Pride Conversation: Fostering Dialogue Between Church and LGBTQIA Leaders

The Pride Conversation in fostering a more inclusive church environment for the LGBTQIA community was convened by the Tamil Nadu Christian Council alongside the United Evangelical Lutheran Churches of India and the National Ecumenical Forum for Gender and Sexual Diversity (NEFGSD) at its annual Pride Conversation on June 29th 2024, initiated by National Council of Churches in India (NCCI). This year’s event focused on deepening discussion on LGBTQIA+ issues and invites churches in India to show progress on LGBTQIA inclusion.

Key recommendations from the discussions include acceptance of gender non-conforming Children, marriage equality, and better understanding of LGBTQIA issues among church leaders. Additionally, the development of educational modules, medical support for transgender individuals, and inclusive policies within churches are being prioritized.


The 2024 event, focused on LGBI issues saw participation from the Catholic Churches and the National Missionary Society. Fr. Leo from the Catholic Church discussed on the evolving stance of churches on trans community concerns and combating LGBI discrimination. Furthermore, NCCI is actively developing inclusive guidelines and training programs, with increase in participation in Pride walks.

The Pride Conversations concluded with reflections having led to a more inclusive environment within churches in India. Sensitization programs, educational modules, and job opportunities for LGBTQIA individuals are being developed. This commitment to inclusivity lays a strong foundation for future progress in LGBTQIA rights within the Indian Christian community.

National Consultation Addresses Legal Frameworks for Tribal/ Adivasi Communities in India

Nagpur, Maharashtra – A historic 3-day National Consultation on Adoption of Laws applicable to 5th and 6th Schedule Areas was held by the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) Commission on Tribal/Adivasi Concerns from July 2nd to 4th, 2024. Over 50 delegates representing various denominations and NCCI secretariats participated in the event.

The consultation focused on building awareness on the legal frameworks governing Tribal and Adivasi communities in India. Discussions included the impact of different on these communities.

The consultation was inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Sameer Isaac Khimla, Chairperson of the NCCI Commission on Tribal/Adivasi Concerns. He addressed the ongoing challenges faced by Tribal and Adivasi communities in protecting their identity.

Presentations by Dr. Bendangjungshi, Mr. Bineet Mundu, and Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi delved deeper into specific issues concerning Tribal and Adivasi rights, including the Rights and Role of Indigenous Women in customary law.

The consultation concluded with a call for church involvement in safeguarding Tribal and Adivasi rights and advocating for a just and equitable society. Participants emphasized the importance of united and continued advocacy efforts with and on behalf of indigenous people.  The program was facilitated by Mr. Pradip Bansrior, Executive Secretary, Commission on Tribal and Adivasi Concerns of NCCI.


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Ecumenical Entrepreneurs Forum Expands: New Members and Innovative Strategies Highlighted at the EEF Delhi Chapter’s II Meeting

The second meeting of the Delhi Chapter of the NCCI-Ecumenical Entrepreneurs Forum was held on June 19, 2024, at the NCCI Office in Delhi. This meeting welcomed three new members to the chapter, demonstrating its increasing influence and dedication to building a collaborative network of Christian businesspeople in the city. The meeting was attended by NCCI officials, including Rev. Dr. Asir Ebenezer, General Secretary of NCCI, and Executive Secretaries Rev. Dr. Abraham Mathew and Rev. Ribin John. The General Secretary emphasised the relevance of a unified national network of Christian entrepreneurs, highlighting the need for mutual support and innovative business practices aligned with Christian values.

The main session, led by Chapter Coordinator Mr. Samson Theodore, focused on the theme “Business Enablers: Cultivating a Culture of Innovative Strategies for Entrepreneurial Leadership.” In his talk, Mr. Theodore underscored entrepreneurship as a divine calling that transcends age and advocated for a culture of innovation and strategic leadership. He stressed the importance of entrepreneurs supporting each other in their journeys. Following the talk, the chapter engaged in a robust discussion on key issues such as using business as a mission avenue, tackling the challenges of corruption, and the importance of rejecting Islamophobia. The chapter also committed to developing an annual plan, meeting bimonthly at different member locations, and promoting inclusive business practices by creating job opportunities for persons with disabilities. 

The meeting concluded on a high note, with members feeling inspired and equipped with practical strategies for ethical and innovative entrepreneurship.

Rev. Ribin John
Executive Secretary 
NCCI Ecumenical Fora

No excuse for Elder Abuse: NCCI on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) – Commission on Youth Concerns organized a webinar on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th, 2024 to discuss the various issues, violences, physical and mental abuse and challenges faced by elders and how they can prevent the elder abuse by taking help of other people and in some cases help from NGOs. This webinar gave insight of different types of elder abuses and some real stories shared by participants.

Rev. Rajesh Matthew, from Mar Thoma Prayojana Institute, Kearla, an old age home, shared his experience working with elders. He spoke about the issue of children abandoning their elderly parents and the importance of recognizing the value of elders as the backbone of society. Rev. Deepak Abraham from CNI also shared his experiences on elder abuse also shared insights on theological inclusivity encountered during his ministry.

Mr. Thayil Daniel Samuel Geontologist, Palliative Care counselor/volunteer., gave the keynote address on the realities of elder abuse in India. He discussed the country’s changing demographics with a growing elderly population and increasing life expectancy. Dr. Sam explored the perspectives of both younger and older generations, underlining the need for improved communication and understanding. A short film reinforcing the message of “No excuse for Elder Abuse” was presented during his session. Dr. Sam defined elder abuse, its prevalence, and risk factors as outlined in the WHO report of 2015, including factors like migration, disabilities, mental health, and social isolation. He explained the different types of elder abuse, which include physical, emotional, financial, neglect, abandonment, and sexual abuse. He elaborated on signs of abuse, highlighting verbal abuse as the most common form, and emphasized the impact of abuse on the physical and mental health of victims, including the loss of fundamental rights.

Empowering elders to protect themselves from abuse was a key part of Mr. Sam’s presentation. He encouraged awareness of rights, seeking help when needed, avoiding pressured financial decisions, and maintaining mental and physical well-being. The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007, a government initiative supporting elders, was explained by Dr. Sam. He also shared helpline numbers and resource websites.

This webinar led by Rev. Asher Noah, NCCI- Commission on Youth Concerns and Ms. Mihika Bhore Vice President- NCCI discussed about elder abuse from a psychological perspective.

The webinar provided valuable information and raised awareness about the critical issue of elder abuse in India. It offered resources and empowered participants to identify, prevent, and address this form of mistreatment.

Rev. Asher Noah
Executive Secretary
NCCI-Commission on Youth Concerns

NCCI-IDEA ISL 2.0 Concludes, Ushering in Hope for Churches and the Hearing-Impaired Community

The National Council of Churches in India – Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (NCCI-IDEA) hosted a memorable valedictory event for its Indian Sign Language (ISL) 2.0 Batch on June 9th, 2024. This course, which commenced on March 23rd, 2024, saw the enthusiastic participation of 30 students from various regions of India, including the North, Northeast, Central, and Southern states. The course was led by Ms Y Madhurya, whose extensive experience and dedication as an interpreter and teacher of Indian Sign Language greatly benefited the participants. Under her guidance, the students showed great progress, culminating in a celebratory event that highlighted their achievements.

The online valedictory ceremony, held at 6 PM, was a significant occasion attended by students, trainers, and special guests. Out of the 30 enrolled students, 25 received merit certificates, recognising their hard work and commitment to learning ISL. Pastor Rushi from the Nagpur Deaf Fellowship graced the event as the Chief Guest. In his address, he expressed profound joy and appreciation for the efforts of the students in breaking down communication barriers by learning ISL. Rev. Asir Ebenezer, in his valedictory address, inspired the students to continue their journey with ISL, encouraging them to engage with the hearing-impaired community around them. His words were a call to action, urging this ISL batch to make inclusivity a personal mission. Additionally, on Monday, June 10th, five students residing in Nagpur were given certificates offline at the NCCI Nagpur office by the General Secretary.

Students shared touching testimonies, expressing how the three-month course not only taught them a new language but also boosted their confidence and heightened their awareness of inclusivity. They spoke about the transformative experience of learning ISL and the sense of accomplishment they felt. With the conclusion of ISL 2.0, NCCI-IDEA is now looking forward to the next chapter. The success of this course opens the way for ISL 3.0, inviting more individuals to embark on this rewarding journey. It could be your turn next to step into the world of the hearing-impaired community by learning their language and envisioning a more inclusive society. For more information on upcoming courses and how to enrol, follow NCCI’s website, and social media or write to us at Join us in making a difference by bridging communication gaps and promoting inclusivity through the learning of Indian Sign Language.


Rev. Ribin John
Executive Secretary

Digital Welcome Mats : Accessible Church Communications Network. An online workshop on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

The passion of churches towards promoting and actualising inclusion was revived at the GAAD workshop of the NCCI. Emphasising the heart of innovation is accessibility the participants were encouraged to cater innovative ideas for making digital accessibility a reality.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is observed to bring focus on digital access and inclusion. According to the Global Accessibility Awareness Day website, “The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access or inclusion and people with different disabilities.”

In line with this Global observance, the National Council of Churches in India’s Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment and Communications Department collaborated an online workshop on 15 May, 2024 themed “Digital Welcome Mats : Accessible Church Communications Network”. The teams of Communication and Disability from various churches and institutions join to receive insights on making church communication accessible to all.

Rev. Ribin John, Executive Secretary, NCCI Ecumenical Fora moderated the workshop and Mr. Nelason Nag, Program Executive, NCCI- Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompniment introduced Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) to all the praticipants. Ms Neelam Gaikwad, NCCI  Communications program executive spoke about practical strategies to address digital accessibility challenges and Ms. Smriti Priyansha, Document and Research Program Ececutive discussed case studies and identification of digital barriers faced by people with disabilities.

The expected outcome of this workshop was churches will become aware of the digital barriers that people with different types of disabilities face and will receive practical insights and strategies for overcoming these barriers. This will help create a barrier-free digital environment for all church attendees.

This events was not limited to awareness and engagement but also a commitment to pouring ceaseless efforts towards accessibility and prioritising inclusion at all steps.


Ecumenical Youth Gathering on Towards a Just life and Affirming Identities in Migration

A one day Ecumenical Youth Gathering was conducted in the city of Nagpur on the theme “ Towards Just Life and Affirming Identities in Migration on 25th May 2024. Around 20 Young people gathered from different Churches and discussed on Addressing the issues on migrants youth.

Rev.  Asher, Executive Secretary Commission on Youth concerns, NCCI addressed the challenges that young people are going through globally and questioned how the ecclesial structures are responding on this issue. The main cause of youth migration are obviously the economic condition and the prospects for youth in a particular region. He said that migration raises questions about identity justice, racism advocacy and diakonia.

Rev. Ganesh Barve Presbyter, All saints Cathedral CNI Church, Nagpur  shared the reflection on Migration.  He emphasised the historical aspects of migration from the biblical perspective.

Mr. Rajesh Jadav in his opening remarks challenged young people to be open to listen the stories of people with pain and suffering.   He brought a case study on migration saying that Covid has challenged the church whether they will be inclusive in giving them an space and unfortunately many churches were not migrant friendly where other religions were opened up to give space.  He asked youth to challenge the church structures to be inclusive.

Mr. Khaten from North East Fellowship had shared the experiences as student migrant and Manipur student in Nagpur had shared their experiences on migration. Mr. Jammu Anandh in his session highlighted the means of identities in migrations. The cities are build by the migrants. He addressed that migration has both positive and negative impact where a product mechanism is been applied that man force is needed to operate the product.  He also highlighted Article 15 where everyone is treated equal irrespective of caste, gender, sex and place. He mentioned that Constitution is above the religions and constitution provides rights to the migrants.

Understanding Human Sexuality: Summer Course 2024 Concludes with Enthusiastic Acclaim

The National Ecumenical Forum for Gender and Sexual Diversities (NCCI-NEFGSD) Summer Course on “Understanding Human Sexuality” held from May 20th to 25th, 2024, concluded with a valedictory ceremony that celebrated the participation of 25 dedicated students from diverse backgrounds.

This intense  course, hosted on the NCCI campus in Nagpur, provided exploration of human sexuality and participants delved into key topics including definitions and understandings of sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality. The curriculum was enriched by perspectives from the Old Testament, New Testament, history, ethics, sociology, and multiple religious viewpoints. Additionally, students gained valuable knowledge on pastoral care and ministerial and ecumenical development.

The course methodologies made it exceptionally engaging, incorporating a human library, group activities, film screening, and reviews. These interactive elements facilitated a dynamic learning environment, allowing students to connect theory with real-world experiences.

All students agreed that the course was groundbreaking, significantly enhancing their understanding of human sexuality from various academic and practical perspectives. The course concluded with a promise from the NCCI General Secretary to introduce an advanced course later this year.

Rev Ribin John
Executive Secretary
Ecumenical Fora/ NCCI-NEFGSD

Accompaniment in Action: NCCI-IDEA’s Ecumenical visit to Strengthen Disability Ministry

NCCI’s Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (NCCI-IDEA) is undertaking an important journey to enhance the ministry of disability within its member churches/organizations. During this transformative visit, the focus will be on engaging with key disability departments and helping member churches/organizations to establish their Disability Ministry, with a focus on the 4A areas: Audit, Accompaniment, Acknowledgement, and Advocacy.

Visit to CSI SEVA and DISHA Project

In the first phase, a meeting was organized with Church of South India’s Diaconal Ministry, CSI SEVA, and its DISHA project which coordinates disability works. On April 11th, 2024, an analysis was conducted and the Disability works happening through DISHA was discussed. A significant online meeting is planned that will bring disability coordinators from all dioceses of CSI to enhance, start, and amplify the Disability inclusion of the dioceses. The SEVA director, Rev. Navagnana Prasad, DISHA coordinator Dr. Jason, and the SEVA team collaborated closely with NCCI Ecumenical Fora Executive Secretary Rev. Ribin John at the CSI Synod, marking a promising step forward.

Engaging with ECI Evangelical Churches

On April 10th, 2024, IDEA visited the Evangelical Churches in India (ECI) to discuss and review the newly initiated disability ministry of the church. The ministry is coordinated by Rev. Wesley Jaya Sathya under the leadership of Rt. Rev. Kathiroli Manickam. The visit was productive and fruitful, with the Bishop offering visionary support towards enhancing disability inclusion within the church community. Plans were made for a pastors’ retreat within ECI to sensitize and empower them towards disability inclusion. This will pave the way for a more understanding and inclusive congregation.

Collaboration with UELCI for Disability Ministry Expansion

Discussion with Ms. Beryl Logan, the Disability Coordinator of United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India (UELCI), centred on inspiring all 14 Lutheran Churches under UELCI to initiate disability ministries that cater to their unique contexts. In the month of May, a meeting is being planned at the NCCI headquarters to kickstart this collaborative effort. The aim is to bring together leaders/representatives of Lutheran Churches who are committed to promoting disability inclusion in their respective Lutheran Churches.


Rev. Ribin JohnExecutive Secretary, NCCI- Ecumenical Fora

Looking up with pride even as challenges abound . . .

On the occasion of the 75th Republic Day we look up with pride at the huge strides that ‘we the people’ have taken to reach where we are today. Many empowering legislations have been negotiated and passed, democratic patterns of governance and election processes have still been affirmed, many autocratic and despotic governments were replaced, the legislative, judicial and administrative branches of polity have time again been held accountable, systems of local governance have been put in place with planning and monitoring powers in the hands of the voter; huge strides in science and technology, communication and media, economics, banking and commerce, as well as in education and health care; all these and more in the last 74 years of governing ourselves as a republic.

Despite the many strides that make one proud citizen of this great country, some gaps are still evident. The renewed and aggressive attempts to equate Ram rajya with hindu rashtra is rather worrisome. In recent times this has created a sense of despondency in the minds of the minority ethnic and religious communities. This, coupled with the eluding peace in Manipur and the untold continuing hardship experienced by the people of the Christian Community there over nine months and even to this day, leaves much to be desired.

On the occasion of the 75th Republic day the National Council of Churches in India requests the 14 million faithful belonging to the protestant and orthodox churches in it’s membership, to join the entire Christian Community and well meaning citizens of all religious and ideological persuasions in reiterating and affirming the pluriform multicultural credentials of the country. The NCCI urges this in the strong conviction that an India that continues on its strong secular credentials is fundamental to development of all peoples (use of ‘s’ intentional) irrespective of religious and ethnic identities so that no one is left behind.

The 75th year is an opportune moment to rediscover us together, the us who we were in days past. We urge all Christians to join people of similar intentions in birthing this India once again – the India that we know – the India where the Constitution will be protected, concerns of all communities addressed, spiritualities of all respected, secular credentials of the State affirmed, and there is no one left behind.

Let us together build this India we know of, and leave it as a cherished legacy for generations to come.

Jai Hind !

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary