God bless India …

The celebration of the Independence Day every year is an occasion to remember the people who have stood up to the bullet of the occupier. It is also an occasion to recall the path we had set for ourselves and have trod, as also the achievements we have made during the times of breathing the air of independence.

On the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the 15th August 1947, we join fellow citizens in relishing the legacy of standing up for self-determination and rededicating together for a better today and a new tomorrow.

Between today and this day last year we have reached out to the moons; we have upheld democratic traditions of electing our leaders in different states of the Indian Union; we have strived with resilience to keep the spirit of respecting dissent; and we have sought diligently to hold those in public service to accountability.

We recognise, and confess though, that we are not fully there. We have repeatedly failed each other in upholding our constitutional rights. Contexts of perpetuated discrimination including those relating to caste constructs, gender identities, varied abilities, and sexual orientations, contexts of compelling ethnic conflicts and communal discord, contexts of blaming and shaming religious minorities, contexts of market driven greed and avarice that structuralises poverty and impoverishment, have also contributed to where we are today. We acknowledge that but for these and such contexts We would have been a better People.

May this day wake us up to the fact that what we desire for ourselves must benefit the Least of us All. May the remembrances of the day bring us to greater determination and resolve to stand with those citizens who still yearn for the fruits of Independence, and together stand up as a nation that acknowledges and respects diversity as a means to realise Unity.

God bless India. Jai Hind  !

Rev  Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary, NCCI.

Prayer Day for PEACE in MANIPUR (July 30)

In the last few days we have witnessed the outrage of the People of India in different locations with regard to the unabated violence in Manipur. We stood united in condemning violence and sexual assault on women, and continue to voice out and intervene.

We also see unrest and semblances of violence spilling over to other parts of the North East India. This is quite dangerous and needs to be contained.

The secretariat of the National Council of Churches in India and it’s service wing the Christian Service Agency is seized of the matter in different fronts. We are in constant contact with our constituents in Manipur and churches in NE for finding out the ways to build peace in that region. Agencies related to the NCCI like the CASA and the LWSIT are also actively engaged in providing relief to the affected irrespective of ethnicities or religious affiliations.

We now appeal for concerted prayer – joining together in one accord – to advocate for PEACE in Manipur and the whole of North East India. We request all local churches/ congregations/ parishes/ corps in the episcopal overview and pastoral supervision of the NCCI Member Churches to observe the upcoming Sunday – Sunday the 30th July 2023 as a COMMON Day of PRAYER for PEACE in MANIPUR and across NORTH EAST INDIA.

We pray God Almighty to look favourably upon the situation in Manipur, and bless all efforts to bring Healing amidst the people of Manipur and Peace in the region.

We thank the Heads of Churches, all the Constituents of the NCCI, and all those who have actively involved in providing relief and advocating for Peace in Manipur. We further urge you to be continually involved and encourage all, over whom you have influence, to also involve in local initiatives to build peace and promote communal harmony among and amidst all people.

Let us be fervent in prayer.

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

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


Committing toward an empowered citizenry enlightened by the Constitution . . .

On the occasion of the 74th Republic day, we join fellow citizens of this great country in greeting each other a year ahead with the virtues of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity available to every individual, household, social group, ethnic community and the whole society.

On this august occasion we acknowledge the wisdom of the drafters of the Constitution which came into force on this day seventy-three years ago as the governing document of the ever emerging vibrant Indian Republic, particularly Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

Despite the challenges that it has faced over time we concur with all others who believe that the Indian Constitution remains a largely sufficient document that provides sovereignty and security to all people in the country while affirming space for every expression.

It is our dream that the principles that govern our country as a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic Republic be further strengthened and realised in all spheres of the legislature, judiciary and the administration of the country.

It is our desire that the rights and privileges endowed and guaranteed by the Constitution be affirmed to all the citizens of the country particularly to the distressed communities including the christians, muslims, women, dalits, tribals, adivasis, persons with ‘disabilities’, those with different gender identities and sexual orientations, and the children and youth in all these contexts.

It is toward the realisation of this dream and desire that we as the Churches of the Orthodox and Protestant traditions in the fellowship of the National Council of Churches in India, as well as Christian and Ecumenical Agencies, Organisations and Councils associated with the NCCI, through the power of Jesus our Lord who when singled out braved death on the cross and was raised to life on the third day in the community of the faithful, dedicate our every endeavour to uphold and protect the Constitution at all cost, and to ensure dissemination of the contents of the same for the empowerment of the fellow citizens of the country.

It is our ardent hope and fervent prayer that the priority accorded to the rule of law, based on the primacy of the Constitution that we have given to ourselves, will end prevailing targeted hostilities against Dalits, Adivasis, Christians, Muslims and such other marginalised and vulnerable communities in the country.

Indeed – an empowered citizenry, enlightened on its constitutional rights and responsibilities as well as on its privileges and prerogatives, will surely see the nation through to many more years to come.

Jai Hind!

Rev. Asir Ebenezer

General Secretary.

NCCI appeals Churches for austere New year celebrations in solidarity with Christians attacked for faith.

Over a thousand Christians from more than 20 villages in Narayanpur and Kondagaon districts of Chattisgarh state had to flee for their life as violent mobs attacked them for not willing to recant their Christian faith. This is latest in a series of attacks in the State as well as in different parts of the country.

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) had earlier condemned the December incidents in Chattisgarh state, and called the State Government and National bodies to intervene. Many others have also made representations for action. The Chief Minister has gone on record stating that no one is above law and action will be taken.

In a letter to the heads of the churches in the fellowship of the National Council of Churches in India, the General Secretary of the NCCI has appealed for austerity in the New Year celebration in order to express solidarity with the sentiments of the Christians who have been attacked and with their expression of deep commitment to the faith of their choice.

The NCCI has also requested for special prayers for the victims of violence, and to intercede for the country as a whole so that citizens of all faiths, ethnicities, identities and orientations will inherit 2023 in peace and harmony.

NCCI Communiqué

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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Peace on earth . . .

Christmas 2022 and SDGs 2030

“Peace on earth and Goodwill amidst all peoples” is the message announced at the birth of Jesus the Christ. Undoubtedly, Peace on earth is the crux of Christian faith, as also of all faith and ideological persuasions.

“To foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence” is how the fourth pillar of the Sustainable Development Goals is defined. The Global Agenda 2030 captured PEACE as one of the five pillars of Sustainable Development, the others being People, Planet, Prosperity, and Participation.

Amidst war and strife, and the contexts of ‘undeclared emergencies’ in our country, and in some others world over, Christmas 2022 (coming as it were midway in the 2015 – 2030 SDG regime) reminds us of the calling to focus on the task at hand – that of building “peaceful, just and inclusive communities.”

In the context however, we are reminded that ending poverty and hunger, protecting planet from degradation, ensuring that all humans and beings enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives, and calling all countries, stakeholders and people to participate in the process are prerequisites to fostering peaceful, just and inclusive communities.

While SDGs themselves maybe perceived as framed from within the existing market-driven development framework, the pillars and targets are notable signposts on which diaconal expressions of different Indian Churches and Christian Diaconal Agencies have mapped their ministries and activities in order to relate to the ongoing concerted mission of life affirmation of all interested parties including governments and civil society organisations.

May Christmas 2022 – the feast of incarnation – bring us back, as ecumenical communities, to focus on People (the poor and the hungry), Planet, Prosperity (life-flourishing vis-à-vis profit), PEACE, and Participation of all stakeholders (including in our own context the historically and structurally discriminated dalits, tribals, women, persons denoting richness of gender and sexual diversities, children at risk and gender non-conforming children, persons with disabilities, persons living with HIV/ AIDS, women and men in sex work, and such others who inhabit the kingdom of God first and much before those that profess to be righteous).

And may this renewal of focus enable us to envision and work toward constructing a new world in 2023 rooted in the ‘sovereignty of the least’

Wish you all a meaningful Christmastide and a blessed 2023!

Rev. Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary

Seventy-five years in realising the ‘heaven of freedom’

The country is agog with completing 75 years of journeying as an independent country. We have truly excelled in many spheres despite several odds of evolving and struggling to grow out of a colonial mindset of ‘ruling over subjects’.

We as a people have demonstrated from time to time that the People prevail before power and that power devolves from People.

We celebrate the huge strides we have achieved in the field of science and technology, education and culture, infrastructural development, growing in self-sufficiency in food production and several other sectors.

We celebrate the resilience that we have shown in existing and living in a market driven world with the preeminence of capital and devaluing labour as a means of production.

We celebrate resistance that challenges us to learn from dissent and to carry on together as a People ‘leaving no one behind’.

We celebrate the richness of living with natureevidenced in every ethnic sociological group and tribe that live as human libraries even while moving to live in the ‘cloud’ which for now has become the space in which we live and have our being.

And, as we move on . . .

We need to celebrate living traditions amidst us, particularly in the distressed and suppressed dalit, tribal and adivasi communities, as a source of internal and abiding strength and spirituality for peace and security vis a vis valorizing weaponsand militarization based on perceived threats that stem from othering.

We need to celebrate and hold high the democratic-secular traditions as well as the ideals of participationwhich are now presupposed as people’s mandate in a continuing colonial and totalitarian mindset.

We need to, as conscientious peoples of all faiths, ideologies, ethnicities, varying physical and mental abilities, different generations, gender identities and sexual orientations, celebrate and continue singing the ‘songs of deliverance’- while seeking out and affirming the deliverance of every person, group and community who feel estranged in their own lands and contexts(a suggested deconstructed reading of a possible zionist presupposition of Psalm 137 in The Bible).

We continue to celebrate all thesedaily so that everyone and all of creation will in their ‘very own and this’ lifetime awaken into that ‘heaven of freedom’.

God bless India

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

(National Council of Churches in India is the ecumenical expression of 14 million Christians of the Protestant and Orthodox Church traditions. The council is a coming together of 76 nationally networked entities including historical Church traditions, Regional Christian Councils, All India Christian Organisations and specialized professional Agencies of Christian ministry in the world, having its presence in all districts of the country in every state)

Let Peace and Prosperity prevail amongst all People . . .

NCCI message for Eid-ul-Fitr and Akshaya Tritiya

On behalf of the Christian community represented by the Churches of the Protestant and Orthodox traditions in the fellowship of the National Council of Churches in India, we extend best wishes and hearty greetings to the friends and fellow-citizens – adherents of the Islamic, Hindu and Jain faith traditions, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr and Akshaya Tritiya which this year falls on the same day. This significant co-incidence we hope and pray will further strengthen the bond between Muslims, Hindus and Jains in India and worldwide.

Let it be our prayer, of all those who believe in faith traditions and such other well-wishers, that this year’s celebrations may bring new understanding about life especially when the forces that threaten and negate life are hell bent on overpowering life and life systems.

The observance of these festivals this year follows close on the heels of the conclusion of the Lenten fast in the Christian tradition. Only yesterday the 2nd of May 2022, the Baha’i Community in India and around the world have concluded the 12-day Ridvan, also known as the king of all Baha’i festivals.  This further emphasises the common sociocultural roots of various religious traditions and their geo-cultural origins.

Despite the onslaught of the market in commercialising some of these noble religious observances, it is amazing that such practices are being carried out generation after generation to add more meaning to life. Therefore, it becomes an imperative for us to respect each other’s spiritual and cultural celebrations and through these enhance our shared spiritualities. In doing so we also mutually critique ourselves of the patriarchal and structural hegemonic oppressions that have come to be associated with our faith traditions, and with God’s help seek to overcome them together.

Celebrated in the midst of a war and widening rift between communities and countries in different regions of the world it is nevertheless a beautiful occasion, to pray, smile, love, and share. Let this day be a blessing to all our Muslim, Hindu and Jain friends and their families. May the spirit of Eid-ul-fitr with its emphasis on equity and that of Akshaya Tritiya with its emphasis on prosperity of all, coming as it were in the beginning of Spring, enhance mutual cooperation and dynamic intermingling among all communities in India and around the world irrespective of caste, creed and colour. May God Almighty shower abundant blessings over all.

National Council of Churches in India is a national platform of 30 Nation-wide and nationally networked Churches, 18 Regional Councils of Churches, 18 All India Christian Organizations, and 7 Internationally renowned Related Specialised Professional Agencies. The NCCI works closely with the Catholic Bishops Conference of India and the Evangelical Fellowship of India. Globally it is a member of the Christian Conference of Asia and is related to the World Council of Churches and several Global Communions of Christian traditions

Rev Asir Ebenezer
General Secretary
National Council of Chur