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Christian communities hurt over being discredited by responsible authorities

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) expresses deep anguish over the completely baseless and sweeping blanket opinions expressed by one of the judges of Honourable High Court, Chennai against Christian missionaries and Christian educational institutions in a verdict connected to Madras Christian College, Tambaram. It is painful that these comments were made ironically in a case where it was a Christian management which impartially took action against one of the staff, based on the complaint by some students.

These unfortunate comments deeply hurt the sentiments of Christian communities in India who have contributed a lot for the development of education in this country. Tens of millions of Indians belonging to different faiths have graduated from Christian institutions without facing any pressure to convert and remain in their respective religions. They are living testimony contradicting the utterly false conclusions drawn about the vast majority of Christian institutions in India today.

We do feel that expressing an opinion on the possibility of gender-specific laws being misused by women can lead to victimising the victim and turning them away from approaching law enforcement agencies or seek protection under law.

Narratives such as these can be misused by persons and organisations who are anti-minorities further victimising and shaming individuals and groups of minority communities.

The NCCI calls on all concerned including those in responsible positions to be sensitive to and respect the sentiments of minority communities who have and are serving the people of this country with great diligence and commitment. The NCCI expresses its gratitude to all those who stand in solidarity with the community.

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

One Nation, nuanced differentially . . .

We have travelled a long way, as people(s) of one nation. Over the last 72 years we have planned together; we have implemented them together, we have evaluated ourselves together, we have voted governments to power, and we have changed them at will. It has always been as one nation but, more importantly, as one nation nuanced differentially – and that is the key to our existence as a secular, socialist, democratic, republic.

We have held ourselves together through the critical complementarities of the different faiths that we profess and the many beliefs that we hold. Despite provocations and accusations to the contrary, we have never dared to force individual convictions on the other. As a large and vibrant democracy we have always made space for all especially the least amidst us. As a large and vibrant democracy we have ensured to ourselves, and proved to the world, that the strength of any democracy lies in how its minorities are treated.

As we move on and mature, we recognise the need to exercise discretion and discernment. We recognise that the uni-polar world and its proponents the free and unbridled market, along with the accompanying individualistic ideologies and fascist tendencies, has the potential to be apathetic to the needs of the least amidst us; power in terms of sheer arithmetic has the potency to count the least out – be it ethnic, religious, economic, or the social in terms of the people with disability and those with different sexual orientations and gender identities.

As we mark the anniversary of our independence this year, the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) representing the Christians of the protestant and orthodox faith traditions, and serving the nation through its 75 institutional national constituents including 30 mainline protestant and orthodox nation-wide churches, pledges its commitment to all fellow citizens who uphold the values of pluralistic society in continuing to nurture the spirit of secularism and participative democracy as core values of our being and growing together. In pledging thus the NCCI commits to and calls on fellow citizens to such a collaborative search and concerted exercise of discretion and discernment – that which will bless the country as an abode and haven of all.

God bless India.

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

NCCI Responds to New Education Policy 2019

Rev. Asir Ebenezer NCCI General Secretary responses to new Education Policy 2019.

To download the statement kindly click here

 

National Council of Churches in India condemns bombings in Sri Lanka

The leadership and the members of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) send their prayers and solidarity to the people of Sri Lanka during the time of deep crisis.

The NCCI strongly condemns the inhuman bombing that occurred this morning. NCCI joins the international community in expressing solidarity with the people and government of Sri Lanka, the Church in Sri Lanka and all the faithful.

The situation arising out of this dastardly attack pose serious challenge to the idea and value of humanity, peace, mutual cooperation, fraternity and love. It is our prayer that all people of Sri Lanka will once again rise to the occasion and defeat the forces that seek to push the clock back.

We pray for justice to be affirmed and peace ensured for all peoples. May God’s peace rule the hearts and minds of the bereaved.

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

Let’s start all over again . . .

Death, Decay, Disenchantment, Disfranchise, Disease, Destruction are all that fills the air.  The print media is no exception. These are dimensions of a world that seems to be falling apart. At least in one of the synoptic gospels the writers remind the women who sought Jesus at the tomb, that they were searching the risen among the dead. A reminder to us today to once again renew our faith that death shall not hold sway over the forces of life, and life will prevail. This is a message that we need to preach to us especially this Easter and repeatedly thereafter – that the forces of death will not cow us down.

More importantly this Easter should remind us that ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee’. The Greek rendering shows the urgency and the eagerness to start it all over again – that which in the first place led him to the cross. It is time now for the Christian community in India and the world over to return to ‘Galilee’ and start it all over again – to remember again our commitment to make the fringes, the ends of the earth, the redefined centre(s); a redefined centres that ring down hegemonic power expressions be it religious represented in Jesus time by the Jewish temple or the political power that patronised such divisive religious hegemony that had puritan overtones and their economic accompanists.

May this be our prayer this Easter that as Christian faith communities everywhere, together with peoples of all faith expressions and ideological persuasions, we will renew our commitment to go again in the path of embracing the cross, affirming the rights and dignity of the victims of religious, economic, ethnic, political expressions of hegemony; and together speak the truth to ‘power’.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer

General Secretary – NCCI

National Council of Churches in India condemns killings in New Zealand; affirms solidarity with Muslims

National Council of Churches (NCCI) in India is saddened by the hate-filled terror attack at Christchurch in New Zealand. We extend our solidarity to the families of the victims and we stand with friends of the Islamic faith who are affected largely by the trauma of the attack. Let God enable all the affected ones to experience the eternal peace.

The shooting at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch and the Masjid in Linwood is a visible expression of growing intolerance worldwide towards migrants and Muslims. The right-wing fanaticism related to economy, ethnicity and nationalism complicates the situation. Hostility towards ‘others’, precipitated in violence has led to the annihilation of ‘others.’ These kinds of massacres which involve singling out a group of people and labelling them as ‘people to be
hated’ are against the human race. It is time to for those who believe in justice and peace to come out and condemn any such actions wherever it may be in the world.

This is an eye opener to everyone that the seeds of hate can grow to any extent, shedding the blood of many innocents. It is time now to take a pledge together, to have zero tolerance towards hate mongering of any form, be it through news channels, social media or hate speeches.

National Council of Churches in India believe in dialogue and peaceful coexistence of all. We support the efforts of New Zealand Government to maintain peace and harmony among the communities. May God grant us the understanding that we are meant to live with all peoples in peace.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI

Call for applications to the post of NCCI Executive Secretary – Women Concerns Ministry

Copy of the advertisement of the NCCI calling for applications to the post of NCCI Executive Secretary – Women Concerns can be download here…

Please encourage suitable candidates to apply for the same.

Thanking you,

Sincerely,

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI

The Most Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh elected President of Bible Society of India

Most Rev. Dr. P.C. Singh, President of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), the Moderator of the Church of North India (CNI) is elected to serve as the President of The Bible Society of India. He was installed as President, on 31st January 2019, at Bangalore during the meeting of the 27th Triennial Central Council of the Bible Society of India. Dr. Mrs. Leela Bose was elected as Vice President and Rev. Premkumar Soans as the Treasurer of Bible Society of India.

Most Rev. Dr. P C. Singh, Bishop of the Jabalpur Diocese of the Church of North India, is a well-known Ecumenical leader. He is President of the prestigious Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS), Ecumenical Church Loan Fund of India(ECLOF); Executive Committee Member of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) and holds other responsible posts in many organizations across India. He has taken over charge from Rev. Dr. P.N.S. Chandra Bose.

The National Council of Churches in India wishes its President The Most Rev. Dr. P. C. Singh, Dr. Mrs. Leela Bose, Rev. Premkumar Soans and Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko (General Secretary, BSI) the very best and God’s blessings as they guide the Bible Society of India for the next Triennium.

Rev. Asir Ebenezer

General Secretary, NCCI

NCCI Republic Day Message 2019: Let us Arise and build . . .

We have been a unique republic. It is with great joy and a sense of satisfaction that we look forward to another year, and many more, organising ourselves as a people – different and diverse, rich in heritage and righteous in spirit, sincerely hoping that we will sustain the legacy of this great nation for generations to come. Read more …

Rev. Asir Ebenezer

General Secretary

National Council of Churches in India

Secretary,

Christian Service Agency