pallottine Campus. The Round Table will  conclude on 9th Aug 2017.

The participants will collectively engage in ‘dialogical conversations’ through input sessions, panel discussions, talk-shows, group discussions, practical talks, story-telling and interfaith worship.

For more details please see the Concept Note (.pdf | 371 kb).

Yours,

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
President – IDEA  &
General Secretary NCCI
Rev. R. Christopher Rajkumar
Director – IDEA &
Executive Secretary
NCCI – Unity & Mission
Mrs. Cynthia Shinde
Co-ordinator – IDEA
<idea@ncci1914.com>

NCCI Congratulates Church of South India for its Endeavors to Formulate Gender Justice Policy to Build Just Inclusive Communities

 

Consultative Group of Church of South India  Gender Justice  Policy

The Consultative Group for Church of South India (CSI)  Gender Justice  Policy met at CSI Centre under the leadership of Rev. Dr. D.Rathnakara Sadananda, General Secretary, CSI and Rev. Asir Ebenezer, Director, CSI-SEVA on 26th July 2017 to deliberate on the formulation of a Gender Policy for CSI.   11 core group members attended this important meeting. NCCI accompanied CSI in this process through  the representation of Ms Moumita Biswas – Executive Secretary of Women’s Concerns Ministry, being part of the Consultative Group .

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Consultation on “Prophetic Role of Church Leaders in the midst of Injustices” held from 4-6 July 2017 at Durgapur.

National Council of Churches in India – Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns
in partnership with EMW-Germany, Christian Service Agency and Diocese of Durgapur-CNI

Consultation on “Prophetic Role of Church Leaders in the midst of Injustices”
Date:  4th  – 6th  July 2017
Venue: Diocesan Bhavan, Aldrin Path, Bidhan Nagar, Durgapur (W/B)

The Church has been in solidarity with the oppressed and the marginalized, but the time has come when solidarity in spirit alone is insufficient to resurrect failing courage, and hopelessness, in the wake of injustice and atrocities perpetrated on vulnerable sections of society, particularly on Dalits, Tribals and Adivasis, setting their life and livelihood at risk, affecting them physically, mentally and spiritually, and destroying the collective will of survival. The time has come to recognize that the engagement of the Church is the need of the hour, as it stands for values of the Reign of God and ‘just-peace’ for all. The Church has to be sensitive to the struggles of Dalits, Tribals and Adivasis and cannot remain a mute spectator to atrocities inflicted on them in terms of marginalization, loss of identity, dehumanization, trafficking and displacement caused by lop-sided development. It has to redefine the meaning of “Justice” in the context of globalization that seeks to exploit natural resources without considering its impact on the indigenous people, and ensure a life of dignity, peace and security for Dalits. It has to be inclusive, acknowledging Jesus as the dynamic ideal and model for ensuring justice.

In order to make the Church leaders of member churches and regional councils, who are involved in working with Dalits and Tribals/ Adivasis, well acquainted with the new developing forms of oppression and resistance, NCCI-Dalit and Tribal/Adivasi Concerns, in partnership with Evangelisches Missionswerk in Deutschland  (EMW, Germany), Christian Service Agency and Diocese of Durgapur – Church of North India (CNI) organized a three days consultation for Central and Northern region of India on the theme “Prophetic Role of Church Leaders in the midst of Injustices” from 4th – 6th July 2017 at Diocesan Bhavan, Aldrin Path, Bidhan Nagar, Durgapur. A total of 37 Church Leaders from member churches and regional councils of central and northern regions of India participated. The goal of the consultation was to highlight the Prophetic role of Church leadership in the context of oppression. It also endeavored to explore on how, under ever changing discriminative circumstances, the ministers of the church can render service that builds up the oppressed. The consultation started with a creative worship service led by Mr. Pradip Bansrior, Executive Secretary- Dalit and Tribal Concerns-NCCI along with a team, during which a reflection was given by Rev. Vijay Kumar, Vice- President of Diocese of Amritsar and a member of North West Frontier Council of Churches. Following the inaugural worship, Mr. Pradip Bansrior welcomed the delegates and resource persons and shared the purpose of the consultation and also extended his sincere thanks and gratitude to Rt. Rev. Dr. Probal Kanto Dutta, Bishop of Diocese of Durgapur for hosting the consultation in the Diocese of Durgapur, CNI.

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NCCI Interns’ orientation 2017

A two-day orientation programme for the interns of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) was held on 15th -16th June 2017. Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, along with the Executive Secretaries and the interns attended the programme. Six sessions were conducted all together where the Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad took up the first session. The second session was taken up by all  the Executive Secretaries together, third session by Rev. Caesar David, fourth session by Rev. Christopher Rajkumar, fifth session by Mr. Ashish Mane, Finance Officer-NCCI and Mr. Vijayan Pillai, Programme Coordinator-ESHA Inclusive, and the last session was an interactive session moderated by the General Secretary.

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Tribal and Adivasi Sunday 2017

Respected Ecumenical Leaders,

Warm greetings from NCCI-Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns!

Celebration of Tribal and Adivasi Sunday has become an important feature in the calendar of Indian Churches and Ecumenical movements. Over the years Tribal and Adivasi Sunday has been celebrated in many parts of our country in sensitizing the local congregation on Tribal and Adivasi Concerns. Thanks to the enormous support we have received from across the churches, dioceses, parishes and institutions in celebrating this special Sunday.

The theme for this year’s Tribal and Adivasi Sunday is “Solidarity in Christ: Bearing One Another’s Burdens” (cf. Galatians 6:2).We take this opportunity to invite you to celebrate Tribal and Adivasi Sunday on 6th August 2017 in your church/local parish/institution in a creative way. However, if you already have some programme on 6th August 2017, you may think of celebrating this Special day on later Sundays. Herewith we are sending you hard copies of posters and a special order of worship for the day. You may take the freedom to use the entire worship order and translate it in your vernacular language or adapt parts of it.

We would appreciate if you send a brief report along with a few photographs of the celebration to the undersigned. Let us join to celebrate Tribal and Adivasi Sunday on 6th August 2017.

Thanking you in anticipation.

With regards,

In Christ,

Pradip Bansrior
Executive Secretary
Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns
National Council of Churches in India.

 

Download Order of Worship: NCCI Tribal and Adivasi Sunday 2017 pdf

(http://ncci1914.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/NCCI-Tribal-Adivasi-Sunday-2017-pdf.pdf)

Meeting with Shri George Kurian, Vice-Chairperson, and National Commission for Minorities (NCM)

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) organized a meeting with Shri George Kurian , the new Vice Chairperson of the  National Commission for Minorities (NCM), on 20th June, 2017 at CNI Delhi Diocesan Office, New Delhi. Around 20 leaders from the Churches representing Orthodox and Protestant Traditions participated in this meeting. While welcoming him, the church leaders also raised concerns of the minority communities, particularly of Christians, such as religious discrimination, FCRA renewal, Dalit Christian issues, Education policy, etc. Shri George Kurian assured the leaders that NCM will protect the Constitutional and legal rights of the minorities. The meeting was moderated by Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, NCCI and hosted by Rt. Rev.  Warris K. Masih, Bishop, CNI Delhi Diocese.


Samuel Jayakumar
Executive Secretary,
Policy, Governance and Public Witness,
National Council of Churches in India.

Certificate Course on Gender Justice – National Council of Churches Pilgrimage to Build Just Inclusive Communities

Participants of Certificate Course on Gender Justice during Valedictory Service with Honourable Chief Minister of State of Mizoram

The Women’s Concerns Ministry of National Council of Churches in India in partnership with Presbyterian Women’s Fellowship in India, and Australian Church Women organized ‘Training the Trainers’ Certificate Course on Gender Justice held in Aizawl , in the State of Mizoram from 5th – 10th June 2017. Twenty young church leaders, pastors, young theologians, teachers and community workers from different parts of North East and Eastern  India attended this course. The participants were from indigenous and dalit background.

The curriculum of this course  included ‘Gender awareness & Self Awareness’, ‘ Gender, Development and Gender Analysis’, ‘Sex , Sexuality, Identity.’ ‘Gender Justice and Policies, Human Rights and Women’s  and Child Human Rights,’ ‘Awareness about human trafficking, migration and sexual slavery’, ‘Geo Political trends, conflict and Gender justice’, ‘Practical Evangelization Strategies and Advocacy and Campaign to end Gender based violence’ .  Bible studies were conducted on ‘Feminine Images of God’, ‘Women’s Reproductive Health Justice and Rights and ‘Spirituality to End Human Trafficking’. The course in particular highlighted the strategies and spirituality of Jesus Type of Positive Masculinity and Deconstruct Patriarchal Femininity.

The Key Note address was delivered by Dr Wellorich Sohkhlet  – Chairperson – PCI Women’s Fellowship. Various skilled Resource Persons, namely Dr Evangeline Dutta, Advocate Rebina Subba, Rev Fr Thomas Ninan, Dr Lalnghakthuami, Ms Rosanna Lyndogh contributed during this training.

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Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA) 2017 (Chiang Mai, Thailand)

The 2nd Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA) 2017, a week-long training programme, was organised by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) from 28th May to 3rd June at Payap University at Chiang Mai, Thailand.

YAPA training programme sought to facilitate the role of young people as ambassadors of change in peacebuilding processes, and to build a network of young peacebuilders in Asia bridging the missing links in promoting peace in society. The training programme consisted of interactive sessions on non-violence and peace with justice through theological foundations of peace from various religious perspectives, skill development to peace implementation programmes at the grassroots level. The programme further buoyed up the young people to be peace makers not among humans alone but within the whole creation commencing from one’s own inner self.

25 young participants from various Asian countries – Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand – with representatives from the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim communities who are committed to promoting interfaith collaboration in peacebuilding and conflict resolution participated in the programme.

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