Churches Challenged to Embrace Disability Inclusion at Workshop Organized by NCCI-Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment and Engage Disability

To promote inclusivity and make people with disabilities feel welcomed in churches, a workshop on disability inclusion was held on 14th June 2023 led by NCCI-Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment and Engage Disability. The workshop challenged participants to think beyond the statement which they made initially from “We don’t have a person with disability in our church so we have to be a welcoming church”. The goal of the workshop was to equip churches with the tools they need to make their spaces welcoming to people with disabilities and to encourage their active involvement. The event aimed to equip churches with the necessary tools to create an inviting atmosphere for people with disabilities and encourage their active participation within the church community.

The workshop commenced with an engaging activity focused on raising awareness about disabilities. Participants were divided into pairs, with one person assuming the role of a person with a disability by having their hands and legs bound or their eyes covered. The other partner acted as their guide. By sharing personal stories and recounting the challenges faced during the activity, participants were encouraged to develop empathy and a deeper understanding of the experiences of individuals with disabilities.

One of the key highlights of the workshop was the introduction of the Disability Inclusion Audit for Churches in India, a tool for ongoing self-assessment and progressive improvement of churches created by Engage Disability. This tool provided participants with the means to conduct ongoing self-assessments of their church’s inclusivity practices and identify areas for improvement. During the session, pastors and church leaders had a unique opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Disability Audit Toolkit, enabling them to take proactive steps towards promoting disability inclusion within their congregations.

Through the workshop, attendees gained insight into their current disability inclusion practices. Participants highlighted areas where their churches excelled while also identifying areas that required further development and attention. The dedication exhibited by the participating churches towards promoting disability inclusion was evident in the workshop’s outcomes.

In addition to equipping attendees with practical tools, the workshop emphasized the significance of engaging with disability-related policies, particularly the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act 2016-2017, as published in the Gazette of India. By actively involving themselves in disability-related policy discussions, churches can positively impact the lives of individuals with disabilities and foster inclusivity, advocacy, and support within their communities.

The workshop, conducted in collaboration with the Nagpur Ecumenical Fora and Nagpur ED Hub, witnessed the active participation of 25 pastors from various denominations, institutional heads, and church member

s from Nagpur. The diverse representation of individuals showcased the collective commitment to promoting disability inclusion within the church community.

With the tools and knowledge gained from this workshop, participants are now motivated to develop more accessible and inclusive venues with the right attitude towards inviting people with disabilities to their places of worship.

Dr Agnes Aboum – The Epitome of Faithfulness

National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) expresses its deep sorrow at the demise of Dr Agnes Aboum (73), the former moderator of the central committee of World Council of Churches (WCC). As the first woman and the first African to serve as moderator of WCC central committee, she proved her staunch leadership in handling the most difficult of issues with grace. Her role in enhancing women’s leadership, especially in the Church worldwide, is noteworthy.

Her passion for social justice led her down the path of activism, especially during her college days at the University of Nairobi. Her active involvement in politics forced her to leave Kenya for Sweden and she continued her studies over there. After returning to Kenya, she continued her involvement in politics and was imprisoned for opposing President Daniel Arap Moi, the longest serving president of Kenya.

She was part of the ecumenical movement worldwide for years and was honoured on multiple occasions for her faithful and committed leadership by numerous organisations, including church bodies. Her zeal for gender justice and peace-making will be remembered for ever.

On behalf of the leadership of National Council of Churches, I, pray for the repose of the soul of the deceased in the dwellings of the righteous, and comfort to those who mourn her loss.


Rev Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary

NCCI demands restorative justice; appeals for lasting solution to the Manipur context

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), a fellowship of Protestant and Orthodox churches, condemns the violence in Manipur and urges the State and Central Governments to take immediate steps to restore normalcy. Attack on life and property, and providing a communal colour to an otherwise non-religious issue is unacceptable.

We are deeply saddened by the sequence of events that have unfurled in the state, polarising people into hostile camps. We recognize that there are long-term grievances within the communities that need to be addressed through dialogue at different levels. In this strained situation we urge the Government and its administration to develop confidence between communities, taking strong and impartial action against those who indulge in violence and spreading of hate campaigns.

Reports reveal the tragic nature of the devastation caused, especially the heavy loss of innocent lives in the clashes. Worship places and houses were attacked and burned, and heavy damages inflicted on public and private properties. In this context, we urge the communities to refrain from any violent acts as violence is not the answer to such issues. We also urge the communities to support the authorities in bringing peace and normalcy to the region.

We urge the National Human Rights Commission and the National Minorities Commission, as well as the State Human Rights and Minority Commissions, to take suo moto cognisance of the matter and address the situation. The Government of Manipur must take responsibility for restoration of life and rebuilding communities, churches and temples vandalised, and restarting destroyed establishments.

We fully understand the sentiments, emotions and grievances of people in thick of the violent context and encourage the faith communities in the region to take initiative towards dialogue for peace and communal harmony. To this end also we express our solidarity and stand by for any assistance or accompaniment required in building peace.

Acknowledging the steps that have been taken, we appeal that this crisis situation will be used as an opportunity to bring a lasting solution to the long-vexed context.


Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary

The NCCI resolves to get going…

The XXIX General Assembly of National Council of Churches in India concluded accentuating ‘The Hour’ with the objective to prioritise inclusion, accessibility, peace and justice.

The time spent at Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad, has kindled fellowship as the delegated representatives of Protestant and Orthodox denominational traditions of the Member Churches, Regional Christian Councils, All India Christian Organisations, and Related Agencies of NCCI, representing all diversities came together to participate in singing and praying through inclusive worships led by women, children and youth and reflecting theologically on the Word and issues of the Hour.

The engagement of all delegates was striking as they participated actively in the six parallel workshops educating and enabling churches to comprehend the need of the Hour. Simultaneously, the printed resources, handmade crafts and informative accessories were exhibited. The blend of music and culture projected during two ecumenical evenings including the celebration of Eid Milap which was glorious and blissful.

To Journey forward, H.G. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulious (Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church), has been elected as the new President. Rev. Dr. Packiam T. Samuel (Church of South India), Mrs. Basanti Biswas (Methodist Church in India), Ms. Sharon Misha Mayuri Dass (Mennonite Church in India) are the Vice Presidents and Rev. A. Joshuva Peter (United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India) is elected as the Treasurer.

Please pray for the leadership and the ministries of the Council.

Glimpse of thematic workshops



Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023 (Unity Octave)

Theme: Do good; seek justice’ (Isaiah 1:17)

Unity Octave (Week of Prayer for Christian Unity) is a joint global initiative of the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. In India, NCCI joins with all Episcopal and Confessional traditions in coming together to observe the Unity Octave and to pray for Christian Unity. Policy, Governance and Public Witness department of NCCI is coordinating the Unity Octave observance this year.

The days between the feast of St Peter (18 Jan) and St Paul (25 Jan) cover the Unity Octave / Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The week-long prayers are envisaged as part of this observance and hence Pulpit exchange, cottage meetings, public ecumenical gatherings, youth concerts, symposiums, etc. can be planned. These prayer meetings are meant to foster togetherness among us especially in the grass root level with an intention to encourage each other to renew our commitment to God and to the entire creation. It should also be a time to express ourselves as part of the body of Christ through which we work together for bringing healing in the midst of brokenness.

The theme for this year’s Unity Octave is ‘Do good; seek justice’ (Isaiah 1:17)

Worship this year has been prepared by the Minnesota Council of Churches, USA. The theme is shaped in the context of the history of mistreatment of communities of colour in the United States which has created longstanding inequities and relational rifts between communities. More recently Minnesota has been in the attention of the world due to the murder of George Floyd, a young African American, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.  The theme ‘Do good; seek justice’ reminds us that only by being good to others and only by maintaining justice in our relationships a better world can be expected. This theme has much relevance in caste driven and religiously polarised Indian context.

The Sunday which falls during the Unity Octave is observed as NCCI Sunday. Therefore, we request you to observe 22 January 2023 as NCCI Sunday. While remembering NCCI and its activities on this Sunday, NCCI encourages you, wherever possible, to send the offertory of the day to the NCCI office for the use of NCCI ministries. Cheques/Demand Draft can be drawn in favour of the National Council of Churches in India.

Click here to download the liturgy  You can contextualize this liturgy considering the needs of your local context. We strongly encourage all our constituents to observe unity octave along with members of other Christian denominations and be part of the World Christian Community initiative to have ecumenical expressions through worship.  

With Prayers,

Rev Dr Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI

NCCI condemns attack on Christians in Chhattisgarh – demands action from State Government and National Bodies

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) strongly condemns the recent violent attack on Christians in Narayanpur and Kondagaon districts in the Bastar region, Chhattisgarh. This brutal attack has left many women and children vulnerable along with the men, all of whom have been assaulted and chased out of their houses because they chose to follow Christian faith. There are reports of houses and churches demolished in the region.

This human right violation is an assault on the Constitution of India from which the Freedom of Religion and Belief is drawn equally by all citizens

Although such acts are interpreted as isolated attacks, in reality they are orchestrated attempts to malign the Christian community. It is understood to be the continuation of a series of attacks against Christians in Chhattisgarh state in recent years. The increase in violence against Christians all over India especially among the economically weaker sections of the society exposes the persecution meant to cleanse a particular religious community from all spaces.

It is to be noted that the term ‘forced conversion’ has been used as a tool to attack Christians, while at the same time persecution is used to FORCE them to leave Christianity and embrace another religion. Violent mobs are taking law and order in their hands to eliminate Christian minorities while police reportedly remain silent spectators. It is also noted in some cases that in spite of many complaints police are reluctant to file cases.

While acknowledging the precious little arrangements that has been made by the district administration, the overall political apathy towards such incidents is a shame to the country

NCCI urges the state government to take appropriate action against the perpetrators of such heinous acts against Christians who predominantly belong to Adivasi and Dalit communities.

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Disability Advocacy Sunday 2022

Dear ecumenical collogues,

Greetings from NCCI-IDEA!

At the outset, we would like to thank all the churches and organisations for the encouragement and appreciation that we have received from you till date. This year also, we are observing Disability Advocacy Sunday 2022 on 27th November 2022 (or 04th December at your convenience). The theme taken is Invisible Disability: Illuminating the Potential of Invisible Community. As the name suggests, invisible disability is not easy to identify, but we need to understand that there are many such disabilities and conditions. Invisible disability could be physical, mental, or neurological condition that could restrict any individual in accomplishing their day-to-day goals of their movements, senses, or activities substantially and permanently but is completely invisible to others. The ultimate aim is LIT to L (Learn about invisible disabilities and identify them) I (Initiate appropriate help to reach the full potential) T (Terminate/ Stop shaming people on the basis of disability) and sensitize the society to understand the situation at a greater level. Some liturgical elements (which is also available in 11 regional languages) and a reflection is attached along with this mail which we encourage you to use in your churches on the Disability Advocacy Sunday.

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Call for observing 16 days of activism to end gender-based violence

Dear Ecumenical Leaders,

Greetings from the NCCI Women’s Concerns!

One of the annual observances of the NCCI Women’s Concerns is in joining the

“16 Days of Activism against Gender based violence”

 from the 25th of November (International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women) to the 10th of December (International Human Rights Day).

This period also includes observance of some other important days like – November 29 (International Women Human Rights Defenders Day), December 1 (World AIDS Day) and December 6 (Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre).

The 16 Days Campaign is  for organizing strategy for individuals and groups around the world and our churches to call for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence against women and to:

  1.   Demonstrate the solidarity of women around the world organizing against gender-based violence against women
  2. Strengthen local work around gender-based violence against women
  3. Organise Rally, Lobby, Network and voice out for the issue.
  4. Provide a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies
  5.   Raise awareness about gender-based violence against women as a human  rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels
  6. 6. Have a women/gender  safeguarding policy in your respective Churches.

  Read more

Dalit Liberation Sunday 2022

Dear ecumenical friends,

Greetings from NCCI – Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns!

Dalit Liberation Sunday has become an important feature in the calendar of Indian Churches and Ecumenical movements. Over the years, there has been a positive response in sensitizing the local congregations towards concerns of Dalits, for no longer caste issue is visualized as a sociological issue or an issue outside the purview of church but more seen as an issue challenging the core of our faith and gospel. Thanks to the enormous support received from across the churches, dioceses, parishes and theological institutions in observing this special Sunday.

We are happy to inform you that this year Dalit Liberation Sunday will be observed on 13th November all over India by the Member Churches/ Institutions of the National Council of Churches in India and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. The theme for this year’s DLS is  “All are equal in Christ: Let’s dismantle caste divisions” (Galatians 3:28) .  Let us as local congregation observe this DLS-2022 in all sincerity and truthfulness to our calling as Christians and sensitize our people to overcome all forms of discriminatory practices of caste across India and initiate uncompromising actions to eradicate such practices in society and thus also within the Christian community.

We are sending you some prayers and affirmations to be included into your worship service. Attached herewith please find the Order of Worship (pdf. file) which you may circulate among your pastors, lay leaders and department heads.

Looking forward to receiving your cooperation in observing Dalit Liberation Sunday on November 13, 2022.

Thanking you in anticipation,

With regards,

In Christ,

Pradip Bansrior
Executive Secretary
Dalit and Tribal/ Adivasi Concerns
National Council of Churches in India

Observance of August 10th Protest Day against infamous 1950 Presidential Order all over the country

Observance of August 10th by CSI- Diocese of Madras, Tamil Nadu

August10th Protest Day Protest was observed in Districts Headquarters under the Leadership of the Most Respected Bishops, Heads of Dalit Concerns Departments and Pastors.  Many Dalits Christians and public were participated in these protests. CSI Madras Diocese organised a conference on August 10th in Chennai, in the conference they appealed for support from Tamil Nadu Government for the long pending demand to include Dalit Christians in the Scheduled castes list.

Observance of August 10th by Arcot Lutheran Church

The Arcot Lutheran Church observed August 10th Protest Day in its Five Regions. The Bishop of Arcot Lutheran Church Rt.Rev.V. Samuel Kennady led the protest in its headquarters at CUDDALORE, the Deputy Mayor of Cuddalore Mr. Thamarai Selvan and former Member of Legislative Assembly Mr. Ila. Pugazenthi participated in the protest and extended their support for Dalit Christians. In other four regions at TIRUVANNAMALAI, VIRUDHACHALAM, ULUNDURPET, and in CHENNAI the Local Pastors conducted the Protest and explained about the protest day and shared the Dalit Christians issues to the public to get their support. In all the regions of Arcot Lutheran Church more than 100 people participated with enthusiasm in the protest.  Specially in Chennai Region they observed protest through prayer fellowship demanding the rights and privileges of Dalit Christians and Muslims, some students from the Gurukul Theological College, Chennai also participated in solidarity.

Observance of August 10th by Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church

Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church organised public protest at Tirupur with the coordination of CSI and Roman Catholic Churches. Rev. G. Ashok Kumar (General Secretary Youth Department – TELC) conducted the public protest. The TELC western region Superintendent Minister Rev. Dr.A.Christopher Chellappa and Pastors from TELC, CSI and Roman Catholic Priest Fr. Hiyasinth and more than 75 Dalit Christians participated in the Protest. Tirupur Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi members also participated and extend their solidarity addressed and explained in detail in the protest about all kinds of social oppression faced by Dalit Christians as they were denied in the Scheduled caste List.

Observance of August 10th by Indian Evangelical Lutheran Church

Rev. Elizabeth Joseph from Indian Evangelical Lutheran Church, diocese of Ambur conducted Protest Day Programs in Ambur and delivered the protest day speech. The younger generation and elders participated in the protest. The members who participated in the protest affirmed their solidarity and support for the Scheduled Caste Status.

Observance of August 10th by NCCI at IPC, Nagpur

The National Council of Churches in India observed the National Protest Day on 10th August in Nagpur at India Peace Centre. Around 30 members from Nagpur came to deliberate on the matter on Scheduled caste status for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims. Mr. Shibi Peter, (National Coordinator, NDCW)delivered the keynote address to the gathering on the current status of the Dalit Christian case and the role of Churches and individuals. Further discussion was led by Rev. Asir Ebenezer(General Secretary, NCCI) to follow up the movement in grassroots level and also suggested to organise an event on 25th August in Nagpur. The program challenged and provoked the Dalit Christian communities to take the batton forward. Mr. Asher Noah moderated the program and discussion.

The church leaders who participated in the protest in various places, emphasized the constitutional rights which have been denied to Dalit Christians for a very long time. They addressed about the several commissions appointed by the Government of India to study the problem, which recommends to include Dalit Christians in the scheduled caste list. Through these protests held at various places, the struggles of Dalit Christian to get the constitutional rights has been brought to the people’s forum. The public has seen the protest and, in some places, they voluntarily came and participated heard the protest day speeches and got to know about these problems and expressed their support. The Protests concluded with the determination that we should continue to fight hard in various ways until the inclusion of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in the Scheduled Caste list and ensure that we and the future generations to get the constitutional rights.