North West India Council of Churches elects its new leadership

DSC_0184 (Small)To promote grass-roots ecumenism, the Regional Christian Councils need to be strengthened locally. A vibrant Christian Council is the need of the hour for Church unity in India.  North West India Council of Churches (NWICC), in the last six months had various meeting to revitalize the regional council.  The adhoc -committee called for the ordinary Council meeting, which was held on 15th April, 2015 at Mar Thoma Centre, New Delhi.
The Council was well represented by the member Churches, Christian Institutions and ecumenical bodies. The devotion was led by Bishop Collin Theodore on “Mystery of Resurrection” and stressed that Resurrection should be experienced every day by believing in the ‘Risen God’.

Press Release from North-West India Council of Churches (NWICC)

The Council of the North West India Council of Churches (NWICC) met on 15th April, 2015 at  Mar Thoma Centre in Delhi.  The main agenda of the meeting was revitalizing the North West India Council of Churches (NWICC) and its activities. Bishops, Head of Churches, Official Representatives of Church bodies, Organizations of NWICC  gathered in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and together we reflected on how to become effective witnesses of God’s grace and love in our situation and to serve humanity (as servants of God).
  • We endorse that all humans are created in the Image of God and Churches and all their agencies are called to be responsible to work with specific mandate for the betterment of humanity as well as God’s creations.
  • We express concern over growing inequality created by humans on the basis of caste, creed, colour, food, language, gender and religion and recent controversies based on faith, practices and habits of individuals and communities.  We also express concern over the continuous attacks against minorities particularly on churches and the Christians.
  • We believe that cultural homogeneity is impossibility in a pluralistic society like ours, and therefore, we affirm to work with all for the betterment of human situation where every individual can live with dignity and honour.
  • We rededicate ourselves to work for the transition from exclusive to inclusive society. We affirm dignity of life and denounce all forces that work to create division in human society and exploit human and natural resources for selfish purposes.
  • We express solidarity with the farmers, landless, tribals, dalits, maha-dalits, adivasis  and women and children and condemn all types of violent activities against the weaker sections of the society.
  • We are proud of our Democracy, Constitution and Independent Judiciary and urge every citizen, Government, Political Party and Civil Society to uphold them so that the secular character of our nation is sustained.
Bishop Subodh C Mondal
President, NWICC
Bishop Collin Theodore
Secretary, NWICC

Requesting proper authority to ban the entering of Mr Pravin Togadia to Kondhmal

Utkal Christian Council acts in the context of the rising phenomenon of Hatred Speeches

(A Regional Council of the National Council of Churches of India)

   Regd. Office: Bishop’s House, Mission Road, Cuttack- 753 001, Orissa Phone:0671-3250268, Mobile:1406627, Emails:;

The Superintendent of Police, Kandhamal
Phulbani, Dist: Kandhamal, Orissa.
Sub: Request for ban on entering  of Mr. Praveen Togadia into Kandhamal District on 27th Feb 2015 which is likely to  disturb peace and communal harmony prevailing in the state because of his provocative and inflammatory speech.  
Greetings from Utkal Christian Council.
1. This is to inform you that the U.C.C. is the regional Council of Churches in Orissa for furthering the objectives of member Churches and to  represent the grievances of the churches of Odisha and  protestant churches in particular.
2.This has come to the knowledge of the undersigned that Mr. Praveen Togadia is coming to  Kandhamal District on 27th Feb 2015 for conducting a public meeting which is likely to  disturb peace and communal harmony prevailing in the state because of  his provocative and inflammatory  speech. People of Odisha especially of Kandhamal have not yet forgotten his calculated inflammatory provocative speech which triggered communal violence in Kandhmal and spreaded over alarmingly to other parts of the state and resulted in serious destruction of life and property of people including property of the Government. The people of Kandhamal District are still living in anxiety and fear.  The visit of Mr Togadia’s visit will have consequences both immediate and long range, as we know from past experience.

Chhattisgarh Unity Convention presents People’s Manifesto on rebuilding Chhattisgarh

News from Chhattisgarh: Please find here below the People’s Manifesto on rebuilding Chhattisgarh prepared and presented by the Chhattisgarh Unity Convention of Secular – Democratic – Progressive forces.


Unity Convention of Secular-Democratic-Progressive Forces

“Threats from Fascist & Imperialist Forces in India, Challenges & Strategies” 

January 22 & 23, 2015 (Thursday & Friday): Gondwana Bhawan, Raipur: Chhattisgarh 

People’s Manifesto On Rebuilding Chhattisgarh

We, the participants at the Chhattisgarh Unity Convention of Secular-Democratic- Progressive Forces held on 22nd & 23rd of January, 2015 at the Gondwana Bhawan, Raipur (Chhattisgarh) representing people’s organisations, political parties, social movements, trade unions, social and cultural action groups, NGOs and progressive intellectuals, who believe in the Vision of a Socialist-Secular-Democratic India and, in turn, work for the realization of such a Vision, reaffirm our faith in and commitment to the Constitution of India, which avowedly declares in its Preamble:

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a
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]”

We express our deep concern that, for the first time in the electoral history of India, the religious fundamentalist forces (with a declared historical agenda for “Hindu Rashtra”) trying to gain political control over the State, thus, posing grave threats to the very core and content of the Constitution of India.

We had no doubt in our minds that the Narendra Modi-led NDA government with Bhartiya Janata Pary (BJP) in absolute majority would pursue and realize the vision of a Hindu Rashtra, as projected in the ideological documents of the Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh (RSS), written by their founders. Historical reality has established beyond doubt that the BJP is fully under the control of the Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh (RSS), (and its many allies and front organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, etc.).

In this regard, the violent history of communal forces in India since Independence, more so the genocide in Gujarat under Sri Narendra Modi as its Chief Minsiter, has been revived under the autocratic control of State machinery by the BJP, as demonstrated in the subsequent events during the last 200 days of NDA Rule in India.

Presently almost all parliamentary democracy institutions and processes are being weakened through autocratic legal action, such as leading to the resignation by the Chairperson and members of the Censor Board, many journalists and media persons being sacked or shifted only because they are suspected of having left-orientation, and communalisation of education, leading to changing the vice-chancellors and heads of institutions, imposing strictures and violent attack on screening of films, etc.

We are also well aware of the hidden agenda behind the slogan of development of a New India, and “good times ahead” under the leadership of Sri Narendra Modi. It is crystal clear that the BJP-led NDA Government is pursuing the goals of globalization serving the interests of the Corporate World (domestic and multinational), by putting the vast natural and human resources of our country into their hands for profit-making. Policies of privatization and liberalization are being pursued at the cost of the vast majority of marginalized masses are who are systematically and ruthlessly pushed to the periphery. The autocratic leadership has scant regard for the human rights and democratic values enshrined in the Indian Constitution!

  • Reversal of Labour Reforms earned by historical labour movements;
  • Land Acquisition Ordinance, Coal Ordinance, Insurance Ordinance and Ordinance Raj
  • The fresh data and debate on “poverty line”;
  • The unilateral decision increasing the height of Narmada Dam;
  • Targeting of select NGOs/Social Movements in the IB Report, branding them as anti-development, meaning, anti-national;
  • The red-carpet treatment of the newly formed Government by the globalized/imperialist countries, Adani’s Australian coal mine contract ( with State Bank of India providing Rs. 60,000 crores of ; nuclear liability negotiations with Obama;
  • Home Ministry’s aggressive militaristic attitude to conflict in Central India.

These are only a few indicators pointing towards the contours of the ‘Corporate- Communal-Security-State’ taking shape under the present autocratic regime. No doubt, the State Machinery is nakedly and un-ashamedly at the service of the rich and powerful, and ruthlessly and openly against the poor and marginalized.

While the national scenario is clearly moving towards the road-map of ‘Corporate- Communal-Security-State’, in Chhattisgarh, the plunder and loot by the Corporate World, and the sidelining of democratic processes have been already underway during the past tenure of the present regime. Now with the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, the State Government is acting more bold and bloody in adopting authoritarian-rule-of-law to suppress all dissenting voices and democratic movements resisting globalization, combating communalism and defending democracy.

  • The reincarnation of Salwa-Judum in its new avatar like the recent resolutions by about 50 Gram Sabhas to ban the non-Hindus from preaching and practicing their  religion in the villages in Bastar, are like the same old wine of fascism in a new bottle.
  • The systematic violent attack on Christians and other minorities, and the campaigns like “Ghar vapasi” are deliberately on the increase to create a rift between the adivasis, dalits, landless and marginal farmers so as to carry on with the Corporate Agenda without any hindrance from people’s united action.
  • The linkage between the Corporate agenda in Bastar (and in all of Chhattisgarh), and Salwa-Judum (and now the banning of non-Hindus) was well exposed not only by the human rights and people’s organizations, but declared as un-constitutional and anti-democratic by the apex court of the country.

Therefore, the designs of the Corporate World in achieving their goals can be clearly seen on the one hand, diluting the pro-people provisions of the Land Acquisition Act and Forest Rights Act, and on the other hand, in diverting the basic purpose of the Gram Sabhas in protecting their natural and cultural resources from plunder and loot for profit, greed and endless pursuit of affluence at the cost of basic human rights of life and livelihood of the vast majority of the people, in this case the adivasis and dalits.

The Chhattisgarh situation is even more sensitive due to conflict between the Maoists and the State in a large area of the State. This has led the State to inject more stringent and draconian repressive laws (like the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005) and machinery (heavy deployment of para-military forces in large areas inhabited with adivasis and dalits, affecting their lives, livelihood and culture, etc.) which, in turn, violates the human rights of citizens, especially in the conflict zone. This conflict-context would call for fresh reflection-action-reflection process to be initiated by the progressive parties and individuals in Chhattisgarh.

We are also conscious of the fact that other coalitions like the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) are committed to and also have been pursuing ruthlessly the goals of a Global-Corporate India, even if without the blatant aggression of the fascist forces.

We also express our concern that the primary thrust of the present regime is an aggressive onslaught on left-democratic forces, silencing the voices of dissent and constricting freedom of expression. This enables implementation of the corporate agenda with the rule of an iron hand, sidelining established institutions and discarding procedures laid down in the Constitution of India.

The political backdrop in India, more so in Chhattisgarh, has made it mandatory for the people’s organizations, social movements, progressive intellectuals, trade unions, social action groups and left parties to join forces to re-formulate strategies and agenda for future action for the realization of the VISION OF A SOCIALIST-SECULAR-DEMCORATIC INDIA.

This Convention declares on the basis of conclusions drawn through discussions that:

1. The principles of sovereignty, socialism, democracy, secularism as enshrined in the Constitution of India be widely proclaimed and strengthened;

2. Freedom of Expression to the followers of all religions, and to let them live freely without fear according to their religious beliefs;

3. Land Acquisition Ordinance 2014 be repealed, and the Land Acquisition Act 2013 be restored, with additional provisions in favour of the farmers;

4. Coal Ordinance be repealed, and following the directives given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, auction of coal mines be held as per the real need and not for the benefit of the Corporate Sector; along with it the consent of the gram sabhas be made mandatory; impact on environment and forest be taken into consideration as per the provisions of the law before the allotment of mines;

5. Exploitation of natural resources and mineral wealth in favour of the industrialists be stopped forthwith;

6. Anti-labour amendments/provisions introduced in the Labour Laws benefitting the industrialists and employers be withdrawn forthwith, regularization of workers be made mandatory in public and private sector, and contract system be totally abolished;

7. Privatization of water, forest and land, privatisation of public sector, and disinvestment be stopped forthwith;

8. “Made In India” policy be introduced instead of “Make In India”, so as to increase employment opportunities, urban and rural unemployed be provided jobs on priority basis so as to increase their purchasing power;

9. Free quality education be provided from KG to Post Graduate; Health Services Rights Act be legislated, with provisions for free medical treatment for all;

10. Farmers be paid profitable price for their produce. Employment should be guaranteed throughout the year under MNREGA, with provision for, at least, 200 days in a year. Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme be also enacted on similar lines. Workers under MNREGA be paid on a regular basis;

11. MNREGA should not only be linked with agricultural/rural labourers, but also reviewed against the backdrop of agriculture and farming;

12. Those forest dwellers who are denied rights over the occupied land under the Forest Rights Act be provided with legal documents (pattas) forthwith;

13. Implementing the Food Rights Act, the public distribution system be made effective and inclusive;

14. Rising prices be controlled, and corruption be brought to an end;

15. “Religious conversion” and “ghar wapasi” should be brought under the provisions and principles enshrined in the Constitution; laws related to these be reviewed and repealed accordingly, so that religious freedom for all citizens is restored;

16. Legal action be taken against drugs, liquor and decadent culture, and social reforms movements be strengthened against such social ills;

17. Violence and atrocities against women, especially trafficking related crimes be strictly dealt with by the law enforcing machinery, and social struggles should continue against these;

18. The Governor should take appropriate legal action under the provisions of “PESA” and 5th & 6th Schedule, so that exploitation and repression in scheduled areas is stopped;

19. Repression and anti-constitutional laws must be repealed forthwith, such as AFPSA, Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2008, and colonial legal provisions like Sedition, etc. ;

20. In the name of combating Maoists, the deployment of para-military forces, and advocacy of direct military action by the NDA government should be opposed, and in order to establish peace in Chhattisgarh, issues such as social justice, people’s rights must be taken into consideration, so as to preserve and promote citizens constitutional rights to life and livelihood.


We are committed to internalize and implement this Manifesto and programmes into and through our organisations, and pledge ourselves to stand united and in solidarity through dialogue and struggles.

We the participants at the Chhattisgarh Unity Convention adopt it on 23.1.2015:

1. Communist Party of India; 2. Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha; 3. Akhil Bhartiy Adivasi Mahasabha; 4. Kheti-Bachao, Jeewan-Bachao Andolan; 5. People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Chhattisgarh; 6. Baiga Mahapanchayat – Chhattisgarh; 7. Chhattisgarh Mahila Jagriti Sangathan; 8. Pardhi Mahapanchayat – Chhattisgarh; 9. Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan; 10. Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha ( Mazdoor Karyakarta Samiti); 11. Chhattisgarh Mines Shramik Sangh; 12. Chhattisgarh Labour Institute; 13. Nadi Ghaati Morcha; 14. Chhattisgarh Christian Fellowship; 15. Akhil Bhartiy Krantikaari Kisaan Sabha; 16. Ekta Parishad- Kanker; 17.Chhattsigarh Christian Forum; 18. Bhartiy Muslim Mahila Andolan – Chhattisgarh; 19. Chhattisgarh Bal Shramik Sangathan; 20. Sabla Dal (Domestic Workers’ Union); 21. Communist Party of India (Liberation); 22. Muslim Baitulmaal Foundation; 23. All India Secular Forum – Chhattisgarh; 24. Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF); 25. Dalit Mukti Morcha; 26.All India Progressive Forum – Chhattigarh; 27. All India Peace & Solidarity Organisation –Chhattisgarh; 28. National Alliance of Women (NAWO); 29. Jan Sanskritik Manch; 30. All India Law Forum.

Presidium: 1. Chittaranjan Bakshi (94252-02641); 2. Janak Lal Thakur (94241-07557); 3. C L Patel (98266-41016); 4. Nand Kumar Kashyap (94062-13116); 5. Sudha Bhardwaj (99266-03877); 6. Lakhan Singh (77730-60946); 7. Anand Mishra ((98933-54482)):

Treasurers: Ganesh Ram Chaudhry (99932-33527); A P Josy (94255-43304)

Steering Committee: Rajendra K Sail (98268-04519); Sudha Bhardwaj (99266-03877); Alok Shukla (94076-04811;Gautam Bandopadhyay (98261-71304); Sheikh Ansar (99932-33537); Tej Ram Vidrohi (89596-66036)

Contact Address:

Shashi Krishi Farm, Village & Post, Tumgaon, Dist. Mahasamund :Pin-code: 493445: Chhattisgarh: India. E-mail: <>


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We weep with you oh Mothers, Sisters and Brothers of Pakistan – A letter from AICCW

“Guns of Darkness! Why would I not curse you?

You turned love-filled homes into broken debris” (Pashto Couplet from Book ‘I am Malala’)

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18)

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)


My Dear bereaved Mothers, Sisters and Brothers in Pakistan,

We cannot wipe away your tears but we want to let you know that we weep with you and feel your pain.

1We are shocked and pained to know about the murder of 132 innocent students and nine staff members who were killed on 16th December 2014 Tuesday by Taliban terrorists who entered a school in Peshawar. We are horrified to know that teachers were believed to be burnt alive while students were forced to watch as Taliban gunmen stormed the school in Pakistan. We can only imagine what trauma these innocent children might have gone through and what trauma you all and your country is going through now.

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Kerala Regional Celebrations of the Centenary of the National Council of Churches in India

Kottayam: As part of Centenary celebration programs of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) in various regions around the country, Kerala Council of Churches (KCC) hosted a three-day long (September 26th to 28th, 2014) program in Kottayam and Tiruvalla.

The Kerala bound celebration was inaugurated by Prof P J Kuriam, the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, on the 26th of September at the CSI Retreat Centre in Kottayam. Rt Rev Thomas K Oommen, the Deputy Moderator of the Church of South India, chaired the meeting in which Rt. Rev. Taranath S. Sagar (NCCI President) delivered the Centenary Message. The former president of NCCI H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos (Mumbai), Archbishop Kuriakose Mar Severius (Knanaya), H. G. Dr. Kuriakose Mar Theophilus (Jacobite),  H. G. Awgin Mar Kuriakose, Mr. M. M. Philip (WCC Central Committee Member), Ms Pearly Jose (NCCI Vice President) gave their felicitations. Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad conveyed the greetings of NCCI and handed over mementos to the Church of South India and KCC. The delegation from NCCI and the Executive Committee members of KCC were present in the event. Fr. Dr. M. P. George sung the Prayer Song in Sanskrit and the choirs of Sruti, FFRRC and CSI Youth presented melodious songs. Rev. Joby Joy extended the vote of thanks.

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CASA’s Emergency Response to the devastating floods and landslides in Jammu & Kashmir (Updates 1 – 4).

casapic2jpgAfter assessing the flood situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday declared the situation a “national‐level disaster” and announced a special assistance of INR 1,000 crore (US$ 170, 940, 171) for the flood‐hit state besides INR 2 00000 (US $ 3419) compensation from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the kin of the dead and INR 50,000 (US $ 855) for those seriously injured.

CASA has released INR 21, 75, 500 (US$37,188) towards organizing distribution of dry ration kit and NFIs to 1170 families in Kulgam and Sri Nagar districts in Kashmir. CASA along with its local partner organizations and Mountain Forum Himalayas have been one of the first respondents to the disaster in Kashmir.
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E-STREE – Magazine of All India Council for Christian Women (AICCW)

aiccwsept2014It gives me immense pleasure to introduce September issue of e-Stree. This issue of e-Stree had tried to depict a journey of All India Council for Christian Women (AICCW) and landmarks achieved by it. This issue also contains a self-development article ‘”Harness the power of words”

Please click the download link below to read the September 2014 issue of e-Stree.
(To download the .pdf  to your computer, right-click on the link and select “save link as…”)
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NEICC appeals all to Shun Violence and Maintain Peace in Assam-Nagaland Border

1409281765GUWAHATI: The North East India Christian Council (NEICC) has expressed anguish at the human suffering that has taken place on the Assam-Nagaland border and appealed all to shun violence and maintain peace.
A joint peace meeting of the churches of the N-E Region under the aegis of the NEICC at Shillong expressed their “deep pain and anguish at the human suffering” as an outcome of the conflict on the inter-state boundary.
The meeting held yesterday jointly appealed to all sections of both sides to shun violence, stop inhuman killings, and maintain peace, a statement from the NEICC said.

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Requesting all to observe August 16, 2014 as KANDHAMAL PRAYER DAY

Dear friends,

Greetings from National Council of Churches in India.

kandhamalprayerposterHuman rights activists are campaigning to have nation-wide observation of “Kandhamal Day” to ensure justice to the victims of the sectarian violence that took place six years ago. The communal violence that started on Aug. 25, 2008 lasted for almost three months and killed hundreds of people, mostly Christians. There have been more than 3,300 complaints, but only 820 odd FIRs were registered. The rest of the complaints were not even registered. Of these complaints, only 518 cases were charge sheeted. The remaining cases were treated as false reports. And out of these 518 cases, 247 cases were disposed off.
The rest of the cases are pending before the sessions and magistrate’s courts.(source:

The Utkal Christian Council of the National Council of Churches in India, has proposed observing August 16, 2014 as prayer day related to the Kandhamal persecution of Christians. The Council has been closely accompanying the victims of Kandhamal in their struggle for justice. On August 16, 2014 the Utkal Christian Council is inviting all leaders of Churches and organizations to a mega prayer summit at Happy Valley Home, Badenaju, Gudayagiri – 762100 to be held from  9:00 AM  to 3:00 PM along with believers in the Kandhamal area.

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