NEICC Statement on Church unity, Social concerns and Religious harmony

STATEMENT OF THE FINDINGS OF
THE ONE DAY SEMINAR ORGANIZED BY
THE NORTH EAST INDIA CHRISTIAN COUNCIL
ON
 “CHURCH UNITY, SOCIAL CONCERNS AND RELIGIOUS HARMONY”

AT THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF INDIA,  KHATLA, AIZAWL, MIZORAM SYNOD, APRIL 19, 2017.

We, the ninety two participants, representing various Churches and Christian Organisations under the umbrella of NEICC, in the one day seminar organized by the NEICC on April 19, 2017, deliberated on the theme of the seminar through five paper presentations, viz,

  • “Problems and prospects of Church Unity”, presented by Rev. Dr. R. Zolawma
  • The Role of Theological Education in Church Unity”, presented by Rev. Dr. Kethozelhou Keyho
  • “Gender Inclusive participation in the Church’s Ministry”, presented by Mrs. Gloria Patricia Pohsna
  • “Church’s Role in Social Concern”, presented by Mr L. Meru
  • “Religious Harmony”, presented by Rev. Dr. B.J. Syiemlieh

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Request for Churches and Congregations to pray for the Supreme Court hearing on the 20th of April to uphold the rights of minorities as per the Constitution of India

Letter from The Synod of The Church of North India: Request for Churches and Congregations to pray for the Supreme Court hearing on the 20th of April to uphold the rights of minorities as per the Constitution of India.

 


 

Open letter to The Prime Minister of India.

To

Shri Narendra Modi,
The Prime Minister of India

Dear Prime Minister,

Greetings!

Though a Christian pastor, and serving the National Council of Churches in India as its General Secretary, I am writing this open letter to you as an Indian citizen, joining all Indian citizens who are concerned about the state of affairs in our country, India

You have been giving the country very impressive slogans about its future, be it “Achhe Din!” or “New India!” Harping on “Development” you have been advocating and initiating schemes such as “Make in India”, “Skill India”, “Start-up India”, “Digital India”, “Smart Cities”, etc.

The question which many would like to ask: Achhe Din for whom? New India for whom? The Preamble to the Constitution of India gives us a vision for all citizens:

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

However many people who belong to your government, party, and other likeminded bodies give us a different picture of Achhe Din and of New India where the values of Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity are stifled. “Vigilantism” has become a popular methodology of such persons and bodies.

Cow Vigilantism: Cow reverence and cow protection has become a very serious concern among such people. They claim that the cow represents their religion and culture. I appreciate the cow symbol as it represents love, compassion, service, sacrifice, and non-violent living. People, when they become politically emotional about this symbol, tend to give expression to hatred, cruelty, harm, murder, and violent life-styles. I wonder whether the cow would approve of such things done in her name. Read more

Church Leaders Consultation on “Healing Ministry and the Role of the Churches and Hospitals”.

Christian Medical Association of India as the official health arm of the National Council of Churches in India has the mandate to equip the churches in responding to the healing ministry. The National Consultation will bring Church leaders from various denominations and the leaders of hospitals governed by the church together for a time of introspection and review on the contribution of Christian health services to the health challenges. Moreover, it will also be a time to dig deeper into the issues preventing or stopping us from fulfilling our role in the healing ministry.

We as the network of Christian healthcare professionals, institutions and churches are facing real challenges with regard to persisting with our vision and mission. In today’s context, we find most Christian mission hospitals – and some of its educational institutions –in a state of disarray, with out-dated infrastructure, poorly financed, equipped and staffed, struggling to eke out a living for those dependent on them. Our mission hospitals are closing down at a rapid pace. From the 900-odd thriving mission hospitals in the country at the time of independence, we are barely numbering 200 or so, most of which are struggling to keep afloat. And it is NOT for the lack of relevance of these institutions, as many are still situated in areas of tremendous need – it is simply that there is no one willing to man them, with courage and conviction that they are still tremendously useful tools in the Hands of the Master1.

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Consultation of Church Heads – March 15, 2017 | ACTION PLAN

To

The Constituent Members
National Council of Churches in India.

 

Dear Ecumenical Leaders,

Kindly find attached a copy of the Action Plan which is the result of the Consultation of Church Heads which was held on 15th March 2017 in Delhi.

The Action  Plan addresses three major concerns : Uniform Civil Code, National Education Policy and Juvenile Justice Act. There is also a fourth section which refers to other concerns, particularly the growing control of the Government on our Medical Institutions in Vellore and Ludhiana.

I request you to kindly address the concerns in the Action Plan in whatever appropriate effective manner you deem fit.  It is high time that churches and Christian organizations start speaking up on issues that threaten the democratic, secular structure of the country. Please keep us informed on the actions taken by your Church/Christian Organization/Council in addressing the issues mentioned in the Action Plan.

Thanking you in anticipation,

Yours sincerely,

 

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
General Secretary

 

Click on link to download Action Plan –

 Action Plan .doc  

 Action Plan  .pdf 

Manipur Situation: Appeal letters to Prime Minister and National Commission for Minorities, India.


 

Manipur situation appeal from NCCI_Page_1

Manipur situation appeal from NCCI_Page_2

Manipur situation appeal from NCCI_Page_3


TEXT OF APPEAL LETTERS TO

  • SHRI NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA; and
  • SHRI NASEEM AHMAD, CHAIRPERSON, NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MINORITIES, INDIA.

 

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NCCI PRESIDENT’S CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR MESSAGE 2016

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth Peace and goodwill to all in whom God is pleased”

Dear Ecumenical colleagues

Christmas Season has come again!  It is with great joy that I take this opportunity to wish all the Churches, other NCCI constituencies, leaders, and staff of NCCI a Blessed Christmas and along with it a Happy New Year. On behalf of NCCI, I convey my greetings to all our global colleagues and partners also. Let us thankfully remember that this is the first Christmas in the New Quadrennium of NCCI

It is commonly observed that we forget the meaning of festivals while we indulge in the extravaganza of the festival. We send greetings cards, share sweets, buy expensive clothes, decorate our homes, offices and streets and organize parties and other celebrations. Thus  Christmas for many people is a festival  of Christmas cards, Christmas trees, Christmas stars and lights, Christmas cakes and Santa. In the western country where  Christmas was celebrated with all  pomp and show, a survey was taken among the teenagers. Only 7% of them knew that it was the birthday of Jesus Christ! So, it is time to revisit the real meaning of  Christmas. Cards, Cakes, Trees, Carols and Santa are only insignificant accessories, though they give us the ambience of celebration.

Let us continue to proclaim that Christmas is the unique expression of God’s love, and God’s own initiative of saving God’s creation through self-emptying, and God’s assurance of God’s presence with us.  God is travelling with us in our life’s journey as a companion providing us with our needs, sharing our joys and sorrows, comforting us and healing us, above all, guiding us in our everyday life. When God is with us we will have peace and joy in our hearts, in our homes, in our community and in our nation.  

The word of God says that God sent God’s son when the time was ripe. “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,” Galatians 4.4 (NIV) It did not mean that all situations were congenial. It meant just the opposite. The people of God were in   darkness under the Roman oppression. The morale of the people were at the lowest. For a long time there were no clear messages from God to guide people. People were in utter darkness.

Our situations globally and nationally is that of darkness.  Countries all over the world are under the threat of regional wars and terrorism.  No country is a   safe place at all. Poverty is still looming all over the world.  Nationally, we are in Darkness of Demonetization and the Depression which has followed it. Demonetization crisis affected all of us except the affluent few and the politically supported few. A large group who did not have bank accounts suffered the most. People were dying standing in the bank queues and being unable to buy medicines to sustain their lives.

Soon, an educational policy may come into force where minority institutions  will have  to face many challenges  especially related to the curtailment of freedom provided in the constitution. We need to be seriously concerned about the future of our vision and mission to spread the Good News to the whole humanity.

We know that we are no more people of darkness but of light. As the Bible says, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9.2. (NIV).  The Lord’s birth has brought light into our lives and turned our lives to light and hope. We have become a people of hope” Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.  Zachariah 9.12  (NIV). Or again, “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘because you are called an outcast.” Jeremiah 30.17  (NIV)

 We know that we have to be active participants in nation building.  We should not be cowed down by our minority complex.  In the area of service to the nation through education, health care and ministry to people in the margin we are a “majority”. Let us be a people of hope and courage and work towards the transformation of our country by firmly continuing these and other services.            

Let us thank God for the Lutheran Church in India and all over the world which is celebrating 500 years of reformation initiated by Martin Luther. Roman Catholic  Church and the Lutheran Church  have decided to  forgive each other for their divided existence for 500 years! Pope Francis went to Sweden to attend the joint celebration of the 500th anniversary. Let us also work for more unity among Indian Churches transcending the barriers of denominational feelings.

 Let us continue to uphold the cause of NCCI and all its ministries.  Please remember to observe unity octave and NCCI Sunday on 22nd January, 2017. I request all Churches to take a special offertory on NCCI Sunday and send it to  NCCI office .

Let us celebrate Christmas by sharing  our joy and resources with our neighbours, especially with those who cannot afford to celebrate. In the new year, let us  renew our covenant faithfully with our Lord, our fellow beings and with the mother earth whose stewards we are. Let us regularly pray for peace all over the world, especially in the Middle East.

My wife Nora and our children Piyush and Priyanka join me in sending you season greetings and warm regards. We remember you in prayer.

With Blessings,                                                                                                                                

The Rt. Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh

sign

President

National Council of Churches in India  

STATEMENT. NCCI STRONGLY CONDEMNS ATROCITIES AGAINST DALITS IN INDIA

PRESS RELEASE | STATEMENT

The National Council of Churches in India, meeting as a General Body in Chennai on August 12, 2016, strongly condemned  the growing atrocities against dalits in India:

National Council of Churches in India expresses its grave concern over the vehement hate campaigns and brutal attacks on Dalits in different parts of India. We condemn the perpetrators, cow vigilante groups and the right wing fundamentalists who take the law in their hands and torment the Dalits in our country. Serious cognizance must be taken of the hate campaigns manifesting in their most recent forms such as the activities of ‘Cow-killers’ and restrictions sought to be imposed on ‘Cow-meat-eaters’. This is an extreme form of modern-day practice of untouchability and discrimination.

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Statement condemning atrocities against Dalits by cow vigilante groups in Una, Gujarat

Almost 24 dalits 800x480_IMAGE55723381have attempted to end their lives since July 11, 2016. Violent protests by Dalits have been taking place in Gujarat demanding stern action against the cow vigilante group members who publicly flogged a Dalit family and brutally beaten up seven Dalit men for allegedly skinning a dead cow in Una in Gir Somnath district of Saurashtra region on July 11, 2016. The victims’ contention was that they were just skinning a dead cow and had not killed it, whereas the accused alleged these dalits were involved in cow slaughter.
As many as 200 cow vigilante groups have sprung up Gujarat. They have become a law and order problem in Gujarat because of their aggression and the way they take law into their hands. With names such as Gau Raksha Samiti, Gau Raksha Ekta Samiti, they have percolated from taluka to even village level and the groups take law into their hands to deal with minorities and Dalits who run meat businesses.

NCCI XXVIII Quadrennial Assembly: Resolution on Public Issues

quadrennial assembly logo black (Small) (Custom)NCCI XXVIII Assembly Resolutions on Public Issues

We, the delegates of the 28th Quadrennial Assembly of the National Council of Churches in India held at Christ Church Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Jabalpur from April 27 to April 30, 2016, having solemnly reflected upon issues affecting India in particular and the world at large, hereby pass resolutions on the same.

1.        Affirming Secularism in Pluralistic Society:

The present Indian society is seriously affected by the phenomena of fundamentalism, communalism, saffronisation of education and cultures, restrictions on churches, christian institutions and their services, intolerance, shrinking space for freedom of speech and expression, attacks on religious minorities, criminalization in the name of God, Faith, Ideologies and Confessions.

We therefore resolve:

  • The government should adopt policies and undertake measures that affirm the secular spirit of the Indian Constitution which guarantees freedom to all its citizens to practice, preach and propagate their respective faiths.
  • The government should respect and protect the rights of religious minorities and their institutions.
  • The government should create mechanisms for promoting interfaith and inter-ideological harmony.
  • Churches should engage in responsible liberativeevangelism and mission expressing the positive values of the gospel and its relevance to our contemporary context.


2.        Affirming Human Rights in Indian Society:

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