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*Bible Society planning to pull down heritage building *Churches asked to observe Green Sunday

June 3, 2011 by  
Filed under India, Persecution

The Bible SocietyKolkatta, 2, June, 2011: The Bible Society of India (BSI) is planning to pull down its 200-year-old heritage building in Kolkata. Reports in the media state that the society is planning to hand over the land to a businessman for development. “We are planning to completely pull down the building. A lawyer has been appointed to see how this can be done. There will be a meeting of the BSI Kolkata unit on June 25 where his suggestions would be taken up for a decision on how to develop the property,” said BSI national president Navamani Peter from its headquarters in Bangalore.

Located on Jawaharlal Nehru Road in downtown Chowringhee area, the building is listed by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) as a grade-I heritage building and identified as a public institution. When pointed out that the building enjoys heritage status, Peter said, “The lawyer will give us his suggestions after looking into all aspects.” Rejecting reports of the land being given to a businessman for development, secretary of BSI Kolkata Auxiliary Sajal Biswas said, “It is not true that the property is being sold off. It will be developed. This is all I can tell you.”

KMC sources said it was approached by the BSI local authorities for permission to develop the building, but were told to submit all relevant documents before a decision can be taken. While sale of transfer of ownership of the building was permissible, pulling down the building was not permissible, sources said. Meanwhile, Christian bodies are opposing BSI’s move, saying that it has no right to sell or reconstruct a building of grade-I heritage. “Besides, they should realize that there is a strong sentiment attached to the building which is seen as a workplace to – disseminate God’s word to the world,” said a Christian leader.

– Express India

Churches asked to observe Green Sunday

Churches in India are being encouraged to observe June 5 as ‘Green Sunday’ in commemoration of the World Environment Day. The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) is urging churches to conduct special prayers, sermons and intercessions on World Environment Day. World Environment Day (WED) is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. WED celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action. As the apex body of Protestant and Orthodox churches in India, NCCI is urging churches to have special events like exhibitions, candle vigil, essay and pamphlet distributions after the worship to contribute to environmental awareness

India will be hosting the celebrations for this year’s World Environment Day for which the theme is: ‘Forests: Nature at your service’.“This year fortunately, the WED falls on Sunday, so the Members are encouraged to observe this day as ‘Green Sunday’,” said Christopher Rajkumar, Secretary of NCCI Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation. Commenting on the theme, he said, ” God almighty has created forest to liberate the human and other cosmic communities from ecological and climate catastrophes. Forests serve as life giving and life caring agent of God.”

This is the first time ever India has been a global host of World Environment Day. Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: “Over close to the 40-year history of WED, India’s cities and communities have been among the most active with a myriad of events undertaken across the country each and every year-so it is only fitting that this rapidly developing economy is the host in 2011.” India has the seventh largest land mass on the planet, about 3.28 million square kilometers. But due to population increase, industralization and the massive intensification of agriculture, the country faces serious environmental challenges. The problems include deforestation, pollution, loss of water resources and wildlife trade. The celebrations in India on June 5 are part of thousands of events taking place around the globe.

–  Christian today

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