Dalit Christians: SC Status or No Votes

June 30, 2013 by admin  
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New Delhi, 29 June, 2013

Dalit Christians demand Scheduled Caste (SC) Status denied during the past 65 years.

Unjustified delay by the UPA Government in implementing Justice Misra recommendation

Decide to take a political stand in the forthcoming General Election 2014.

Dalit ChristiansThe SC status has been denied to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims by the Presidential Order (SC) 1950, Paragraph – 3 which conferred it first to Dalits professing Hinduism only and later on amended to extend it to Sikh and Buddhist Dalits. It remains a religion-based discrimination selectively against the Christian and Muslim Dalits.

A Writ Petition (No. 180/2004) was filed in the Supreme Court appealing for the deletion of the above said Paragraph-3 as being anti-secular and unconstitutional. In response to the query of the Supreme Court, the UPA Government referred it to the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) headed by the retired Chief Justice of India, Ranganath Misra, to study and recommend on it and told the court that it would take a decision based on it.

After extensive study, Ranganath Misra Report was submitted in May 2007 and it eminently justified and insistently recommended the SC status to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims. Subsequently, the Government referred the matter to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), which also recommended the same. Further, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) recommended it. Leaders of almost all major political parties, prominent Dalit leaders have also written to Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh recommending the same, which indicates wide political consensus. Some state governments have passed resolutions in support of this and some Chief Ministers have written to the Prime Minister. Despite all these the Union Government has not taken action on it.

First in 2005 the Government told the Supreme Court that it would take a decision based on the Ranganath Mistra recommendation.        On 23.01.2008 itself for the court hearing the Government, through th Additional Solicitor General told that it would take a decision and file a reply in eight weeks’ time. Even after that, it gave such replies about 8 times in the past 5 years. But the reply is not given to the Supreme Court for more than 8 years.

Thus the Congress-led UPA government has not fulfilled any of these assurances, but only shifting from one reason to another to avoid it.  Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims all over India are now quite aware of the deliberate delay tactics of the Congress (and the UPA Government) and it stands exposed to be the real obstacle in getting the right.

This has urged them to take a political stand against the delay in resolving the issue.

About 100 Dalit Christian Leaders representing various states and different denominations of the Church in India gathered today at the Conference Hall, CNI Bhavan, Delhi to deliberate on the issue and take a political stand in the light of the forthcoming General Election 2014.

They have expressed great disappointment and regret of their people over the negligent attitude of the Congress-led UPA Government in dealing with the issue and the failure to resolve it by implementing the Ranganath Misra recommendation or through the judicial process.

Dalit ChristiansThey have decided not to the support the Government and any political party which fails to take serious action to resolve the issue soon.  They are also requesting the authorities of all the Church denominations to collaborate and do the same.

It is not enough if political parties promise support in their Election Manifesto. They want them to raise the issue in the Parliament and strongly support.

They have decided to take this political message and decision to the grassroots and conscientise Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims and these minority communities at large in the months ahead.

National Co-ordination Committee                                                    National Council of Dalit

for Dalit Christians (NCCDC)                                                                 Christians (NCDC)

 

3,600 return from Kuwait. India asks for ‘time & space’

June 30, 2013 by admin  
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Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta

Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta

New Delhi, June 28, 2013:  With around 3,600 Indians having returned from Kuwait this year, India Friday said it has asked the Gulf country’s government to “provide time and space” to expatriates overstaying or on irregular visas to return on their own or to regularise their stay as per its law.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said here at a briefing that 3,600 Indians have returned home since the beginning of the year. These include 1,000 who had been issued Emergency Certificates and 2,600 who had their passports.

Following some instances of Indians complaining of harassment by the Kuwaiti authorities, the Indian embassy has set up round-the-clock help desks and also provided an email where Indians could convey their problems, he said.

While the embassy has received 600 telephone calls and 100 emails till now, Akbaruddin clarified that none of them related to complaints of harassment.

“None of them related to any specific case of harassment,” he said, adding that the messages from the Indians were about their fears and apprehensions.

He said that “any case of harassment will be taken up (with the Kuwaiti authorities) and taken to its logical conclusion”.

He also said that the Indian embassy and Indian envoy Satish C. Mehta were in touch with the local Indian organisations as well as with “large employers ” employing more than 5,000 people to find out if any Indians had any problems.

Akbaruddin said India has also taken up the issue with the Kuwaiti authorities, in New Delhi and in Kuwait, “and our view is should they want to crack down.. they should provide space and time to expatriates to leave of their own.. Provide time or regularise their stay in accordance with Kuwaiti law”.

There are 700,000 Indians in Kuwait, an increase of 25,000 over last year, he informed.

Kuwait has announced a policy to reduce the number of its expatriate workers over a 10-year period, under which it is targeting expatriates who overstayed or have irregular visas.

In neighbouring Saudi Arabia, where 2.8 million Indians work, the kingdom’s Nitaqat work policy has also affected Indian workers and thousands of them have returned home.

- ians

Hindutvas enter Duagarh church – forced conversions

June 30, 2013 by admin  
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church in Duagarh AttackedOdisha, June 28, 2013: The extremists entered the “independent Pentecostal Church” in the Canalpada village in the district on June 24. The seven Christian leaders present, in order to avoid conflicts, took a car to go back home.They were followed by the Hindu men on motorcycles and blocked their car, leading to an accident.The passengers, including, Pastor Sura Mahat Samal, suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital.
Back Ground-2011

In Malkangiri district, Christian villagers are not allowed to draw water from a public well.Christian families have started to draw water from a nearby river, but due to heavy rains, the river has become muddy. In May, a Christian woman who went to fetch water from the public well was beaten up severely by three Hindu men.Due to the threats and discrimination suffered, Christians have been forced to move to another area. GCIC had expressed deep concern over the spate of anti- Christian attacks launched against the tribal Christians in Malkangiri, Orissa and held a Dharna to appeals to the government to take appropriate and urgent action.

The Koya tribal Christians living in different villages in Malkangiri district have borne the brunt of a series of anti- Christian’s violence since 8 December, 2010. Over 10 attacks were recorded by the Malkangiri District Christian Manch (MDCM) in a space of one month.

Christian women, some pregnant, as well as children were among those injured in the attacks on churches, reported Pastor Vijay Purusu of Bethel Church and president of the MDCM. The spate of attacks began on 8 December in Katanpali village, when about 35 Hindu extremists stormed the house of Pastor Mark Markani and beat him. It was alleged that the attack was instigated by the extremist group from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Christians have suffered midnight raids on prayer meetings in which they have been beaten, reported Pastor Purusu, resulting in some Christians fleeing their homes and going into hiding. At least four families have left their village and not returned due to extremist warnings, reported the Malkangiri District Christian Manch (MDCM). The Manch has met with the District Collector and Superintendent of Police and a memorandum was also submitted to the state Chief Minister on 27 January. “Delayed action.

However, according to local Christians, the peace committees have failed to restore peace in the region. In the latest incident in Murliguda, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Malkangiri town, about 60 assailants from the Hindu extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on 23 February damaged the eardrums of Bhadan Hontal and beat another Christian, Markari Soma, until he fell unconscious, according to a report by the MDCM.

According to the area church leaders, the growing attacks on Christians were a symptom of fear among the Hindu extremists that the Christians and Church are doing well in many fields. The Christians’ social and educational ministries have been misunderstood as an allurement to convert other faith to Christianity.

- gcic

Muslims should not negotiate deals with BJP

June 30, 2013 by admin  
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Muslims should not negotiate deals with BJPJune 28, 2013: As the 2014 parliamentary election approaches I notice that some Muslim activists are starting to ask BJP to spell out what is their program for the Muslims. They are saying that if BJP makes corrections for the demolition of the Babri mosque and the 2002 Gujarat genocide and agrees to give space to Muslims in their reign, Muslims may negotiate an arrangement with them. This is a potentially very harmful and disturbing strategy.

Muslim community activists should not make the mistake of negotiating deals with BJP people. They must understand that from the beginning and until now BJP is continuing to be controlled by RSS which is an 80 year old right wing extremist Hindu supremacist organization. The games that Vajpayee played with Muslims and that Advani is playing with them now are tactical deceptive traps.

The core objective of RSS and BJP is to discard the nation’s secular fabric, polity and government and replace it with a theocratic, Hindu-dominant one and make India a Hindu theocratic nation. In that non-secular Hindu nation they may give a limited place on their terms to some Muslims; but the nation and all of its institutions will be Hindu, not secular.

Then India may become a mirror image of some non-secular and theocratic countries in the Middle-East. The Indian nation and society may then become like Israel or Afghanistan and may become ghettoized. In that India a few namesake Muslims like BJP’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Shahnawaz Hussain, late Sikandar Bakht or the other lesser known opportunist Muslims from BJP’s Minority Morcha may be given places of honor, on the condition of them accepting the basic BJP/RSS philosophy of India being a Hindu Rastra – the century old dream of RSS stalwarts like Guru Golwalkar. BJP has never accepted that India is a composite nation.

BJP’s concept of religious and ethnic minorities in the nation is like the Nazi concept of minorities in the Germany of 1930s-1940s, where they did have a limited space for some from the minority communities like Jews, Slovaks, Gypsies at the cost of equal citizenship for all belonging to the minority communities. As we saw during the six year BJP rule (1998-2004) in New Delhi, once they are in power it is not difficult for them to find collaborator Muslims who are willing to accept and applaud that being a Hindu Rashtra and discarding secularism is good both for India and Indian Muslims.

Muslims should not negotiate deals with BJPIn those years of BJP rule in New Delhi, the then Education/ Human Resources minister Murli Manohar Joshi launched a massive nationwide campaign to change the very nature of universities, colleges, schools, national television, radio and a whole lot of cultural and educational organizations into theocratic Hindu-centric bodies. The culture and traditions of Muslims and Christians was systematically replaced with Hindu religious elements. In fact BJP degraded the secular practices in the country by labeling them pseudo-secular.

In its last six year rule BJP did not succeed in removing the secular structure of the nation because of the resistance that they received from about two-thirds of the Hindus. These secular (not irreligious) Hindus do not want India to become a theocratic nation like Israel or Afghanistan, and believe in giving minority Muslims and Christians equal space in the nation. They believe in a composite India and not a one-track India.

In India Muslims with 15% of the population and Christians with 3% of the population total no more than 180 million Indians. This combined figure has very limited weight in the Indian polity. It is only when they are supported by two-thirds of the Hindus- about 500 million Indians, that their collective number approaches about 700 million. And that is too big an opposition for BJP to surmount.

But if Muslims start negotiating a separate deal for themselves with BJP, not only the total strength of the non-theocratic, secular forces in the country will dimnish significantly but it may cause many of the secular 500 million Hindus to get swayed to support the Hindu Rashtra lobby. And that may actually result in India becoming a theocratic Hindu Rashtra.

Muslims should not negotiate deals with BJPOnce BJP is successful in making India a Hindu Rashtra, they can easily discard all those guarantees of protected rights that some Muslims had earlier negotiated with them. And then Muslims in India will become like Arabs in Israel – a helpless community with no way to resolve their isolation and helplessness, despite promises of equal citizenship.

Indian Muslims should never negotiate like the pre-independence Muslim League and Jinnah, who were duped by the British into accepting a non-viable and truncated Pakistan comprising of two halves 1,000 miles apart. Jinnah himself said that he had received a moth eaten Pakistan. That kind of country with all the guarantees of sovereignty from India had basic fatal flaws and was bound to fail as it did in just 24 years.

Muslims should understand that half a dozen major regional secular political parties ruling half a dozen major states (Samajwadi Party or Bahujan Samaj Party in UP; Nitish Kumar’s JD- United in Bihar; Mamta Bannerji’s Trinamool Congress in Bengal; Navin Patnaik’s Janata Dal in Orrisa; Jayalalitha’s AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and the Forward Block coalition in Kerala) who have no love lost for BJP are a very formidable bulwark against the emergence of a BJP led government in New Delhi. These parties have come to power with substantial Muslim votes and thus they simply cannot act against the best interests of Muslims.

Muslims should monitor and manage these parties with tactical voting to ensure that communal forces do not gain power either in the states or at the Center. Muslim Community’s’ welfare lies in forming coalitions with these secular forces and working with them, not negotiating deals with either sectarian Hindus or sectarian Muslims.

- tcn

Pak Girl with Down’s Syndrom Arrested for Blasphemy Granted Assylum in Canada

June 30, 2013 by admin  
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Pak Girl with Down's Syndrom arrested for BlasphemyPakistan, June 28, 2013: Rimsha Masih, a 14 years Christian girl with Down syndrome arrested on blasphemy charges from a slum of Islamabad in August 2012, on complaint of a local mosque cleric of Mehrabad, is in Canada where she and her family have been granted asylum.

Rimsha Masih was acquitted from charges of blasphemy from city courts of Islamabad when Muslim witnesses stepped forwarded before judge to testify that Imam of mosque allegedly put pages of Quran teaching in trash bag thrown by 14 years Christian girl.

Later, Islamabad high Courts ordered to quash the FIR First Information Report lodged against Rimsha Masih under Section 295 B and C PPC, to end this controversial blasphemy law case.

A leading Pakistani Muslim Cleric Allama Tahir Ashrafi, Chairman of Pakistan Ulma Council played a positive role to bring facts on ground about this false blasphemy case.

The family and Rimsha Masih were moved to an unknown location in Pakistan for safety of her life as Muslim mob attacked her home and other Christian’s homes in Meherabad colony of Islamabad.

The situation was so tense that police was forced to escort Rimsha Masih in a military helicopter from Adial Jail Rawalpindi after her bail due to security reasons which was covered by national and international media to make it very high profile case.

As,Civil Society Activists who were handling case of Rimsha Masih and moved her to undisclosed location in Pakistan were upset when Muslim Cleric Chishti who was arrested on planting burnt Quran Teaching pages in Rimsha Masih trash bag had approached Supreme Court of Pakistan and challenged decision of IHC and his petition was admitted for hearing in January 2013.

There was not any news released by APMA nor by its sister organization in Canada ICV to confirm asylum of Rimsha Masih and her family and when they moved to Canada but local Canadian Press spotted her and broke this news.

- pakistan christian post

Mary had a little Lamb

June 30, 2013 by admin  
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We’re all familiar with, “Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world…”. There is another way to remind us !

 

Dove

Little Lamb

Lamb of God

- fwd: floripe dsilva

Pope: Christian unity, an “urgency” in a world “hungry for truth and love”

June 29, 2013 by admin  
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Francis receives Ecumenical Patriarchate delegation in Rome for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The Pope and Bartholomew, who sent a message, highlight how the search for unity is not the compilation of different opinions promulgated to integrate in a harmonious way, but the revelation of the one truth expressed through and in the divine person of Jesus Christ.

Pope FrancisVatican City, June 28, 2013: Christians cannot escape the “urgency” of the search for unity, in a world “hungry and thirsty for truth, love, hope, peace and unity.” On the occasion of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the patron saints of the Church of Rome, these are the sentiments echoed by the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who – as has now become customary since 1969 – has sent a delegation – and a message – for  the celebration

The Orthodox delegation, led by Ioannis (Zizioulas), Metropolitan of Pergamon, co-chair of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church was received by Francis, with whom he then had lunch.

The search for unity, in the words of the Pope, “is important for our own witness, to finally announce with one voice the good news of the Gospel.”

“I am confident that the effort to reflect together, complex and laborious though it is, will bear fruit in due course.  I find it reassuring to know that Catholics and Orthodox share a notion of dialogue that is not about seeking a theological lowest common denominator on which to reach a compromise, but is rather about deepening our grasp of the sole truth that Christ has given to his Church, a truth that we never cease to understand better, as we follow the Holy Spirit’s promptings”.

“Our faith – writes Bartholomew in his message – is not a compilation of diverse opinions promulgated to integrate discussion in a harmonious way; it is the revelation of the singular truth expressed through and in the divine person of Jesus Christ”.

“We are not ignorant – he adds – We are not ignorant of the existing impediments to the desirable unity of all Christians. Nevertheless, we shall not cease working with all our strength and aspiring to the All-Holy Spirit. Today, the same Spirit also renders us “bold heralds” of Christian unity .”

The Ecumenical Patriarch also emphasizes simplicity that characterizes the style of Pope Francis. “This spirit – he adds – must surely also characterize relations among Churches and Christians, who for reasons known to the Lord are divided today.” ” It is our personal hope that the incomplete dialogues among the various Churches – and especially the dialogue between our two great Churches of Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, a dialogue of love, theology and truth – will continue to bear fruit in a spirit of simplicity and fraternity, of mutual understanding and truthfulness, in order to bring about the desired result of rapprochement through the unique authenticity in Christ”.

“We must not – concluded the Pope – be afraid of encounter and true dialogue.  This does not lead us away from the truth; rather, through an exchange of gifts, it leads us, under the guidance of the Spirit of Truth, towards the whole Truth .

- asianews

‘Muslim marriage circular based on non-existent law’

June 29, 2013 by admin  
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Muslim marriageKerala, June 26, 2013: Adding a new twist to the controversy over the government order on registration of marriage of Muslim boys and girls, a legal view has emerged that the order was issued based on a “non-existing provision in a non-existing law.” Legal commentator Kaleeswaram Raj has said that the controversial order was based on a law that was never enacted in India and was liable to be recalled and cancelled.

The circular stated that “as per the Muslim Marriage Act, 1957, it is not stipulated that a Muslim girl should attain the age of 18 years or a Muslim boy should attain the age of 21 years at the time of marriage”. However, there is no law titled the ‘Muslim Marriage Act, 1957” in the country and as such, there is no such legal stipulation either, he said. The government was wrongly advised in the matter. The author of the circular, the Principal Secretary to government, relied on a law prevailing in the country of Jamaica. In India, the age with respect to Muslim marriage is determined by the principles of Mohammedan law which are not codified. There is a reference to marriage of girls below 15 years in the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, vide S.2 (vii) thereof. The Indian Parliament has not passed any law stating that minors can contract marriage if they belong to the Muslim community, he pointed out.

The circular also wrongly indicated that Parliament had endorsed such child marriages. Hence, the circular is liable to be recalled and cancelled, he said.

Government stand

Meanwhile, the State government is understood to have asked the State Law Secretary to visit the objections raised against the order and come out with a report in a day or two. M.K. Muneer, the Minister for Panchayats and Social Justice, had held discussions with senior officials of the department regarding the order. The government may consider issuing a revised order to bring clarity to the issue after receiving the report, sources said.

The order had created a furore in the State as various sections of the community and political parties took sides on the issue. CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said there was strong opposition to the order from progressive sections of the people even within the Muslim community. He had also called for the cancellation of the order.

- the hindu

Naga mothers asked to fight Satan worship

June 29, 2013 by admin  
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Christian leaders said there were more than 3,000 Satan worshippers in the capital Kohima alone and the cult was spreading like “wildfire.”

Devil WorshipNagaland, June 27, 2013: The role of mothers in fighting to save their teenage children from satanic worshippers was a concern discussed during a seminar of Nagaland Catholic Association (NCWA) this week.

The prime role of Catholic mothers is to strengthen their children with sound knowledge of their Christian faith without which they easily fall prey to disoriented life, some of them even being in danger of exposure to seductions by the devil to satanic worship, the seminar stressed.

Being aware of the fact that the family is the first school for a child, the mothers want to ensure that their children are well grounded at least in basic knowledge of their faith.

They want their children to be saved only by Jesus Christ instead of being allured and finally destroyed forever by the crafty and subtle deceiver known as the “devil.”

Christian leaders in the state began “crusade” in April in a bid to stop teenagers and youths from allegedly practising Satan worship, a local media report said.

Reverend Zotuo Kiewhuo, senior pastor of Koinonia Baptist Church told a newspaper in April that there were more than 3,000 Satan worshippers in the capital Kohima alone and the cult was spreading like “wildfire”. These are mostly teenagers and youth.

He said the cult was practised by youths in schools and colleges and it has been going on for the past four to five years. The Baptist clergyman said youngsters have imbibed the culture through social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter.

“There is an identity crisis among our youths and thus being led to such practices.”

Rev. Shan Kikon, senior pastor and founder of Faith Harvest Church, said he was not sure about the number of Satan worshippers has come across even a Class VI student practising Satan worship.”

He said teenagers and youths were easily influenced by the alien culture through social websites and friends. Several parents have come to him to rescue their children from such practices, he added.

The “crusade” organizers said that “dark forces was sweeping Kohima and there was an unseen warfare wrecking societies, institutions, families and the hopes and cultures of generations with moral corruption.”

The June 22-24 seminar of the Catholic association comes against this background. The seminar held at Kohima Village discussed the topic: role of women in imparting faith in the family and society.

Alhou-ii Albina, was the resource person for the 50 participants at the seminar. Father Mhabemo Mathew, spiritual director and Sister Sandra, women co-coordinator of the association helped organize the program.

Association president Annie Kath said the seminar ignited the participants to organize faith-related seminars in their own areas to help them grow in, live out and share faith with others.

- the morung express / the telegraph

Bangalore life challenge centre attacked

June 29, 2013 by admin  
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Bangalore life challenge centreBangalore, June 26, 2013: Pastor Dr. P.M. John is involved in the ministry of de-addiction and helps alcoholics and drug addicts to come out of this evil of addiction and live sober lives as normal members of society. He is the director of the centre called Bangalore Life Challenge where he houses these unfortunate people and tries to wean them away from that curse of addiction. The centre is situated on Logos Street, R.S. Palya, Kammanahalli Road, Bangalore-560033.

On the night of June 23rd 2013, about 30 men who were fully drunk, also accompanied by some local people who live on the street behind the centre, came to the centre and began accusing that some of the inmates of the centre were talking loosely about the women folk in the neighbourhood of the m. The officials in charge of the centre tried to pacify them assuring them that they would definitely look into the matter and take necessary action. But in spite of all the assurances they were not appeased, and some of them who were drunk, ran up the stairs and began breaking the windows of the centre. They broke all the windows and also tried to break down its door.

Some of them also rushed towards the pastor, Dr. P M John and his son, and attacked them both. They began punching them and pushing them around till they completed breaking all the windows of the centre. The police were alerted immediately and as soon as the police arrived, all the culprits fled from the place. Pastor Dr. P M John later visited the Banaswadi Police Station and lodged a complaint against the attackers. The police authorities have promised him that they would take necessary action at the earliest and book the culprits.

- persecution.in

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