CCBI Youth National Consultation. Implementation of Pastoral Plan for a vibrant apostolate

November 28, 2013 by admin  
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CCBI  Youth Commission

The Council of Catholic Bishops of India ( CCBI ) National Youth Commission held its historic first national consultation, where for the first time, the regional secretaries, and the diocesan secretaries of Youth Commissions and the national directors and coordinators of five major youth movements in India came together at Apostolic Carmel Generalate, Bangalore, on 9-10 November 2013. The first national consultation focused on two significant needs of the Church in India, namely implementation of the CCBI Pastoral plan at the grassroots levels for a vibrant youth apostolate in India and the need and ways of networking between Youth Commissions and Youth Movements across India.

Fr. Elias ofm, the Executive Secretary, in his a short inaugural address stressed on the need of the national Youth Commission to transform millions of Youth in Indiafrom “being Observers of Life to Participants of Life, and the need for the Commissions and Movements to create a value chain and make the youth of India as an innovative power”and welcomed the delegates to the first national consultation.

At this historic event, The CCBI national youth Commission released a  handbook which consisted of the structure of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, CCBI- National commission for youth , extracts from the pastoral plan of CCBI, strategies for implementing CCBI pastoral plan for a vibrant youth apostolate in India.

CCBI  Youth CommissionBishop Henry D’souza the Chairman of CCBI youth commission explained to the delegates the vision, mission and role  of CCBI and CCBI youth commission, namely “The Catholic Church in India, a Community of Christ’s faithful, called to proclaim the Gospel and to be at the service of God and all people,  and that we live it by being committed todeepen our faith in Jesus Christ through the Word of God and Prayer to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed, by living lives of love and service, to promote integral human development with a preferential option for the poor and marginalized for the salvation of all”

He also explained the objective of the youth movement to make young people true Disciples of Christ – declaring and living one’s Catholic identity, to participate in the Life of the Church – enriched by the Word of GOD and Sacraments, to transform young people into Christian Leaders building a new society, to empower ‘youth to youth’ out-reach initiatives and to foster a culture of Excellence that leads to Holistic Success – Individual and Collective. He invited the priests to lead the youth to faith and to transform the society and give Jesus to the youth.

While Fr. Faustin Lobo the National Director (PMS) presented the pastoral plan, Fr. George SJ focused on implementation of the pastoral plan for a vibrant youth apostolate in India. The Regional and Diocesan Commissions and the Youth Movements were given a framework through which they were asked to formulate an action plan for their regions. Translating strategies into an action plan at Regional and Diocesan levels and movements’ level was discussed by different groups. Each group presented their objectives and plan of implementation for their regions for the coming three years.

Day Two focussed on the ground reality of youth today. While the youth stressed on their currents issues/problems, they also expected the priests to be role models to inspire youth in parishes. Sharing of best praticses by various youth movements and commissions became an eye opener. While we learned on each others’ best practises, we also recognized the contritubtion made by many various movements and commissions for a vibrant youth apostolate in India. the panel also discuessed on importance, and ways and means of networking with each other.

All the delegates, while complementing the CCBI Youth Commission for inviting them for a national level consultation, promised to implement the pastoral plan of CCBI at the grassroots levels. The secretaries and the national coordinators were asked to go back to their regions, and with the the help of diocesan secretaries and youth, to come back with a concrete plan of action within the next three months. The National Youth Commission will follow up with all the Regional Commissions and Youth Movements every quarter to ensure on the implementation of the pastoral plan for a vibrant youth apostolate in India.

The National Youth Commission with this historic event has certainly begun a  journey of network and companionship.  Rightly so, the CCBI Youth Commission has found the compass for leadership direction and Youth animationto reach milestone across India.

- fr. elias

Meghalaya CM breaks down at Unesco seminar

November 28, 2013 by admin  
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Meghalaya CM breaks down at UnescoMeghalaya, November 28, 2013: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Wednesday broke down in tears in front of the audience at a Unesco seminar here, lamenting on the gradual collapse of peace and harmony in the state.

Recalling the 2011 ethnic clash between the Garo and Rabha communities, Sangma said people are being taken for a ride, and manipulated by many vested interests.

“It was painful. Members of the communities, who have been living with each other, started fighting each other.

“They forgot traditional values,” Sangma said in his inaugural address at an international seminar on cultural heritage and peace education organised by Unesco here.

“During the last elections, I would always say a prayer, that is to bless my people with knowledge, wisdom and enlightenment so that they may not be manipulated,” said Sangma.

The chief minister, otherwise known as a stern political leader, broke down before hurriedly returning to his seat at the convention centre.

Sangma lamented the gradual collapse of peace and harmony.

“The tenets of tolerance, traditional and moral values, love, compassion, and harmony were strongly upheld by forefathers, but people have forgotten these traditional values,” he said.

He came down heavily on politicians who attempt to infuse a sense of insecurity into the minds of people.

“Political leaders make speeches where they try to talk about their own communities and infuse a sense of insecurity in the minds of the people, thereby creating a divide and a situation, which is fertile for any kind of communal hatred,” Sangma said.

Sangma underscored the importance of education to keep communal hatred at bay.

“When people are educated, they will know how to insulate themselves from being manipulated,” he added.

- ians

Muslims announce poll agenda. What about Christians?

November 28, 2013 by admin  
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Muslims announce their election agendaNew Delhi, November 22, 2013: 32 leading Muslims of India hailing from 18 states assembled in National Sports Club of India, near India Gate, New Delhi and made the following declaration before a large number of representatives of the print and electronic media]

During the last four and a half years, except partly amending the Waqf law, the UPA Government at the centre has not taken any institutional measure for the long term welfare of Muslims, while at least twenty vital works are pending for long. In those states where UPA parties are ruling the Mishra Commission and Sachar Committee reports have not been implemented. Even Government encroachments on Waqf properties have not been removed. In the upcoming 2-3 months also, Muslims will closely watch the doings or failures of the Governments of UPA and its allies.

Those national and state level parties and independent candidates who are looking for Muslim votes will have to write on their letterheads to the Muslim organizations, promising to do 20 Works for Muslims within the demanded time-frame, will have to clearly mention the time bound completion of all these 20 Works in their manifesto and will have to clearly and repeatedly speak about these 20 Works in all their election speeches. Besides, if any party has its government running currently in any state or union territory then it will have to immediately begin doing there these 20 Works for Muslims.

These 20 Works have been talked about in detail in meetings recently held in Delhi and many other states. The list is as follows.

1. Create time-bound fast track courts to try terror allegations. Merely issuing a central advisory is not sufficient. The political party ruling in the state concerned will have to immediately appoint the fast track courts. (Home Ministry)

2. Provide compensation of Rupees fifty lakh to each person who is judicially acquitted of terror allegations. (Home Ministry)

3. Get passed from Parliament fast the Prevention of Targeted Communal Violence Bill. (Home Ministry)

4. From the definition of ‘Scheduled Caste’ delete the conditionality of religion.Delete para 3 from the 1950 Order through a simple parliamentary resolution.(Mishra Commission & Sachar Committee) (Ministry of Law)

5. De-reserve constituencies with substantial Muslim influence. Immediately appoint the next Delimitation Commission with clear time-bound mandate to remove these anomalies.(Sachar Committee) (Ministry of Law)

6. Evolve procedure to nominate Muslims in public positions of power.(Sachar Committee)(Cabinet Secretariat & Ministry of Minority Affairs)

7. Earmark 67% for Muslims out of the Reservation to be made for all minorities – as Muslims constitute 73% of all minorities.(Mishra Commission) (Ministry of Law)

8. Create Special Component Plan in the Budget for Muslims for skill development programs and other economic opportunities.(‘Promises to Keep’ by Harsh Mandar & others) (Planning Commission & Ministry of Finance)

9. Enhance Outlay for 15 Point Program to 19% of total plan allocation.(‘Promises to Keep’ by Harsh Mandar & others) (Minority Affairs Ministry, Planning Commission & Finance Ministry)

10. Make the village (in rural area) and ward (in urban area) [and not the district or block] as units of planning for infrastructure schemes (including MSDP) and their implementation.(‘Promises to Keep’ by Harsh Mandar & others) (Planning Commission)

11. For special recruitment of 1400 additional IPS officers, scrap the Limited Competitive Examination as it preempts Muslim intake.(Ministries of Personnel & Home)

12. Establish Indian Waqf Service on the pattern of several states where senior officers are directly recruited, by state law, to manage Hindu temples & endowments.(Sachar Committee) (Ministries of Personnel & Minority Affairs)

13. (a) Include the following Sachar + JPC recommendations of vital significance (which have not been incorporated in Waqf Act 2013) in the Waqf Rules and/or departmental instructions.

(i) The Secretary of the Central Waqf Council shall not be of official rank lower than Joint Secretary to the Government of India.
(ii) No Waqf property shall be leased at less than the currently prevalent fair market rate of rent.
(iii) No Waqf lease proposal shall be required to be submitted to the state government before issuing the lease order by the State Waqf Board.

(Sachar Committee Report & JPC on Waqfs ) Ministry of Minority Affairs

13(b) Act on PM Indira Gandhi’s letter no. 71-PMO/76 dated March 26, 1976 addressed to the chief ministers (reproduced in Sachar Committee Report on page 223). Vacate Waqf properties occupied by the Governments in the centre and states and restore these to the State Waqf Boards.(Sachar Committee & JPC on Waqfs) (PMO & Ministry of Minority Affairs)

14(a) Publicize Madarsa Scheme (SPQEM) in Urdu & other languages. The amount of Rs 50 lakh granted every year for publicity, has not been adequately utilized. (Ministry of HRD)

14(b) Establish equivalence between Madarsa and other education. Translate into Urdu, Hindi and regional languages the DOPT Order dated 23 February 2010 referred to, for this purpose, by the Ministry of HRD on its website and publish the translated versions in the newspapers published in these languages from the states.(Sachar Committee Report) (Ministry of HRD) [UGC + NIOS]

15. Within one year of taking oath, ensure the conferment of ‘Minority Status’ on theAligarh Muslim University founded by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Take similar action for other institutions founded by Muslims and other minorities.(Ministry of HRD)

16. Give option for interest-free finance in the banking sector. Implement the recommendations of Raghuram Rajan Committee on financial sector reforms of the Planning Commission. (Planning Commission)

17. Central Urdu Teachers Scheme: Follow up and get resolved non-implementation in states. (Ministry of HRD)

18. Establish Equal Opportunity Commission. (Modalities were finalized by Expert Committee 4 years ago)(Sachar Committee Report) (Ministry of Minority Affairs)

19. Institute the Schemes for Incentives based on Diversity Index. (Modalities were finalized by Expert Committee 4 years ago)(Sachar Committee Report) (Ministry of Minority Affairs)

20(a). Involve Muslim beneficiary groups in planning & oversight ofprojects. (Cabinet Secretariat & Ministry of Minority Affairs)

20(b). Concentrate on benefiting the whole Muslim community, not only a few individuals.

During the last one and a half years, in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Government has not fulfilled a single electoral promise made to the Muslims. Neither it granted reservation to Muslims nor did it implement the Sachar Committee’s recommendations. Rather, it failed to preempt or control the mass violence committed in Muzaffarnagar against Muslims. Now, official assistance has been announced to a few out of one lakh displaced persons and even that on the condition that the victims will never go back to reoccupy their houses.

On the other hand, through a PowerPoint presentation made at Ahmedabad on 29 June 2013 in a program of Sri Narendra Modi, the reasons of Muslims’ mass displeasure with BJP were eloquently narrated. This presentation has been widely noted in the media and can be seen on the internet. But there is no improvement in the principles, policies, actions and utterances of the Sangh Parivar, the BJP and Sri Narendra Modi.

Thus, during the upcoming elections, Muslims would like to vote for carefully selected independent candidates and national and state level parties other than BJP, Samajwadi Party and UPA and its allies.

- tcn

Faith Without Action

November 28, 2013 by admin  
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Napoleon HillNapoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe can be achieved.”

While this statement sounds rather grandiose, there is certainly a measure of truth in it.

As the old saying goes, you can’t steer a ship or a bicycle to go anywhere until they’re moving.

Zig Ziglar in his book, ‘See You at the Top’, put it this way:

“The largest locomotive in the world can be held in its tracks while standing still simply by

placing a single one-inch block of wood in front of each of the eight drive wheels.

Zig ZiglarThe same locomotive moving at 100 miles per hour can crash through a wall of steel reinforced concrete five feet thick.”

The important thing is that we get moving!

Some people are sitting around waiting for some kind of special call

or revelation from God before they get involved in His work.

It’s not likely to happen because God has already given us lots of instructions in his Word regarding what to do.

All we need to do is read these instructions … and start moving into action!

Prayers:

Dear God please help me to be a doer of your Word and not just a hearer. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayers.

- fwd: vc mathews

Zig Ziglar

NY: US $14 m Psalm Book – World’s most expensive

November 28, 2013 by admin  
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The world's most expensive book, The Bay Psalm Book, was the first book printed in what is now the United States

The world's most expensive book, The Bay Psalm Book, was the first book printed in what is now the United States

November 27, 2013: The first book printed in what is today the United States of America sold for $14 million at auction in New York, becoming the world’s most expensive printed book.

The translation of Biblical psalms, “The Bay Psalm Book”, was printed by Puritan settlers in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1640 and sold yesterday at a one-lot auction in just minutes by Sotheby’s.

Bidding opened at $US6 million and closed swiftly at a hammer price of $12.5 million, rising to $14.165 million once the buyer’s premium was incorporated.

The book, with its browning pages and gilt edges, was displayed in a glass case behind the auctioneer to a relatively small crowd who attended the less than five-minute auction in person.

The settlers, who came to America to seek religious freedom, had set about making their own preferred translation from the Hebrew original of the Old Testament book after arriving from Europe.

Sotheby’s named the buyer as David Rubenstein, the billionaire American financier and philanthropist. He was in Australia and his bid was conducted by telephone.

Sotheby’s had valued the book at $15-30 million, but denied any disappointment in the sale price reached yesterday.

David Redden, auctioneer and head of Sotheby’s books said $14.165 million “represents a new world record for any printed book”.

The previous record was $11.5 million, reached when a copy of John James Audubon’s “Birds of America” sold at Sotheby’s in December 2010.

Rubenstein plans to share the psalm book with the American public by loaning it to a number of libraries around the country and placing it on long-time loan to one of them, Redden said.

“We’re very very pleased about this purchase. If you recall David Rubenstein also brought the Magna Carta from us back in 2007 for the same reason, to make sure Americans would understand the significance of their heritage,” he added.

“We greatly appreciate his interest in the sale,” Redden said.

The Magna Carta sold for $21.3 million in New York. It was one of only 17 existing copies of the 800-year-old English royal manuscript setting out the rights of man.

Redden said “The Bay Psalm Book” was a “great rarity” and that only two of 11 surviving copies had come to sale in the past 100 years.

He described the price as “very strong and hefty”.

“It’s very important because of its story. It’s the first book printed in America and the first book written in America,” Redden told reporters.

Before the sale, Redden said the volume had even greater significance as a precursor to Lexington and Concord, and, ultimately, to American political independence.

“With it, New England declared its independence from the Church of England,” he said.

There were 1700 copies of the original 1640 edition. The 11 that have survived are in collections such as The Library of Congress in New York and Harvard College Library.

No copy had previously been auctioned since 1947, when a different copy fetched $151,000 – a record at the time for any book, including the Gutenberg Bible or Shakespeare’s First Folio.

The book was sold by the Old South Church in Boston to benefit its work in the historic city. The same church possesses another copy of the “Bay Psalm Book.”

Selby Kiffer, from Sotheby’s special projects department, called it “not simply one of the great icons of book history, it is one of the greatest artifacts of American history”.

- afp

Vietnam: Priests against bill that restricts religious freedom

November 28, 2013 by admin  
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Religious freedomVietnam, November 27, 2013: Worship is “a right, not a favour,” priests say in a statement issued in response to a proposed provincial law imposing new constraints and obstacles on religious life. The new rules are “useless nonsense, requiring religions to seek permits and authorisations”. Religious freedom is an essential condition for “harmonious development”.

Religious freedom, which is guaranteed by the constitution and existing regulations, “is a right and not a favour”. The draft law not only has “too many unnecessary details” but creates “many obstacles and limitations,” said a group of priests from the Diocese of Bac Ninh in a statement criticising the proposed new rules. The diocese is located in northern Vietnam, and borders the capital.

Called ‘Provisions relating to a number of specific points on the management of religious activities in the territory of Bac Ninh,’ the new rules de facto limit the religious rights of the clergy and the community of the faithful.

The Diocese of Bac Ninh includes five northern provinces plus parts of other provinces. It is home to 120,000 Catholics who represent 1.54 per cent of the population. The bishop is Mgr Cosma Hoang Van Dat, who is also general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam.

Recently, Bac Ninh provincial authorities drafted rules to enforce a state law on religion. After looking at, the priests reacted with disappointment because they contain “useless nonsense, requiring religions to seek permits and authorisations for every circumstance.”

In their statement, the priests note that detailed and precise rules governing religious activity already exist at the national level.

These recently introduced rules were met with a negative reaction from theleaders of the country’s main religions because they include heavy constraints and limitations on the right to worship.

“Instead of exercising legitimate rights, religious organisations and their representatives are forced to ask for them whenever they organise religious services, train clergy, ordain priests and build (or repair) religious buildings,” the statement said.

Hence, whilst Vietnamese society is pushing for greater democracy and freedoms, the draft proposal represents a “step backward,” the Bac Ninh priests said, for it gives the authorities the right to sanction any initiative in matters of faith and religion.

“Such a regime turns citizens’ right to freedom into a power entrusted into the hands of the State,” they explain. The latter should instead protect “the rights of religious organisations.”

“We want the project to be a piece of legislation that leads to real progress that really contributes to the welfare of the population” the priests said. “Isn’t the right to practice one’s religion freely and lead your own spiritual life, the greater good? Only when this happens will society achieve a safe and harmonious development.”

- asianews

Syria: Rebels committed “War Crimes” in siege on Christian village

November 28, 2013 by admin  
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A humble funeral procession for some of the Christians killed in Saddad

A humble funeral procession for some of the Christians killed in Saddad

Syria, November 27, 2013: Human Rights Watch (HRW) said opposition forces committed war crimes in a siege on the Christian village of Saddad, Syria, by killing civilians, preventing residents from escaping, and targeting churches.

The leading human rights organisation visited the village, which was occupied by rebel troops between 21 and 28 October, and interviewed residents and the mayor about their ordeal. Their findings confirm earlier reports by Barnabas Fund, which were based on information from our partners in Syria.

HRW’s Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said:

Opposition fighters came into Saddad claiming they would not harm civilians, but they did just that. There is no excuse for indiscriminate or targeted attacks against civilians or civilian sites.

The group found that the rebels executed civilians and others in their custody, and that other civilians were also killed unlawfully by sniper fire, both of which actions are war crimes.

HRW identified the names of 46 people from Saddad, 41 of whom were civilians, who were killed during the week-long siege, in which opposition fighters battled against government troops.

In one particularly savage case, six members of one family were shot in the head and their bodies dumped in a well. They had been blindfolded, and their hands were tied. They were Najla Mtanes al-Sheikh (45); her sons, Ranim Sarkis Drouj (18) and Fadi Sarkis Drouj (16); her elderly father, Mtanes Sleiman al-Sheikh; Habsa Nassif al-Sheikh (75); and Maryam Nassif al-Sheikh (90).

A neighbour had tried to help them escape on 24 October, but Najla, whose family was one of the last to remain in the area, had said it would be impossible to leave because she had three elderly relatives with her. When he called the next morning, there was no answer.

In another incident, three people were killed by shelling while delivering food to besieged neighbours on 25 October.

Other Saddad residents lost their lives because the rebels refused to allow them to leave their homes to escape the fighting. In one case, four members of the same family died when an explosion caused the house they were sheltering in to collapse.

HRW spoke to one resident who was used as a human shield. They came to “Fouad’s” home and, in front of his three children, wife, mother and niece, told him to lie down and then hit him with their rifle butts. One said, “We kill Nasara [Christians]”.

Fouad said:

Two of them took me with them to walk down the street, walking on either side of me until we passed the [government] sniper, so he wouldn’t shoot. And then they left me.

HRW said that the use of human shields was prohibited under international humanitarian law and that parties to a conflict must take all feasible precautions to minimise loss of civilian life.

Opposition fighters vandalised, looted and damaged property in at least three churches of local and historical significance and also stole residents’ property. Rebel groups graffitied the interior walls of one church with their name tags.

HRW said that pillaging and deliberate attacks on religious sites that are not military objectives are war crimes.

Various opposition groups were involved in the Saddad siege, which they referred to as part of the “Battle of God’s Doors Do Not Shut” operation. Among them were the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and also battalions from the so-called moderate Free Syrian Army (FSA).

HRW urged the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court to “strip all sides of their sense of impunity”.

- barnabas team

CSF condemns. GFA: 7 yr tortured, murdered for faith?

November 27, 2013 by admin  
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AnmolTexas, USA, November 27, 2013: The body of a seven-year-old boy in India retrieved from a pond last week revealed horrific details of torture before he was brutally murdered because of his Christian beliefs.

The son of a believer, Anmol went missing after attending Sunday School at a Believers Church on Nov. 17 in northern India. His body was found the following day. Previous threats and persecution of his family indicate he was targeted because of his family’s faith.

“The unprecedented torture and death of this innocent child sadden our hearts incredibly,” said Dr. K. P. Yohannan, Gospel for Asia founder and international director. “Persecution of Christians is a weekly occurrence, but this intensity of brutality against a child is unthinkable. In this horrible tragedy, we find strength and hope in Jesus.”

According to Yohannan, persecution of Christians has increased by over 400 percent in the past few years.

Anmol’s parents last saw him when he left their home for Sunday School. When he did not return, they filed a missing persons report with local authorities. By Monday evening, they identified their child’s body at the hospital.

Anmol’s face was burned, his hands were slashed and destroyed by fire, and his mouth was tied shut. Hot fragments of coal or firewood had been placed on his stomach, burning his abdomen, and his toes were broken.

Autopsy reports came back indicating Anmol’s final cause of death was drowning.

At least 200 people attended the final viewing and funeral. “The wail of the people and the parents was heartbreaking,” said one official. “It was truly a painful and intolerable incident. The kidnapers had tortured the child in such an inhuman way. It was very clear that he was brutally killed.”

Details identifying the murderer have not been released, pending further investigations. Anmol’s family had been the target of persecution since 2003 when his father, Harish, made a decision to live for Jesus after witnessing the miraculous healing of his brother. At least 45 people began following Jesus at the same time, resulting in ongoing persecution in the community.

Gospel for Asia is calling for prayer for the consolation of Anmol’s parents, brother and sister, grieving extended family members, and that the persecutors would come to know the love of Christ, and the protection of all believers.

- christian today

Mizoram: Candidate accused of using Church during polls

November 27, 2013 by admin  
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Mizoram, November 27, 2013: It is the first time that a candidate of a political party has been using the church for furthering his political ambitions and campaigning, the complaint added.

Mizoram Synod of the Presbyterian Church of IndiaThe opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram has complained against state home minister R Lalzirliana for using the Church for his political advantage during the campaigning for the assembly polls on Nov. 25.

The complaint, made to the moderator of Mizoram Synod of the Presbyterian Church of India, alleged that the local Presbyterian Church of the Armed Veng locality in Aizawl, where the home minister is a member, made a testimonial for Lalzirliana, which was used for campaigning in his home turf – the Tawi assembly seat in the district.

The MNF alleged that the testimonial, which listed different activities of Lalzirliana in the local church, was signed by elder F. Lalroliana and elder Vanlalhruaia Colney, chairman and secretary of the church committee of church in the locality.

The party said its leaders spoke to elder Vanlalhruaia Colney on the night of Nov. 19 who admitted that they made the testimonial with the consent of the local church committee, while the pastor of the Armed Veng pastoral did not acknowledge the existence of the testimonial.

“There are a number of candidates for the polls who have made excellent contributions to church activities but no one, except Lalzirliana, advertised such activities and used them during electioneering,” the MNF said.

It is the first time that a candidate of a political party has been using the church for furthering his political ambitions and campaigning, the complaint added.

“We have information that it was Lalzirliana who asked the church leaders to make the testimonial,” the complaint said.

It added that it was hard to believe that the other church leaders agreed to it as maintained by the secretary of the church committee.

The MNF further alleged that the copies of the church testimonial of Lalzirliana were distributed at Seling village in the Tawi assembly constituency by the leaders of Mizoram People’s Forum (MPF), the church-sponsored election watchdog.

This has become a serious allegation as the MPF was formed by the Presbyterian Church and some other churches and NGOs as an election watchdog and was supposed to be completely non-partisan and unbiased.

Lalzirliana, who is also the vice president of the ruling Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee(MPCC) and the senior most cabinet minister next to chief minister Lal Thanhawla, had won from the Tawi assembly seat for three times.

He faces a formidable challenge by Lalmalsawmi, the lone woman candidate of the main opposition party.

- times of india

EFI: Chhattisgarh Christian arrested & Pastor accused. Rajasthan Pastor & others threatened

November 27, 2013 by admin  
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Christian Arrested in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh ChristiansPolice on 23 Oct arrested a Christian after a Hindu extremist falsely accused him of harassing him and his family in Taragaon, Lohandiguda, Bastar.

Sannuram Mandavi from Divya Jyoti Church was arrested after one armed Hindu extremist, Maniram Mandavi attacked a Christian family.

At about 10 p.m. on 15 Oct, the extremist with a knife and a trident in his hands kicked at the door of Dhaniram and tried to forcefully enter into his home. Further, he verbally abused him, his family and threatened to sacrifice them to the local tribal deities.

However, Dhaniram and some Christian families who live close by came out and snatched the weapons from Maniram Mandavi.

Thereafter, the extremist went home but later come back and beat up Dhaniram and lodged a false complaint against another Christian Sannuram Mandavi for beating him up and his mother.

Subsequently, Sannuram Mandavi was arrested under Sections 294, 323 & 506 of the Indian Penal Code for Obscene acts and songs, punishment for voluntarily causing hurt and for punishment for criminal intimidation respectively.

After the intervention of the area Christian leaders, Mandavi was released on bail.

Pastor, Church Members Threatened in Rajasthan

Rajasthan ChristiansOn 6 Oct, Hindu extremists threatened to kill and burn up Christians if they continue to follow Christ in Sajavanjya, Banswara. At about 10 am, the Hindu extremists stopped two Christian couples, Babula Maida and Veja Ninama along with their wives as they were on their way to attend the Sunday church service. The extremists threatened to kill and burn them up, if they continued to go to a church to worship Christ.

Later that day, the same extremists stopped the church pastor Prem Pal Maida as he was returning home after conducting Sunday worship meeting and threatened to burn up his house if he conducted worship meetings again in the area.

The Christians lodged a police complaint. However no action has been taken against the extremists at press time.

Pastor falsely accused of injuring child in Chhattisgarh

Police registered a case against Pastor Nirmal Ekka after he was falsely accused of injuring a child on 16 Sept in Batwani, Lundra, Surguja.

Pastor Nirmal Ekka was charged under Sections 294 and 323 of the Indian Penal Code after two people, apparently motivated by the Hindu extremists, filed a complaint against him of physically hurting a school boy.

Dilbodh Nagesh, studying in standard III in the village government primary school fractured his hands while he was playing in the school at about 11 am

Thereafter, the boy’s father Seturam and the teacher of the school, Sangeeta Singh filed a police complaint against Pastor Nirmal Ekka at Lundra police station alleging that the Christian deliberately chased the boy, caught hold of him and then pushed him to the ground. They also accused Pastor Ekka of threatening to harm them while they were approaching the police.

Subsequently, the police filed a case against Pastor Nirmal Ekka under Sections 294 & 323 of the Indian Penal Code for Obscene acts and songs and punishment for voluntarily causing hurt respectively.

“Pastor Nirmal Ekka was implicated in a false case as he was not anywhere near the school on that day. He left his home at about 9 a.m for the city to attend some important business matter and returned back home only at about 6 pm” Rev Mukti Lakra said.

The village govt primary school was constructed in a land donated by Pastor Ekka and his family.

- efi

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