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Monday, 22 December 2014

NUCF Press Statement



National United Christian Forum
( CBCI, NCCI and EFI )
Yusuf Sadan, 1 Ashok Place, New Delhi - 110001
+91 11 23343457/ 23362058    Fax: +91 11 23746575
Catholic Bishops Conference of IndiaNational Council Of Churches in IndiaEvangelical Fellowship of India
His Eminence Baselios Cardinal CleemisBishop Dr. Taranath S. SagarRev. Hali Likha
President, CBCI, President NUCF,President NCCI, Co-President NUCFChairman EFI, Co-President NUCF
Father Joseph ChinnayyanRev. Dr. Roger GaikwadRev. Dr. Richard Howell
Deputy Secretary General CBCI,
Co Secretary NUCF
General Secretary NCCI,
Co Secretary NUCF
General Secretary EFI,
 Secretary NUCF

PRESS STATEMENT

 
National United Christian Forum Raises serious concerns
 
New Delhi: 20/12/2014We, the members of the National United Christian Forum (NUCF) comprising the three leading Churches of India, i.e. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) and the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), together express our serious concern about the current situation of the minorities, particularly the Christians in India.

The recent happenings in Bastar forcing the school to put the statue of Sarsawati Maa in a Catholic school and forbidding the children to address the principle with the honorific 'Father'; the burning of a church in Delhi; the declaration of 'Good Governance Day' on 25th December to undermine the importance of Christmas; the provocative call by some fundamentalists to convert 4000 Christians to Hinduism in Agra on Christmas Day and the regular targeting of the Christian community, calling them even anti-national is a cause of great concern for us.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Letter to the Indian Prime Minister expressing concern over the "good-days" and "good-governance"

To
Shri Narendra Modi,
Prime Minister of India

Honorable Prime Minister,

This letter is a continuation of the concerns expressed in the letter of 2nd December 2014 sent from the NCCI Secretariat. The NCCI is a council representing about 14 million Christians in India belonging to the Protestant and Orthodox Traditions in India. We are committed to unity, witness, service and exemplary practice in the country. As a well-read person, you are certainly aware of the tremendous contribution made by Christians of all traditions (Including Catholics), in history and up to the present, towards nation building through education, health care, orphanages, old people’s homes, counseling ministries, relief services provided during natural calamities, and the ongoing work for rehabilitation and development. The Church in India continues to be committed to the cause of dalits, tribal/adivasis, women, youth, children, the disabled, PLWA, mother earth - indeed all creation, particularly those who have been marginalized. We are committed to an India developed on the principles of justice and peace. 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

We weep with you oh Mothers, Sisters and Brothers of Pakistan - A letter from AICCW


Guns of Darkness! Why would I not curse you?
You turned love-filled homes into broken debris” (Pashto Couplet from Book ‘I am Malala’)

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18)

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
__________________________________________


My Dear bereaved Mothers, Sisters and Brothers in Pakistan,


We cannot wipe away your tears but we want to let you know that we weep with you and feel your pain.
We are shocked and pained to know about the murder of 132 innocent students and nine staff members who were killed on 16th December 2014 Tuesday by Taliban terrorists who entered a school in Peshawar. We are horrified to know that teachers were believed to be burnt alive while students were forced to watch as Taliban gunmen stormed the school in Pakistan. We can only imagine what trauma these innocent children might have gone through and what trauma you all and your country is going through now.


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

For our ongoing Solidarity and Commitment

Life with Dignity: Kairos Palestine 5th Anniversary

Kairos Palestine | Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum | Alternative Tourism Group
Conference Statement  


From December 2–4, 2014, over 250 participants from Palestine and many other countries[1] gathered in Bethlehem to commemorate the 5th anniversary of “A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith, Hope, and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering,” known as Kairos Palestine. The document,[2] produced by a broadly ecumenical group of Palestinian Christian leaders, offered a word of hope in a hopeless situation. It signaled a strong commitment for Palestinian Christians to participate fully in creative resistance to end Israeli occupation, a reality we again describe as “a sin against God and humanity.”

The document has developed into an active global movement. People in many other contexts, inspired by Kairos Palestine, have linked their local struggles for justice with the Palestinian struggle for freedom and dignity for all peoples in Palestine and Israel.

Message from NCCI General Secretary for Christmas and New Year 2015


God with us: Gospel in a Groaning World

Our Groaning World
We live in a world marked by several sufferings: “Many continue to reel from the impact of wars; ethnic and religious animosity, discrimination based on race and caste mar the fa├žade of nations and leave ugly scars. Thousands are dead, displaced, homeless, refugees within their own homeland. Women and children often bear the brunt of conflicts: many women are abused, trafficked, killed; children are separated from their parents, orphaned, recruited as soldiers, abused. Citizens in some countries face violence by occupation, paramilitaries, guerrillas, criminal cartels or government forces. Citizens of many nations suffer governments obsessed with national security and armed might; yet these fail to bring real security, year after year. Thousands of children die each day from inadequate nutrition while those in power continue to make economic and political decisions that favor a relative few.”

Friday, 12 December 2014

People's Reporter features NCCI's Centenary Celebrations Finale

National Council of Churches in India Centenary Celebrations Finale featured in People's Reporter Volume 27, Issue 22 (November 25 - December 10, 2014).



NCCI Centenary Celebrations Finale featured in People's Reporter Volume 27, Issue 22.
Page 1 of 8. Click link below to view/download the full feature in pdf. 


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Homage to Justice Dr. V. R. Krishna Iyer

Justice Dr. V. R. Krishna Iyer (November 1, 1915 – December 4, 2014)

The National Council of Churches in India is deeply saddened by the demise of the world renowned and a genuine Indian Human Right defender Honourable Justice. Dr. V. R. Krishna Iyer.

Dr. V R Krishna Iyer was socially sensitized and spiritually kindled judiciary and a moral rebel against human injustice. He was a peace lover and a visionary.   

Friday, 5 December 2014

Dalit Liberation Sunday 2014_Worship Order

“Dalit Culture, Dalit history, Dalit pathos:
Regaining the lost identity in Christ”.

We are in a crucial point of time in the Indian history, while we celebrate the Dalit Liberation Sunday in 2014. The grip of fascism and communalism becomes firm on Indian society. These regressive and dangerous elements are only the tip of the iceberg and the undercurrent of all these elements in India is casteism.
Forceful reconversions of the Dalit Christians, adamant denial of any possibility to extend Scheduled Caste status to Christians and Muslims from Dalit origin by a Central Minister of India, brutal killings of Dalits- in which Ahmednagar killing was the most brutal- and the lethargic attitude of police and the state in rendering investigation with justice, and the result of the survey conducted by the Merry Land University of US and National Council of Applied Economic Research that every fourth Indian still believes in untouchability are pointers to the dangerous shift in the Indian social matrix.
The most unfortunate factor is that the church in India is not an exemption from caste- based discrimination. When the Indian society is becoming for and more rightist, and the church is hesitant to take a stand against it, the lives of the Dalits, Tribals, Adivasis and the vulnerable communities in India.
The awakening of Dalits led by the Dalit intellectuals and theologians is the ray of hope amidst the tribulations for Dalits. Regaining the identity of Dalits using cultural ethos, rectified history by firmly focusing on the salvific acts of Christ is the theme of the Dalit Liberation Sunday in 2014. Let us celebrate the identity of Dalits in Christ!

Rev Sunil Raj Philip                                     Ms Ramani Ramya Krupa
Executive Secretary,                                      Chairperson,
Commission on Dalits, NCCI.                     Commission on Dalits, NCCI.


Some ideas for the Dalit Liberation Sunday Worship

Instructions to entry (Drama to enact)
At the beginning of the service, a Dalit man/woman with little dress stands at a corner of the chapel. The minister sees him and invites him to the front side. He walks towards the front.

NCCC-USA calls for accountability

 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them
is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are
all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
-Jesus, as recounted in Luke 12:6-7 (NRSV)

The decision of a Staten Island grand jury not to indict police officer Daniel Panteleo in the death of Eric Garner, coupled with the recent decision of a St. Louis grand jury not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, has sparked nationwide outrage and protests.
The National Council of Churches calls upon prosecutors and police forces, juries and judges, to hold police officers accountable when they kill.  The appropriate place to judge innocence or guilt is not in the grand jury but in a trial setting where defense and prosecution come together to carefully present the facts of a case.  
On December 2, 2014, the Wall Street Journal published an analysis of 105 police departments from 2007-2012 and found that 550 police killings were missing from the national total. Further, the Journal found that in those 105 police agencies at least 1800 people were killed by police. The current indignation is not based only on the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
We believe that no one can be above the law, including one whose job it is to enforce it.  We are deeply concerned about the ways the grand jury process is repeatedly producing the outcomes seen in Ferguson and now New York.
“While we support the use of body cameras by police, the case of Eric Garner clearly shows that a camera would not have prevented Mr. Garner’s death, nor would it ensure that the officers involved in his death would be held accountable for their abuse of power,” said NCC General Secretary Jim Winkler.  “As a society we must rid ourselves of the notion that one life is worth more than another.”
We continue to strive for a society in which every life, precious to God, is valued and cherished.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Fire destroys St. Sebastian Church in Delhi. NCCI Letter to Prime Minister


Top angle view of the damage inside St. Sebastian church in Delhi.
Image credit: Nikita Jacqueline Ekka. Accessed from: www.dnaindia.com

Below is the text of a letter written to Indian Prime Minister by Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of National Council of Churches in India.

December 2, 2014

Honorable Prime Minister, 

On behalf of the NCCI, I strongly urge you to take immediate measures to ensure that minority communities are not subject to attacks by fundamentalist communal groups. The Christian church in the country wants to see that democratic secularism in spirit and practice is strengthened by your government.