In today’s context where our Dalit brothers and sisters undergo experiences of dehumanization and denial of basic human rights, violence and death, the birth of Jesus gives a wake up call to the oppressing communities, to liberate their minds from the ideologies of discrimination, domination, exploitation and oppression. The member churches of the National Council of Churches in India and Theological Colleges in India observed Dalit Liberation Sunday all across the country on Sunday, the 13th of November 2016 and also on following Sundays. The theme for the Dalit Liberation Sunday (DLS) was ‘Administer Justice Daily! Deliver the Oppressed!’(Jeremiah 21:12).
Observance of DLS-2016 in All Saints Cathedral Church, Nagpur
All Saints Cathedral Nagpur celebrated ‘Thanks Giving Sunday’ on 13th November 2016 and gave an opportunity to Ms. Ngalaton Ningsen- Intern of Commission on Tribals/Adivasis to lead the intercessory prayers giving full freedom to incorporate prayers from the DLS worship order prepared by NCCI.
Observance of DLS-2016 in Northeast Christian Fellowship, Nagpur
Northeast Christian Fellowship, Nagpur observed Dalit Liberation Sunday. Pastor Zuchon Ovung of North East Christian Fellowship in his sermon spoke on the struggles of Dalit brothers and sisters in India and also shared how our small initiation can help in the eradication of such oppression in our society. Ms. Hungreiphy Zimik, Intern – All Indian Council of Christian Women, led the intercessory prayer using the of DLS worship order. Ms. Ngalaton Ningsen, Intern – Commision on Tribals/Adivasis shared in brief the reason for observing Dalit Liberation Sunday.
Observance of DLS-2016 in Bishop’s College, Kolkata
Bishop’s College observed Dalit Liberation Sunday by organizing a special worship on the theme “Administer Justice Daily! Deliver the Oppressed!” (Jeremiah 21:12) at Bishop’s College Chapel on 13th November 2016. Mr. James Wesly, Assistant Professor in the Christian Ministry Department led the worship and preached on the occasion. He focused on our present context infested with stories of violence and discrimination against the weak, vulnerable, minority groups and especially the Dalit community in India. The worship and sermon highlighted the cry for justice of the Dalit Community in India in the context of growing intolerance against difference and diversity. There is a dire need to administer justice daily so that the oppressed are delivered. As disciples of Christ, in order to administer Justice and deliver the oppressed in our society, the preacher drew out important lessons from the life of Prophet Jeremiah. It was indeed a blessed time for the whole community to be part of this worship.
Observance of DLS-2016 in Master’s College of Theology, Vishakhapatnam
It is indeed a joy for Master’s College of Theology to be part of Dalit liberation Sunday observation. The college conducted the service on 13th Nov 2016 at 5:00 PM in the College Chapel, and followed the order of worship prepared by NCCI. The service began with singing of worship songs which was led by Vito and friends; Rocky Teron was the leader of the program, where Mr. Seiminchon Chongloi faculty of Master’s College of Theology preached on Deuteronomy 24:17-18, reflecting on the atrocities inflicted on Dalits and their struggles justice. A skit was performed by B.D III students reflecting on the theme and also a special song was presented by Bhaskar BD V, which made the worship all the more impactful. The college thanks the NCCI Dalit/Adivasi/Tribal Commission for taking the initiative for drafting the worship order. The college looks forward to joining hands in organizing such program sin the future.
Observance of DLS-2016 in St. Thomas Church, Nagpur
On 13th November 2016 St. Thomas Church also joined hands with other churches in observing Dalit Liberation Sunday. Rev. Prakash Timothy, Priest-in-charge highlighted the reason and need to observe Dalit Liberation Sunday and also shared how the church should initiate efforts for justice for the marginalized people in society. The church gave an opportunity to Mr. Jyotirmaya Tandi, Intern of NCCI Commission on Dalits/Adivasis/Tribals/ to share the word of God. Mr. Jyotirmaya Tandi preached a sermon on the theme “Administer Justice Dailt! Deliver the oppressed!” (Jeremiah 21:12). The Preacher shared about the Aryan invasion in India, how native people were subjugated and how the caste system was formed. He then focused on the life and attitude of Jesus Christ towards lepers, and how Jesus liberated them from social exclusion by healing them. Likewise Christians need to share the love of God, and deliver the oppressed through our actions.
Observance of DLS-2016 in St. Peter’s Church, Nagpur
St. Peter’s Church commemorated Dalit Liberation Sunday on 13th November, 2016, along with the children of St. Peter’s Church. Children and teachers with their innovative and creative ideas presented songs and skits. Mrs. Christina Jones shared the word of God, centred on Daniel’s character and projected his commitment towards God. The church extends their sincere appreciation and wishes for the initiative taken by NCCI in conducting Dalit Liberation Sunday.
Commission on Dalits and Tribals/ Adivasis
National Council of Churches in India.