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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Requesting all to observe August 16, 2014 as KANDHAMAL PRAYER DAY

Dear friends,

Greetings from National Council of Churches in India.

Human rights activists are campaigning to have nation-wide observation of "Kandhamal Day" to ensure justice to the victims of the sectarian violence that took place six years ago. The communal violence that started on Aug. 25, 2008 lasted for almost three months and killed hundreds of people, mostly Christians. There have been more than 3,300 complaints, but only 820 odd FIRs were registered. The rest of the complaints were not even registered. Of these complaints, only 518 cases were charge sheeted. The remaining cases were treated as false reports. And out of these 518 cases, 247 cases were disposed off.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

FAREWELL TO NCCI EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES - Rev. Asir Ebenezer, Rev. Dr. Solomon Rongpi and Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi

Three of our Executive Secretaries have finished their term of office with the National Council of Churches in India. We are grateful to God for the fine leadership we have had in them. As our friends take their skills and wisdom to other ministries, we wish them God’s richest blessings for an increasingly fruitful ministry.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

NCCI - AZARIAH HOUSE DAMAGED! URGENT APPEAL FOR FUNDS

Dear friends,

On account of the stormy weather including incessant rains over the last week in Nagpur, some trees near Azariah House in the NCCI Campus have fallen causing extensive damage to the structure of Azariah House.(See pictures below)

As we may know that

Friday, 18 July 2014

UGC Invites Applications from Dalits, Tribal, Adivasis and Women for Scholarships

UGC invites online applications for the award of Various Fellowships, Scholarships and various Research award. There are various scholarships for the Dalits, Tribal, and women students. Please note that only applications submitted through online shall be entertained. 


You may find details in the website of UGC 
Rev. Sunil Raj Philip,Executive Secretary, Commission on Dalits,National Council of Churches in India,Cell:  +91- 8275045182Email: <revsunilrajphilip@gmail.com> 

NCCI letter to Minister of External Affairs, Government of India

July 16, 2014
To
Smt. Sushma Swaraj
Cabinet Minister of External Affairs, Government of India


Dear Madam,


Greetings to you from the National Council of Churches in India!

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) is concerned about the present conflict between Israel and Palestine in West Asia. It has been reported that around 184 Palestinians died and more than 1,330 people are wounded. The majority of the victims are Civilians, Children and Elderly people. The Hamas has also fired rockets inside Israel. The violence of both sides is condemnable.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Church of England says yes to women bishops

The Church of England ended one of its longest and most divisive disputes Monday with an overwhelming vote in favor of allowing women to become bishops.
The church's national assembly, known as the General Synod, voted for the historic measure, reaching the required two-thirds majority in each of its three different houses. In total, 351 members of the three houses approved of the move. Only 72 voted against and 10 abstained.

Agonize in prayer, Express solidarity, Campaign for justice

The situation in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, and Palestine, as we all are aware, is of global concern. The conflict in Syria appears on the surface to be a battle between those loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad and those who oppose him. The uprising against him began in March 2011 in Deraa, when several demonstrators were killed by security forces while protesting against the arrest of some teenagers who had painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall. This spread to nationwide protests in May, demanding the President’s resignation.

Solidarity Letter to Japan

To,

National Council of Churches in Japan
Korean Christian Church in Japan
Nihon Krisuto Kyodan
Nippon Sei Ko Kai

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

On behalf of the National Council of Churches in India, I express our solidarity with you as you have experienced two natural calamities:

Monday, 14 July 2014

Report of YOUNG THEOLOGIANS CONCLAVE "Ecclesiology in the Cyber Age"

National Council of Churches in India organized a Young Theologians Conclave in partnership with the support from The Church of Finland and with help from promoters and partners from Church of Ireland and Church of England in Ecumenical Christian Centre, UTC, Bangalore from June 26-27, 2014.

The theme of the Programme was “Ecclesiology in Cyber Age”. The aim of the Programme succeeded by gathering Young Theologians who are techno savy and cyber oriented to come together to devise plans and ideas to respond to the changing definition of Church in the Cyber Age. The diverse Challenges that were faced by the young people were discussed, the threats posed by the Cyber age were brought to the fore and the action plans were devised to ensure that we respond so that the Church will become a relevant Church even with the growing challenges of the changing times. The various presentations have thrown light on the Cyber Age, Cyber space and the Cyber Church.

Change of leadership in the Salvation Army - India

We have the following updates from the Salvation Army India -

The Salvation Army India National Secretariat, Kolkata received its new Leaders Lieutenant Colonels Daniel Raju Dasari and Baby Sarojini Dasari. 

The colonels took the charge of the The Salvation Army National Office on 1st of June 2014. Lieut-Colonel Daniel Raju Dasari is the new National Secretary effective from on 1st June 2014.


Lieut-Colonels Davidson Varghese and Mariamma Varghese who previously served in India National Secretariat have moved from Kolkata to Aizawl, Lieut-Colonel Davidson Varghese is the Chief Secretary and Lieut-Colonel Mariamma Varghese is the Territorial Secretary for Women's Ministries of India Eastern Territory, Mizoram.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Govt Attorney prepares to file the reply on the Dalit Christian reservation issue in the Supreme Court of India.

SC status issue of Dalit Christians’ case came for hearing in the Supreme Court of India on 8th July 2014. The Government attorney asked for two weeks time for the new Central Government to file the reply. The case may be listed after two weeks.

Mr. Prashant Bhushan (Centre for Public Interest Litigation) put forward the pertinent point that that Sikhism and Buddhism do not recognise caste system but they were given SC status. Christianity also does not recognise caste system but since the Dalit Christians are living in the larger society where the caste system is practiced they should be given SC status. Advocates Mr. Franklin Caesar Thomas, Ms. Tehmina, Ms. Loregin, Mr. Aristotle, Sr. Sneha were present in the court on our behalf.

Rev. Sunil Raj Philip,
Executive Secretary,Commission on Dalits,National Council of Churches in India

<revsunilrajphilip@gmail.com>
Cell: +91- 8275045182

Monday, 7 July 2014

Download our new Android App

Check out our new Android App NCCI NEWS. Get it here http://www.nccindia.in/downloads/nccinews.apk

NCCI ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS UPGRADE PROGRAM

Nagpur | July 7, 2014
The National Council of Churches in India has a fully functional and updated website at www.nccindia.in. However, having a website is no longer enough, as we need to be engaging wherever its target online users happen to be which includes facebook, blogs and other online social networking hubs. The need was felt to avail of the various functionalities of online social networking tools for the purpose of:

SC Status issue of Dalit Christians' case listed in the Supreme Court for 8th July 2014

SC status issue of Dalit Christians’ case is listed in the Supreme Court for 8th July 2014

Dear co- workers for the justice to the Dalits in Christianity and Islam, 

It is very encouraging to know that the Writ Petition 180/2004 is listed in Court No. 2 as item no.20 in the final list for 08.07.14 in the Supreme Court of India.

This Writ Petition has challenged the Constitution Scheduled Caste Order 1950 Para 3 which denies SC status to Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste origin. The National Council of Churches in India and CBCI Office for SC/BC have impleaded in this case.



Thursday, 3 July 2014

2014 Election Results: Reiterating the Church’s Prophetic Citizenship

As per our country’s democratic process, parliamentary elections are held every five years. As Christians we always pray that the elections would be conducted properly and peacefully. When the election results are out, as per conventional practice we congratulate the new government and we pray that the people so elected and the new government would serve the country well. In many of our church liturgies an intercessory prayer is offered every Sunday for the President, the Prime Minister, the Governor and Chief Minister of our respective states, and for all those in authority. 
The 2014 election results are expressive of the desire of the majority of the people for corruption-free, electorate-responsible, good governance, for economic well-being in terms of employment, control over the rising cost of living, for easy access to basic necessities of life such as food-grains, water, electricity, education, shelter and health, and for justice and peace. We are reminded of the Nazareth Manifesto of Jesus “to bring good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, letting the oppressed go free, and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Lk.4:18-19)

Affirm Diversity - Defend the Rights of Sexual Minorities: A Call for Indian Faith Communities

Bangalore, 31 May, 2014. Sri Sri Ravishankar, the founder of Art of Living, said that, 'affirm diversity - defend the Rights of the Sexual minorities',  in a public meeting on 'Faiths Against Homophobia' jointly organised by the  'aneka-Trust', Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore University, and  Centre for Peace and Justice Concerns of the National Christian Council of India, at  Institute for Agriculture Hall, in Bangalore on the 31st May 2014.
Ravishankar calls upon all religious leaders and the faith communities to affirm the rights of the sexual minority communities who are socially and religiously stigmatised, excluded and discriminated for centuries. He further emphasised that, they too belong to the 'Cod created Cosmic Community' where we too are part and got a space to live. It is the duty of the faith communities to affirm the diversity and to defend the Rights of the neglected and rejected ones especially the sexual minorities. 

WORKING TOGETHER (RECONCILIATION)

2 Cor. 5:16-21
June 8, 2014 is a significant day as per the almanac of Churches. We are going to celebrate Pentecost Day, reminding ourselves of the movement of God’s Spirit among peoples and nations, working out the purposes of the reign of God.
June 8, 2014 is also going to be significant historically because on this day the world is going to witness one vital expression of working together for reconciliation. It is on this day that the Palestinian president Abu Mazen and Israeli president Shimon Peres will meet together for prayer along with Pope Francis.
Allow me to quote extracts (in italics) from a text published in the Vatican Insider of 2nd June 2014 and draw insights from what Paul says in his letters, particularly in 2 Cor.5:16-21, and in related biblical texts. These insights have important implications for all ecumenical movements in the world.

Strongly Condemn Gruesome Acts of Violence on Minors in Badaun

A Protest Organised by the undersigned at Jantar Mantar
Thursday 5th June (World Environment Day) 10:00 am – 11:30 am
It is such a paradox, that on World Environment Day, where the Tree symbolizing as Hope for Life, has been used to hang and take away the lives of two young innocent girls at Badaun. Even as there is uproar over this crime, another girl is allegedly hung to the tree after being raped in Sitapur and a woman judge raped in Aligarh.
Time and again, women and girls are the prime targets of violence and the most recent brutal gang rapes in the small village of Badaun District of UP confirm this.
Where does one go for justice?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

NCCI CONDEMNS THE INCREASING RAPES IN INDIA


The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), the apex body of the Protestant and Orthodox Churches which represent 13 million people around the country vehemently condemns the physical torture, and incidents of the increasing rapes and murders of Dalit women both young and old that have been brought to light since the past two weeks in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Bangalore and Tamilnadu.
India has a strong constitution which safeguards the rights of the vulnerable and marginalized and ensures the human rights of all communities and that all people are defended. But there is wave of growing and imposed insecurity for all the women, especially young Dalit women. Their bodies are being abused, tortured and killed. The recent increase in the violence against women and the controversial and sarcastic statements and comments of the Political leaders in different parts of the country such as Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra on rape and women's dignity are visible symbols of perpetuation of the rape culture that has emerged in India.

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA


To,
Sri. Narendra Modi
Honorable Prime Minister of India
New Delhi

Respected Prime Minister Sir,

Sub: Aspirations of the Youth of the Protestant and Orthodox Churches in India and the New Government

Greetings from the Commission on Youth (COY) of the National Council of Churches in India!
 At the outset, I on behalf of the 4 million youth of the Protestant and Orthodox Churches in India would like to convey our congratulations to you on your taking over the office of the Prime Minister and we look forward to your programmes for especially the weakest in our society.
 The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) is the apex body of the Protestant and Orthodox Churches in India representing more than 14 million people around the country.  The NCCI along with its constituent members viz, 30 member churches, 17 Regional Christian Councils, 17 All India Christian Organizations, 7 Related Agencies and 3 autonomous bodies is celebrating its Centenary this year and has for the past 100 years through its work, contributed to nation building in various ways especially through Education, Health care, relief and rehabilitation, Youth and Women Empowerment, Empowering Dalits, Tribals and Adivasis, Peace initiatives and the like. The values such as Justice, Peace, Integrity, Love, Unity, promoted and strengthened by the NCCI have contributed to significant have significantly benefited the nation

Addressing ecology, theology and justice in practice

30 June 2014
While churches around the world live in very different contexts and maybe separated by different doctrinal teachings, they do have one concern in common: will planet earth still be a fit place for their children to live?
How should churches reflect theologically about creation? What can churches do in their specific context?