Call to uphold and safeguard the religious freedom and fundamental rights of all Indian citizens: Press note from KJPSS
Please see here the press note from Khasi Jaintia Presbyterian Synod Sepngi (KJPSS), a constituent of the Presbyterian Church of India, urging the governments to uphold and safeguard the religious freedom and fundamental rights of all Indian citizens.
Khasi Jaiñtia Presbyterian Synod Sepngi
The Executive Committee of the Khasi Jaiñtia Presbyterian Synod Sepngi, one of the constituents of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of India with its headquarter in Shillong, Meghalaya, having a membership of more than 340000, which met in Shillong, Meghalaya on Thursday, 05th February, 2015 is seized of the recent developments concerning forced conversion, re-conversion and proposed ban on conversion. In the light of such developments and after a thorough discussion, it was decided to issue a Press Statement as follows:
That the Khasi Jaintia Presbyterian Synod Sepngi expresses its appreciation to the HRD Ministry for withdrawing its advisory to States and directives to the Navo Vidyalayas on opening schools on 25th December, 2014 to observe “Good Governance Day” as per guidelines given.
The 25th December every year being observed worldwide as Christmas Day to commemorate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ observed for more than 2,000 years, and is one of the main religious festivals in India. The event is being observed meaningfully through worship of praise and thanksgiving by Christian community. Therefore, the Church humbly requests the Government of India to maintain the privilege of Christians to observe Christmas Day as usual. It would heartily welcome and appreciate if the Government would observe Good Governance Day on any other important date.
That it is deeply painful to learn through the media that there are many cases of anti-Christians activities in recent months, such as vandalizing Christian worship places, induced re-conversion, forced change of nomenclature of priests and nuns in certain parts of the country, installing of statues of other gods and goddesses in Christian places of worship and institutions. Such acts create a sense of insecurity among the Christians who are committed and dedicated to the sovereignty and integrity of the nation and who are citizens of pluralistic and Secular Democratic India.
That it is compelled to remind each and every Indian citizen, no matter to which religious persuasion they belong and adhere to, the fact of the matter that the Constitution of the country has prescribed religious freedom for institutions of religious minorities.
Therefore, it urges upon the Governments at the Centre, States and Union Territories to uphold and safeguard the religious freedom and fundamental rights of all Indian citizens as provided in the Constitution. It also urges upon all fellow citizens to live in religious/communal harmony by respecting each other, one another’s religious belief and not to give space and opportunity for destroying the inter-woven fabric of unity in diversity as envisaged by the founding fathers of this great nation and makers of India’s Constitution.
As Christian citizens of the country we assure our co-operation with, and pray for, the authorities in the effort to bring peace, justice and general welfare of all citizens.
May God bless our country to have peace, harmony and progress in all aspects.
Rev. S. S. Majaw
Khasi Jaintia Presbyterian Synod Sepngi
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