Indian Christians step up caste protests

July 20, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Delhi, July 19, 2016: Churches throughout India are stepping up protests against the country’s discriminatory caste system which disadvantages Dalit Christians and Muslims. The caste system is a Hindu-based status system that grades different groups of people on a social scale.

The lowest castes – the Dalits, or untouchables – are discriminated against in the job market and in the provision of services. Officially, the government is trying to remove the caste discrimination and has introduced measures to provide support for Dalits – designating it a scheduled caste and providing additional state benefits.

But because the caste system is part of the Hindu tradition, the government introduced the Presidential (Scheduled Caste) Order in 1950 specifying that only Hindus can be deemed to be members of the scheduled caste. This was extended to Sikhs in 1956 and Buddhists in 1990.

The 1950 law effectively bans Christian and Muslim Dalits from receiving the support available to other members of the caste; and is seen by some as a bar to conversion. Despite repeated requests, the Indian government show no sign of amending the discriminatory approach and the churches have staged numerous protests, reported Anglicannews.

Now, the National Council of Churches in India have designated a national day of protest on August 10 “to raise our protest to the continual negligence of the government to the cry for the rights of Dalit Christians in the country.”

“The Church of South India (CSI), which is one of the members of the National Council of Churches in India, will observe the ‘Black Day’ in the dioceses and the local congregations by organising protest meetings, rallies, demonstrations, hunger fasts, submitting memoranda, candle vigils, special prayers, and other appropriate programmes in [churches and institutions] to express our solidarity with the suffering Christians of scheduled caste origin,” the Revd Sunil Raj Philip, a spokesman for the CSI said.

The CSI is a united church which was formed in 1947 when the Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches came together in a new union. In addition to being a member of the Anglican Communion, the CSI is also a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the World Methodist Council.

– matters india

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One Response to “Indian Christians step up caste protests”
  1. SHASHI MINZ says:

    Conversion is the state of heart and mind and there is no need for pleading with the State who is insensitive towards human beings in comparison to the cows . We are in a century that has reached the Mars and theJupiter but there is no place for human beings on earth to relieve them selves with human dignity .Immense amounts have been exchanged hands to acquire the properties of the slums to build shopping malls .esp in prime area as Koramangla in Bangalore . Where is the anti corruption bureau or the c b i .They are meant to pursue the happless and the poor . When shall this economic deprivation end ,we are witnessing one ugly scene after the other on these lines… these days … .but not much ice has been broken despite the provisions in the Indian Constitution . and the laws framed to preserve the dignity of the people labelled as scheduled castes and scheduled tribes .Neither the Church is interested neither the powers that be . When Jesus comes back on this earth as he ascended into heaven He shall not spare any one as we pray the and the Hail MARY, I believe and the Our Father everyday without fail and He shall reign over Heaven AND Earth .The second coming is at hand ;today our social structureexsisting today provides for opportunity for every human being gives equal education and profession courses to every citizen in the nation . we have made strides over the last sixty years and the bridge bewtween the rich and the poor has to be bridged ;llet us learn to observe a feeling that you are now experiencing -or recall one you have had before –particularly if it is a negative emotion like fear , anxiety , hurt , discouragement , remorse . we shall them develop a n awareness for the others who need more attention than my own self and my family ;

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