Tribal and Adivasi Sunday | 9 August 2020


Respected Ecumenical Leaders,

Greetings from NCCI- Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns!

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. This year also we are inviting you to celebrate the Tribal and Adivasi Sunday on 9th August 2020 in your churches/local parishes/institutions adhering to the Covid-19 protocols of restrictions on physical gathering.

The theme for this year’s Tribal and Adivasi Sunday is “COVID 19 and Reclaiming Our Indigenous Heritage” and we have prepared a special Order of Worship for the day. You may please take the freedom to use the entire worship order and translate it in your vernacular language or adapt parts of it. We sincerely hope that the observance of this special NCCI Tribal and Adivasi Sunday will be an enriching one in our faith affirmation and commitment and for widening the horizon of our ecumenical journey.

Let us join to celebrate Tribal and Adivasi Sunday on 9th August 2020.

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

For further information please write to us at

Affirming Human Rights: Intercepting Human Trafficking International Youth Day Webinar Series

29th July 2020 (Wednesday) 5:00 pm (IST)

 Trafficking in persons is internationally defined criminal offence. Trafficking in human has been identified as the third largest source of profit for organized crimes, following arms and drug trafficking. Trafficking takes place for various purposes such as bonded labour, prostitution, forced marriages, domestic servitude, adoption, begging, organ trade, drug couriers, arms smugglings etc. and is an organized crime that gravely violates basic human rights. Human trafficking is not just a law enforcement issue, but a heinous crime which violates basic human rights, including their right to live with dignity and self-respect.

Trafficking in human beings covers various forms of coercion and exploitation of women, men and children. Responses to trafficking have traditionally focused on combating the criminal networks involved in it or protecting the human rights of victims. Young people, especially those with risk factors, are vulnerable to human trafficking. According to The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 51% of identified victims of trafficking are women, 28% children and 21% men; 72% people exploited in the sex industry are women; 63% of identified traffickers were men and 37% women; 43% of victims are trafficked domestically within national borders. According to a report by the National Human Rights Commission of India, 40,000 children are abducted each year, leaving 11,000 untraced. NGO’s estimate that between 12,000 and 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the country annually from neighbouring nations as a part of the sex trade.

In India, thousands of women, men and children are bonded to their employers, working for little or no wages because their earnings are retained in part or full to repay an outstanding loan. Many still work in agriculture, although bonded labourers are increasingly found in other sectors, including mining, brick making, textiles and domestic service. The victims of bonded labour tend to be drawn from the poorest and least educated segments of the population, from low castes and religious minorities – those who are vulnerable, excluded and voiceless. People in bondage are usually highly indebted to their employer. The debt results in pledging future labour for a few months, a year or longer periods; or may pass from one generation to the next.

This webinar will explore the ground realities and the aftermath of the atrocities done towards the humankind, and the way forward to intercept the violation of human rights.

Resource Persons:

Dr. M. Devasitham, MSW, PhD.

Associate Director, Strategic Development
International Justice Mission, Chennai

Rev. Sumith G Unni

Senior Associate, Community and Corporate Engagement
International Justice Mission, Mumbai

Click here for Registration 

Jianthaolung Gonmei
Executive Secretary,  NCCI Youth Concerns 

Preparing for the Good Work: NCCI CMAI Webinar on Pastoral Care in COVID times

Thursday 16th July 2020, 11 AM to 1 PM


The COVID 19 pandemic is growing to indescribable proportions. People on the ground, be it clergy, church goers or health care workers, are confronted daily with life realities related to health, social, economic and pastoral issues that need an immediate response.. The pandemic as we know affects the poor, the marginalised and those with co-morbid conditions disproportionately.

The solutions that have been offered to both the public and religious communities are to ‘go online’ and ‘lockdown’, practise hygiene and physical distancing. However, as we have become increasingly aware, these are solutions for those in the upper echelons of society. The poor need to earn a daily wage and cannot afford to be locked down. Children from poor families cannot be educated ‘online’ which is only going to spoil their future and that of the nation. Many communities in India don’t have water to wash their hands and use mud and ash even today. They live in single room homes and social distancing is not at all a practical solution for them.

Projections for the next few months are unpredictable. It is as if the worst is yet to come, and the bubble is about to burst. If in the days to come people, even those being tested positive for corona, are to be treated at home. Those who have been affected or infected by the virus are also facing intense stigmatisation which will further lead to people not accessing care.

As a church, who can we support ‘online’ and how can we address issues that need face to face interaction. The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) in collaboration with The Christian Medical Association of India (CMAI) seeks to help Churches and Christian/ Ecumenical organisations be those Christ communities that are equipped with knowledge and skills in dealing with any eventuality both in families and as communities in neighbourhoods.

Objectives of the Webinar:

NCCI and CMAI seeks

  • To showcase or espouse ways in which church can be a healing ‘community’ during the pandemic
  • To share processes which families and communities need to know about managing people at home supported by the neighbourhood communities.
  • To equip pastors, frontline workers and members of the church with information and practical guidance on addressing the spiritual and physical needs of the families in crisis and those bereaved – both on account of the disease and while the pandemic holds sway.
  • To encourage the church to be strong and courageous to respond and support the families and communities.

Webinar Format:

Questions are invited NOW from prospective participants to the webinar on any questions, doubts and apprehensions that they may have on Pastoral care and counselling during COVID times. You can write this in the registration form. You can also write to A panel of experts in the field of Law, Pastoral care and counselling will be providing information based on the questions raised.

Panel of experts

  • Justice (Rtd.) Kurien Joseph
  • Rt. Rev. Sameer Khimla
  • Dr. Santosh Mathew
  • Dr. Suviraj John
  • Ms. Bharati Jaravta
  • Rev. Dr. Israel David
  • Ms. Jessica Richard
  • Rev. Vinod Victor (Facilitator)

Proposed Date & Time

Thursday 16th July 2020, 11.00 am – 01.00 pm


Bishops, Pastors and Mission workers, Members of youth fellowships in churches, Christian health care workers who are willing to accompany such communities in their preparedness for the pandemic will attend. To attend the webinar, please register here

 Most important:

If you have a question or doubt that you would like the panel of experts to discuss,

please write in registration form or mail to


Rev. Asir Ebenezer                                                                                                                             Dr. Priya John

General Secretary NCCI                                                                                                                General Secretary CMAI


NCCI Webinar on Churches Accompanying Distressed Migrants to Life

Monday 22nd June 2020, 5.00 to 7.00 pm

The exodus of distressed migrant labourers during the lockdown period problematises the dominant narratives that exist on the working class in India. While it exposes the irresponsible attitude of labour contractors and democratic governments- both state and centre, towards the unorganized labour sectors, it also highlights the need to revise labour laws to favour this segment of workers who constitute more than a hundred million of the population. However, the firm decision taken by workers to transcend the apathy of Government structures and systems by adopting alternate ways of returning home, including walking and cycling thousands of miles, demonstrates their lack of confidence in Government machineries. Their exodus shows their endurance and persistence to function as an agency of change.

Many have returned to the places they call ‘home’, their own native lands, their State of origin, posing many questions before the civil society. What will their future be? Will they go back and continue to experience the same pathos of modern slavery or will they negotiate with contractors, entrepreneurs and the Government regarding their dignity as labourers. If they do not come back to their respective areas of work, will they lead a meaningful and a dignified life without having a regular income? Will the Government develop supportive systems at the point of origin to sustain their life? These labourers are a faith question before the church- the ‘ekklesia’. Being a radical democratic assembly of God, the church has to see this as a crisis emerging out of the unjust structures of the society. The majority of these workers belong to Dalit, Adivasi and OBC communities. Therefore, their marginalisation has caste, colour, economic and gender dimensions and intersections.

The Church is supposed to be the voice of the marginalised and has a responsibility to visualize an inclusive society – a society which has equity and where equal distribution and justice are the core values. A webinar is scheduled to discuss how the church can journey with those in exodus, to learn from them and to be with them in their plight. It is an exploration to evaluate the role of the church in the context of the exodus of distressed migrant workers.

The webinar will attempt to (1) seek an understanding on the context of the exodus of distress migrants to their own places, (2) seek to learn ways in which the church can affirm and enhance their quality of life in the locales to which they have returned and to which spaces they will eventually return again after the CoVID context wanes out, and (3) motivate Churches, Christian and Ecumenical organizations to make their plan of action in this regard. Meera Sangmitra (NAPM), Sonia George (SEWA), Dr S.K Vettivel (Independent Consultant), Indrajeet Pawar (IJM) and Rajesh Jadhav (NCCI-URM/ VCLC) who are experts in their respective fields will guide us through the webinar. The webinar will be held on 22nd June 2020 between 5.00 and 7.00 pm

Click here to register for the webinar. A confirmation mail with dial in details will be sent subsequently.

Team NCCI.

NCCI CMAI Webinar on Youth and Mental Health in the Context of COVID-19


Rebooting as Ekklesia Series:
Youth and Mental Health in the Context of COVID-19
13th June 2020 (Saturday) 05:00 pm (IST)

In January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Subsequently in March 2020, the WHO made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. Ever since, the outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the world has caused public panic and mental health stress, with an increasing number of cases being diagnosed and public concerns about infection. The ripples of this pandemic have spread out affecting the public and individuals resulting with interconnected effects on the socio-economic, mental, and physical well being. The society, particularly the young people into experience psychological problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological distress, depression, anxiety, and even death due to loss of jobs, failure of business, disturbance of education (even to the loss of academic year), loss of family members, social lockdown and the restrictions that affect their way of ‘normal’ day to day life.

In India, 65% of the population is less than the age of 35 years and 50% below 25 years of age. These young people are the backbone of the country and at this moment in time of pandemic many of them are undergoing mental breakdown. The social and economic fissures exposed by the pandemic have already caused in unemployment, depleted social safety nets, starvation, among other things among the young people. This post-COVID landscape becomes a fertile breeding ground for an increase in chronic stress, anxiety, depression, alcohol dependence, and self-harm in which the young people have fallen victim.

The Church, Church-based organizations and the faith community as a whole have a great role in rebuilding the holistic well being of the society and individual particularly the young people in both clinical/scientific approach and pastoral care. We will reconnoitre the means and ways from the resource persons during the webinar.

Resource Persons:
Dr. Kimneihat Vaiphei
Asst. Professor,
Department of Psychiatric Social Work
NIMHANS, Bangalore
Rev. Dr. Israel David
Asst. Professor,
Department of Christian Ministry
Union Biblical Seminary, Pune

Click here for registration.

Download Concept Note


NCCI WCC Webinar on Sustainable Environment: Churches in Action. June 4, 2020



World Environment Day Webinar on
Sustainable Environment: Churches in action
(NCCI’s Rebooting as ekklesia series)
Thursday June 4, 2020 Thursday, 2:30PM- 4:30 PM (IST)/ 11.30– 13.00 (CET)

 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; Psalm 24:1

The theme for World Environment Day, 5 June 2020 is biodiversity — a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world. One million plant and animal species risk extinction, largely due to human activities. According to the WWF, Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. Some recent analyses have revealed that humankind has destroyed 83% of all mammals and half of plants since the dawn of civilisation.The global economy is intricately tied to biodiversity. Services provided by biodiversity are worth an estimated US$ 125-140 trillion per year, more than one and a half times the size of global GDP. The food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink come from nature.

In a country like India, with world’s second highest population and an increased demand for economic growth coupled with rapid urbanization trend, the process of biodiversity loss is on a fast track, resulting in increased frequency of extreme weather events, successive droughts, lack of drinking water, crop failures, etc.  This has severe impact on the poor and the agrarian communities, whose life and livelihood depends on nature and biodiversity.

So what can be done?

The WED this year has focused on “time for nature”.  The world has come to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time of lockdown measures, the world witnessed a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions around the world and the nature found its “breathing space”. In a way the nature reclaimed its space!  But for how long? How does a post COVID-19 world or the nature look like? All is not lost and its not too late. We can reverse the trends of biodiversity loss by reimagining our relationship with nature and acting now to increase ambition and accountability for its protection. But all stakeholders have to respond collectively.

 Who are the stakeholders?  what changes needs to be done? As a faith community, what role churches can play? Let us hear some success stories and explore together with the panel of speakers:

Dinesh Suna, EWN, WCC
Manoj Kurian, EAA, WCC
Athena Peralta, EEJ, WCC
Renemsongla Ozukum, CBCNEI /NCCI
Angelious Michael, JELC/ NCCI
Mathew Koshy, CSI/ NCCI

The webinar will be facilitated by Asir Ebenezer, General Secretary NCCI and Pradip Bansrior. Executive Secretary NCCI Dalit and Adivasi/Tribal Concerns

Register here for joining the webinar on Zoom platform. The zoom link and password to join the webinar will be sent to you subsequently

On the occasion of Id-ul-Fitr . . .

On the occasion of the Id-ul-Fitr, the National Council of Churches in India wishes fellow pilgrims of the Islamic faith good health and cheer, and all prosperity that God promises to bestow upon them and all of humanity.

May the acts of love and charity represented in the zakat, and submission to the teachings of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) as revealed in the Holy Quran, guide the community in its faith and witness, accompanied by the Angels for the glory of the One Holy God.

We are mindful of the communitarian aspect of the faith and the festivities that have to be curtailed on account of the recommended COVID related physical distancing and restrictions on gatherings. Despite the subdued celebration of the conclusion of the fast, we wish the community every joy and happiness on this day.

May God Almighty Most Beneficent and Most Merciful guard and guide the steps and destiny of every Muslim in this country and allover the world. May the spirit of Islam enrich our country and the World, and add meaning to the shared pilgrimage of all life on earth.

National Council of Churches is the National Platform of 30 Nation-wide Churches, 18 Regional Councils of Churches, 18 All India Christian Organisations, 7 Related Specialised Professional Agencies, and 2 Autonomous bodies, that is constituted for ecumenical learning and action.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI

Commiting to the legacy and vision of Babasaheb Dr. B. R.. Ambedkar . . .

The 14th of April every year marks the beginning of a new year for many cultural, social, and linguistic groups in India. These festivities in no way cloud the remembrance of the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar is the Pride of India, and a Global Icon for all working on issues and concerns relating to liberty, equality and fraternity. He has made India proud in enshrining these justice values in the constitution of the Indian Union as it’s foundational pillars.

As Indians we are ever grateful to the contribution of this legal luminary, the first law minister of Free India, for the leadership he offered in constructing the legal framework for a country as varied and complex. His ardent campaign for universal adult franchise irrespective of educational standard or landholding is what holds India in good stead as the world’s renowned and tested democracy.

Babasaheb’s endeavour to nurture a country that is casteless has given rise to innumerable social and socio-political movements in the country that keep the balance tilted against casteist hegemony of a few. Ambedkar’s analysis proved that various forms of caste destroyed the socio-economic and cultural progress in India.

His legacy as a socio- political reformer has had a deep effect on modern India. His socio-political thought has acquired great respect across the political spectrum. It influenced various spheres of life and transformed the way India looks at socio-economic policies, education etc. Ambedkar thought influenced doing Christian theology in India, challenging at once the edification of the Indian Church as well as the relevance of its public witness.

Churches, Ecumenical councils, Christian organisations and specialised professional agencies related to the National Council of Churches in India, as well as it’s autonomous bodies and the standing fora, will do well to remember the contributions of Babasaheb and commit to nurture the constitutional and justice ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity, in paving the way for a just, egalitarian and casteless India that we can all be proud of.

We bow to the legacy of this great soul that braved many an injustice and challenged unfair display of brute power. We pledge to work for an India that he dreamt in his times and that we will contextualise in ours.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary NCCI
14th April 2020

Living out our Resurrection – in being the in-line Church . . .

Jesus’ commitment to God’s purposes even unto death on the cross could not be held back by the grave. God raised Jesus to life to accompany all who are touched by the resurrection experience.

Touched by the experience of resurrection Mary proclaims that the grave could not contain the life that God gives, Peter and the disciples witness boldly than ever before amidst people of different tongues, and the migrants who already hit the road get back as the message of the Mission.

In having died with Jesus and risen to Christ we partake in this resurrection experience. Jesus accompanies us in our mission of living out the proclamation of this resurrection faith that the gates of hell shall never prevail. While thus proclaiming ‘O grave where is thy victory and death where is thy sting’, we are called to build a world where death will be conquered and life sustained.

The corona virus and the fear of contracting COVID-19 has put many of us in different countries behind closed doors; some had to hit the road to their homes; a few others with nothing to look forward to are seated outside tombs even in which they cannot find the love of their loved ones.

The saviour who comes alive to us in each such lived experience of today unites us as the Easter day passes, to listen to the experiences of resurrection – of those locked in, of those on the road, and the bereaved – to sit with them around the fire of the power of the Holy Spirit to chalk out a new way of living out faith that will conquer life-denying and life-negating contexts.

Traditionally we have gone to Church to experience the presence of Jesus the Christ in our coming together. The COVID-19 context invites us into the empty tombs with the words ‘come and see he is not here’, indicating that Jesus is ahead of us and already in galilee; and henceforth can be met there . . . an invitation to be in-line with Jesus in Galilee

May this ‘Sabbath’ forced on humanity, costly to many as it may be, heal us and bring us to join all of creation in witnessing the rising to life of the people of God together with all of creation, in which death will forever be conquered . . .

Let us greet one another with this kiss of Easter Peace – Jesus conquered death; We too can … and All will …

Rev.  Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary.