MPs protest held at Gandhi statue in the Parliament premises : Joint Statement by Parliamentarians

Regarding the communal situation in the country and the fear among Religious Minorities in wake of Hashimpura Judgment, some MPs organiized a signature campaign followed by a protest. Many MPs participated in the protest at Gandhi Statue in the Parliament premises on 7th May, at 10 am.  The successive state Government’s negligence and failure in producing evidence before the court of law denied justice to the victims. Whereas promulgation of executive order in 1950, 10th August by President without the approval of Parliament amounted to denial of equal opportunity and choice of Religious Freedom not only to Dalits of the country but also to the Religious Minorities.  This was to voice their concern to ensure the citizenry in upholding Constitutional mandate of Social Justice beyond Religion.

The Demands were:

  1. A thorough investigation under the supervision of sitting Supreme Court judge to ensure confidence among Citizenry on the governance and the justice delivery system beyond delivering Justice to the victims. The Union Government and the State Government should take every possible effort in bringing the culprits to the book.
  2. We demand the Union of India to Extend the Scheduled Caste Status to Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste origin.

Fr. Devasagayaraj

Secretary, CBCI Office for SC/BC

 Mr. Samuel Jayakumar

  Executive Secretary, CoP, NCCI

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Bishop Desmond Tutu writes an open letter to the Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag

Concern for justice and solidarity with the suffering:
Letter of Bishop Tutu to the German Churches

Please see below  a copy of the letter written by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to the German Churches. especially to the people who are attending the forthcoming Kirchentag.  His letter challenges our churches also as we take a stand for justice and pray for meaningful peace. 

Open Letter to Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentage

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ

I send very warm greetings from Cape Town to you all.

Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag is a special organization that occupies a special place in this old man’s heart.

It has played an exemplary and prophetic role in gently nudging modern Germany, with its powerful economy, towards using its power actively and compassionately for justice.

I remember how, in the 1980s, you struggled with your consciences over taking “a clear stand” against apartheid – and ultimately acted on your impulse to do the right thing, closing your accounts at Deutsche Bank over its dealings with South Africa. Thank you.

CASA’s Response to the Earthquake in Nepal

AppealThe killer earthquake that hit Nepal on the noon of April 25th, 2015 has devastated human lives and property. It is believed to have killed over 7,000 people and left more than 12,000 injured, and several thousand houses flattened. The apprehension is that the death toll may rise to 10,000. Further, it is estimated that about eight million people are severely affected in the Himalayan region by this devastating earthquake. Read more

“End Scandal of Discrimination!” Message from NCCI- AICCW pertaining to World Labour Day

blogWorld Labour Day is commemorated every year on 1st May. With reference to this important celebration, the All India Council of Christian Women, the Women’s Wing of National Council of Churches in India sent messages to churches, church based organizations, institutions, church leaders and communities that there should be no discrimination between men and women in the work place in terms of wages and facilities for same job.
The scripture endorses there should be no discrimination of women. According to Galatians 3:28 there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. However many times our theology gets tainted by patriarchal interpretations that portrays women as the ‘second sex’ weaker than men. Such interpretations often and legitimizes and sanctions discrimination of women not only in society but even work place. Jesus never discriminated women and was compassionate and had full understanding of the challenges women face in society.

NCCI Stands with the Grieving and Suffering Bomb attack Victims in Pakistan

pakistan-articleLargeNagpur, March 16, 2015: The National Council of Churches in India expresses its deep shock and painful concern over the continuous attack on innocent public, including Christians, in Pakistan.
As reported by the Media at least 70 people were injured and 15 lost their lives to these inhuman assassinations yesterday ( 15 March 2015) in a Catholic Church and the Christ Church in Youhanabad near Lahore City, where Christians have lived together for years in amity and peace.
The NCCI considers these assaults not merely as attacks on public and innocent citizens of Pakistan, but rather as intentional attacks on ‘Pakistan’ itself’.

Life Giving Agriculture Forum India Launched

‘Life-Giving Agriculture’ Forum – 2015

Theme: “Agriculture is Life – Agriculture is Right”

 

2 – 6 Feb 2015, ECC, Bangalore, India

Jointly organized by:

Commission on Justice Peace and Creation – National Council of Churches in India – NCCI

Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society – CISRS

Ecumenical Christian Centre – ECC

Korean Christian Life Giving Agriculture Forum – KCLGAF

Mainstreaming Life-Giving Agriculture in India & Korea  

(Statement Issued by the Participants)

We, the 55 participants representing various walks of life such as farmers, activists, theologians, clergies and academicians from India and South Korea meeting at a National Consultation on ‘Life Giving Agriculture‘ from 2nd to 6th February 2015 at the Ecumenical Christian Centre, Bangalore, India, deliberated on important concerns and issues affecting farmers in India and Korea, and have issued the following Statement:

I-                Life-Giving Agriculture – Threats & Challenges

Through the deliberations, exposure, sharing and interaction discussion we  realize that, the Life Giving Agriculture Forum meets in the context of adverse effects of the Economic Globalization and Market Economy faced by farmers in both countries (and elsewhere) wherein agrarian communities have started moving from ‘agri-culture to agri-business’ by paving ways for Genetically Modified (GM) technologies to the cash crops and high-yielding variety and, often, termination seeds, mechanization for ploughing and harvesting, and chemical fertilizers and pesticides aiming at quantity rather than quality.

Secondly, the States’ pro-corporate stance leads to enforcing anti-agriculture and anti-farmer policies having adverse affects on the peasants, resulting mostly from agri-based debts, leading to migration and reducing their status to argi-refugees, as well as a major cause for forcing farmers to commit suicides. India is now opening up to corporate pillaging like never before.  Traditional knowledge Systems and indigenous practices are being snuffed out. The poor and the marginalized which are solely dependent on agriculture as a means of livelihood, have been forced to abandon their traditional sources and resources for life and livelihood, and migrate to cities.  Such onslaught affects mostly the Dalits, Adivasis, Women and other marginalized and excluded communities, especially the landless agricultural labourers in India.

We do inform that, large segment of Indian populace is facing critical questions of food sovereignty and food security since the corporates’ plunder of land, water and other natural resources continue unabated. Initiatives of low external inputs and sustainable agriculture experiments are mostly limited to the land-owning farmers, whereas such initiatives could not be practiced by Dalits and Adivasis who are marginal farmers and landless.

II-              LEARNING FROM SOUTH KOREAN FARMERS:

We do learn from South Korean farmers that,

  • Korea has experienced land reformation in 1950s.  However, the government adopts the globalised economy and World Trade Organization (WTO) and, thus, imports food grains at a large scale. This results in an open confrontation between the imported GM grains and the produce of organic farmers of Life Giving Agriculture Forum. Even so, most of the Korean youth are leaving agriculture for softer options.
  • The LGA movement promoted new strategies to popularize the traditional farming methods and knowledge systems with a view to recapturing the youth for farming. The Church in Korea is also actively involved in efforts of promoting LGA and exploring alliances with similar movements in other countries. In Korea, responding to the present oppressive conditions faced by farmers, a movement forLife Giving Agriculture was initiated which faces stiff opposition from GM Corporate giants supported by the Government Machinery. Even, in this adverse context, Korean Life Giving Agriculture Forum continues with its struggle to strive for better food security, ultimately leading to food sovereignty with a priority for the marginalized.

III-           A CALL TO THE CHURCHES & CIVIL SOCIETY:

In this hostile situation against marginal farmers prevailing in the two countries, the participants deliberated on the role of the Churches in promoting Life Giving Agriculture. Bible Study inputs helped to understand Faith response to present crisis in agriculture. There were also efforts to understand civil society initiatives and peasant movements both in Korea and India.

We the participants therefore call upon both the Indian and Korean Churches and Civil Societies,

(a)   To bring to the centre the rural Dalit and Adivasi Churches which are predominantly agrarian and who constitute eighty percent of our congregations but have been pushed to the margins for generations;

(b)   To re-read the Bible through the eyes of the marginal farmers and evolve liturgies that reflect agricultural motifs, seasons and festivals.

(c)    To lobby with the Government to implement radical land reforms and sustainable agriculture in the society-at-large.

(d)   To plead with Indian Churches to entrust vast tracts of land in their fold with local congregations promoting LGA rather than keep the land idle.

(e)   To motivate Churches in India to campaign for Food Sovereignty and negotiate with their respective States to ensure the just and fair public distribution system, and draw up schemes to eradicate hunger, malnutrition, and hunger deaths.

(f)    To organize Indian Churches to lobby for just and pro-farmer Land Legislations, and also reject the Land Acquisition Ordinance, 2014 introduced recently that supports multinational industries and corporate houses, and takes away the fundamental rights of farmers.

(g)   To promote alliance building with neighbouring South Asian countries so that churches and farmers’ movements learn from each other through exposures, joint consultations and best practices in Life Giving Agriculture.

(h)   LGA in Korea and India to address the serious problem of youth abandoning agriculture in villages and address the same on war footing.

(i)     LGA in Korea and India to explore new ground for ecumenical cooperation and collective action between rural and urban churches and between diverse denominations with LGA as focal point for the ecumenical journey tomorrow.

(j)     LGA in Korea and India to influence Seminaries to adapt theological education per se to include LGA in their regular courses as part of Ministerial Training.

IV – WE RESOLVE:

With regard to mainstreaming LGA in India, we resolve that the NCCI- CJPC promote Life-Giving Agriculture in India, and continue to dialogue and partner with LGA-Korea and promote Joint solidarity struggles and exchange of information on Life Giving Agriculture.

===================================================================

Contact:

The Executive Secretary,

Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation,

National Council of Churches in India,

<ncci.cjpc@gmail.com>, <ncci@nccindia.in>

INVITATION TO COMBAT THE PANDEMIC OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN INDIA

aiccwzerotolerance365 DAYS ZERO TOLERANCE TO GENDER BASED VIOLENCE: MAKE IT HAPPEN NOW is a campaign launched by All India Council of Christian Women (AICCW) which is the women’s wing of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) in response to the increasing Gender based violence in India.
The campaign was inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Dr. Taranath S. Sagar, President of NCCI during its Executive Committee meeting in Bangalore on 27th February 2015. “Prophetic church cannot remain silent when our daughters and mothers are being raped, when our roads are becoming unsafe for our daughters to go to school, when our indigenous sisters are trafficked and displaced from their home as forests are bought by multi-national Companies, when our children are sold for a sack of rice, when women are battered by their loved ones at home, or burnt for dowry, or our daughters are deprived of food and education” asserts Dr. Saramma Varghese, President of AICCW. “We have chosen International Women’s Day to promote this campaign” states Dr. Varghese.
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NCCI Statement: Secular Character of India under Threat!

SECULAR CHARACTER OF INDIA UNDER THREAT!

The National Council of Churches in India expresses its deep concern over growing religious intolerance in our country, and targeted violence against the Christian community. The sustained hate campaigns have resulted in vicious attacks on our people, places of worship and our institutions. Such incidents of violence are taking place right across the country—Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. In the recent past, they are even happening in the national capital.

In addition to such attacks, there are other strategic ways in which efforts are being made to destabilize Christian faith and witness:

  • Declaring 25th December, one of our holiest days, as ‘Good Governance Day’, showing no regard for the long standing tradition of the celebration of Christmas in the country, which has been a public holiday;
  • The ghar wapsi campaign promoted by Hindutva groups is an overt and aggressive attempt to convert Christians and Muslims to Hinduism, portraying Christianity as a ‘foreign’ religion, despite evidence that Christians have been living on the sub-continent right from the first century.
  • Though the Prime Minister had assured the Christian community of ‘freedom of choice’ regarding religion on 17 February 2015, and had earlier called for a 10 year moratorium on communal disharrmony in his independence day speech of 15 August 2014, he has made no explicit condemnation of the attacks on Christians and the increasing Hindutva propaganda Read more

NCCI Condemns Attacks on and Abduction of Christians in the Middle-East!

NCCI Condemns Attacks on and Abduction of Christians in the  Middle-East!

The National Council of Churches in India expresses profound sorrow and strongly condemns  the continuing abduction of Christians by the IS jihadists in North-East Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other Middle East countries generating a terrorizing situation of violence and death, thereby forcing people to relocate with a feeling of abandonment and hopelessness.

We strongly denounce the continued attacks on minorities, especially the recent attacks on churches in villages, the indiscriminate bloody annihilation of innocent lives, and the rampant abduction that is taking place in Syria, Iraq and other countries.

We resolutely condemn such hideous actions and stoutly challenge the ideologies of terror and violence guided by the fundamentalist communal misinterpretation of religious beliefs.

While we express our solidarity with our abducted fellow believers and their grieving families and churches, we demand the release of all  the hostages.

We sincerely commit ourselves to work with all peace-loving agencies for the rescue of the victims and for bringing peace in Middle-East Nations.

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Seminar Report – Smart Church: Youth initiatives for an efficient, vibrant, communicating Church

DSC00256_crA seminar entitled “Smart Church: Youth initiatives for an efficient, vibrant, communicating Church” was held on February 17, 2015 at Azariah House at National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) campus in Nagpur. It was jointly organized by NCCI’s  Commission on Communications & Relations and the Commission on Youth. The purpose of this seminar was to provide space for young people from our Churches to come together bringing their own experiences and ideas towards enhancing the ministries of the Church, especially in their organizational aspects, and particularly in terms of consolidating the communication systems, tools and processes. The program was attended by 28 participants from several protestant denominations as well as Roman Catholic orders.

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