No one is complete without the Other – Reflection on Marriage Equality Case

We note with concern the sentiments and emotions of persons with varied gender identities and sexual orientations with regard to the judgement of the Honourable Supreme Court in the ‘marriage equality’ case. We also note with respect the optimism in the community to take the ‘setback in expectation’ as a means to a way forward.

The National Ecumenical Forum for Gender and Sexual Diversities is a space in the National Council of Churches in India NCCI-NEFGSD mandated by its constituents, to explore and understand gender identities and sexual orientations, in order to advise the Church to grow into an inclusive communion of all people. The NCCI- NEFGSD will study the judgement together and accompany the community in the pursuit of equal rights, as well as of the dignity of the LGBTQIA+ Communities.

The NCCI – NEFGSD will also seek to initiate conversations within faith communities on traditional beliefs, faith affirmations and teachings of the church on the institution of marriage and constructs surrounding the same in order that no one is left behind, ‘kept outside,’ or ‘shut out’ from the ambit of God’s embrace of All.

The Ecumenical Document on Human Sexuality (2010) of the NCCI states:
1. Love in all its forms, ‘agape’, ‘philea’ and ‘eros’, is central to the Christian understanding of the divine and the consequent ordering of human communities.
2. Sexuality is characteristic of our being created in the image of God and has the potential to facilitate our becoming in God.
3. Sexuality is essentially relational and has pluriform expressions.
4. Sexuality can however be distorted.
5. We need to Re-read Sexuality in Scripture, Tradition and Liturgy
6. The dichotomy between spirituality and physicality is blurred when sexuality is embraced within a horizon of human flourishing and covenantal love.
7. The Church has to be an inclusive just community

The Constituents of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), a forum of historical and traditional churches of the Protestant and Orthodox denominations and the related Councils, Organisations and Agencies, have been accompanying and have been accompanied by persons of all gender identities and sexual orientations for over two decades trying to understand their respective and all identities and orientations.

We pray for all those who feel left out and/ or let down, and pledge support in our common pursuit of Life-flourishing. No one is complete without the other.

Blessings and Peace

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI

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

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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A Joint call for Solidarity and Prayer

The War on Ukraine is still on. We have all been praying for the cessation of hostilities in the region and that Russia will announce a ceasefire and take up non-violent ways in dealing with whatever issues it may have with Ukraine. We also hope that the peace-making process will ensure healing trauma, building trust, rebuilding the land, its infrastructure and people that are affected due to this war.

It will be good for us Christians, many of whom will be going into the season of lent, to have this intention in prayer during this season that the war will end and the victim compensated.

Such acts of aggression are seen in different parts of the world and in varied contexts. We will lift all such situations and people, along with ourselves, to be transformed into a people of love, and seekers of just-peace

Along with the Catholic Bishops Conference of India and the Evangelical Fellowship of India, we urge you to say a special prayer every week during the season of lent so that individuals and families, as well as communities and nations will be built on values of love, peace and justice.

You may like to use the intercessory prayers that can be accessed here

Rev. Dr. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI

Let’s discern and be dictated by the agenda of the masses …

Today, the 73rd Republic Day of our country, is one more occasion to celebrate our prowess and proficiency in different sectors of our journey together. Traditionally, it has also been an occassion to take stock of the strides that we have taken in-country and in the world.

In the last year, we have supposedly done well in many areas of our history as a nation. In some other areas we have not done as well as we would have wanted to.

Unequal distribution of wealth, differentiated access to rights and privileges, challenges to dignity of life, culture, and heritage of the religious minorities, socially disadvantaged ethnic communities and the economically disprivileged persons however continue to haunt the journey of our destiny. Today is yet another opportunity to pull ourselves together to address what lies ahead of us and achieve it together.

The Christian Gospel teaches us to fashion ourselves and the environment around us on the terms of the conditionalities of ‘the least, the last and the lost’. This approach among other things is certain to further build common resources and thus safeguard against transfer of public assets for personal gain/ private profit.

The Gospel also requires that we network with all those who are similarly oriented irrespective of faith and belief. There are several activists, academics, economists, civil servants, politicians and concerned citizens belonging to all faiths and beliefs who are working on these lines orienting our thinktanks, our planners, also the executive and the enforcement on the terms and conditionalities of the persons pushed to the bottom of the ladder.

There is an urgent need to cultivate this basic ethos amongst all peoples, and ward against alternates that promote prosperity for all but cultivate it otherwise – where there is further impoverishment because of organised loot and thus disproportionate growth.

The need is also to hold each other and all the arms of our governance accountable. It is time now to orient ourselves on our civil and political rights in order that the debates on rights and privileges of unique and diverse individuals, groups and communities will not be derailed toward affirming ‘majoritarian’ privileges of the small numbers of the unduly privileged.

Let us as members of nationally networked historic and traditional churches in this country along with all related agencies, regional ecumenical councils and christian organisations, individually and together as the National Council of Churches in India, renew afresh our commitment ‘to discern, be informed and be dictated’ by the agenda of the masses, their dreams and aspirations. And let our good work, along with those of all other like-minded individuals, groups and communities, continue to be a light to the nation.

Let us rise to bless India. God bless India . . .

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary
National Council of Churches in India

NCCI condemns killing of civilians in Nagaland, calls for a fresh rethink on AFSPA

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) joins the people of Nagaland and all citizens of the country who mourn the killing of civilians in Mon district in condemning the act of aggression on the part of the para-military force personnel. All actions initiated to bring the aggressors to book have to be followed up with earnest and brought to its logical conclusion.

The NCCI once again calls for a rethink on the AFSPA, and that all policing in the areas in which AFSPA is in vogue be subjected to independent human rights scrutiny.

We offer the prayers and support of the Churches and Christians of the Protestant and Orthodox tradition in India to the people of Nagaland and to the families of the deceased in particular.

Let us join in sincere prayer during this season of Advent when we reflect on the coming of Jesus as judge, that Peace be granted in the hope and promise of requital to all those who are wronged.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary


The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1.14 NIV

Dear Beloved members of the large family of NCCI,

There cannot be a more relevant Bible verse for Christmas this year than John 1.14, where our great yearning is met by the assurance of the Word of God. The reason is obvious. We live in a world torn apart by the attack of the great pandemic. COVID- 19 is not just a serious health hazard only. It is a plague which has affected our courage, mental peace, family life, economy, spiritual life, educational system, job security and future planning in all areas of life. We are suffering for almost 10 months now because of the devastating pandemic taking away the lives of many and leaving many disabled. The whole world is running around looking for the discovery of vaccine as well as for other ways of escaping from the pandemic. If someone who has the power and courage can come and live with us to heal us, comfort us and restore us, that is what we require urgently. The word of God says, that in the birth of Jesus, that is accomplished fully. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He is very much present among us as Immanuel, “God with us.”

I am happy to note that the NCCI secretariat took up the challenges of COVID-19 and organized many programmes and activities through Webinars, Zoom meetings and other virtual techniques. Churches accompanying Distressed Migrants to Life, Church and Women during COVID-19, Six Webinars of “We the people:”, deliberation on our Constitution, Pastoral Care During COVID-19, Sustainable Environment, Affirming Human Rights and intercepting Human

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Rising from the Ashes . . .

NCCI Statement on Delhi violence

Humanity has been knocked down one more time. Our houses burnt. Our kindred killed. Our peace destroyed, and future betrayed. We have not learnt from our past. In what happened in parts of New Delhi, our national capital, we have been brought down to ashes once again.

Many sections of the Christian community observe Ash Wednesday today. To them it is a day of beginning a season to revisit the past, make amends where necessary, and resolve to move on …an opportunity to rise from the ashes.

On a day such as this we appeal to the members of the different Christian traditions to facilitate each other, and all others of different faith traditions and ideological persuasions in their neighbourhoods, to rise from the ashes. We will not be cowed down. We will rise.

We condemn the dastardly attack on the vulnerable and the weak in different locations of Delhi, the explicit or implicit complicity and tacit approval of those in power and authority, and the blame game to cover inaction and poor response to early warnings.

We appeal to the Churches and Christian Organisations in the vicinity of the affected areas to respond appropriately to those in need.

We urge our constituents everywhere to stand in solidarity with victim communities in their locales and foster an atmosphere of peace and human security across the country. We will not be overcome. WE SHALL OVERCOME. On Ash Wednesday, we resolve to rise from the Ashes

Our prayers remain with the bereaved, and also with the injured persons and their families. The NCCI stays committed and available to the amelioration of the sufferings of the individuals, families and communities affected in the violence of the last few days in Delhi.

In solidarity,
On behalf the NCCI Leadership,

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary