CCV’s Isaac’s views on report “Christian Persecution Shows Dramatic Increase”

Isaac Gomes

 

The Evangelical Fellowship of India’s Religious Liberty Commission's (EFIRLC) report (in mattersindia.com on 22 August 2016 and reproduced in CCV) on increase of violence on Christians in India is no doubt DEPLORABLE. The Commission is right in observing that there is need for legal protection for example repeal of the anti-conversion laws and ensuring that an active Commission for Human Rights and Commission for Minorities are operational in every state.

It is not surprising to see the southern states of Tamilnadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh making it to the top ten of the list in respect of violence on Christians.  If Christians themselves take part in perpetrating violence on Christians, what can one expect from others?  The April 25, 2016 ghastly incident of kidnap for ransom and making an attempt on the life of Rev. Gallela Prasad, 54, Bishop of Kadapa (formerly known as Cuddapah) Diocese (Roman Catholic Mission), Andhra Pradesh by three of his own parish priests viz. (1) Fr. Nalladimmu Raja Reddy, 48, the main accused, who runs “Daddy Home”, “Puja International School”, “Raja Foundation” and other prestigious institutions on his own. He is the Parish Priest of Palur in Peddamudiyam mandal of Kadapa (2) Fr. Lingala Vijaya Mohan Reddy, 45, the parish priest in Vallur, the second priest arrested and accused No. 13. and (3) Fr. Sanivarapu Marreddy, 39, parish priest at Renigunta in Chittoor district, the third priest arrested and accused No. 14, IS A CASE IN POINT.  These priests who were arrested and are reportedly out on bail due to their being of high caste and having high connections, are a clear example of the CORRUPTION, MUSCLE POWER AND MONEY POWER THAT HAS BESET THE INDIAN CHURCH.  Still these three culprit priests are being protected with CBCI taking the ostrich-like stance of looking the other way, without taking any official stand on DEFROCKING them.  May be It will be shaken up from its slumber only when a few of its cardinals are threatened / attacked. [Caption of above photograph: Major breakthrough:Kadapa SP Navin Gulati presenting the arrested persons before the media in Kadapa on Monday 2nd May 2016].

Another type of cold-blooded violence not covered in the report of the Evangelical Fellowship of India’s Religious Liberty Commission's (EFIRLC) is being perpetrated by the Church itself within the Church.

christian_protest_2300858gIt is taking away the right of vibrant duly elected Laity Action Groups by calling them "Anti-Church" and "Anti-Christian".  It is the equivalent of church's olden practice of torturing or burning to death somebody, especially a strong-willed woman (Joan of Arc), by casting aspersions of witchcraft!  This has happened in one of the largest Salesian parishes in Kolkata.  A vibrant Laity Action Group has been forcibly asked to close shop in 2012 because it had demanded transparency and accountability in the operations of the Parish e.g. installation of Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) and Parish Finance Committee (PFC) in the parish.  These have been mandated by the Vatican II itself 50 years ago. There is a saying "Even God does not know how much money Salesians have".  Sensing exposure to transparent norms, checks and balances, the Salesian authorities, through the Parish Priest who used to dine and dance with political goons, decided to clamp down on the unit. They used the age-old formula "Give the dog a bad name and shoot it."

Another form of violence being practised for ages is ORAL AND FIRE of staff by Church-run institutes.  There are many schools in Kolkata where this practice, including CONTRACTUAL TEACHERS (read Labour!) is RAMPANT.  Many church-run / missionary schools are unregistered for years so that they can get away with MEASLY PAY WITHOUT ANY PF & MEDICAL BENEFITS, and ORAL HIRE & FIRE.  The same Kolkata Parish run by Salesians ORALLY HIRED one teacher in October 2011 and ORALLY FIRED her in December 2012.  In spite of repeated reminders and discussions, the Provincial is sitting on her matter, without compensating her or reinstating her.  Is this not torture and violence on Christians?  Is this not putting lambs to slaughter by their protectors (Provincials & Parish Priests)? I would certainly like to know the views of the Evangelical Fellowship of India’s Religious Liberty Commission (EFIRLC) on this matter.  Will it cover these instances of violation in its report?

So EFIRLC's report is incomplete and lopsided without taking into consideration the silent shedding of laity's blood by the Catholic Church itself.  Historically, the Catholic Church has been the biggest violator of human rights.  This is one of the reasons why Christians are tortured because they do not speak up against the repeated wrong-doings by the Church Authorities.  As long as the Indian Church does not clean its own stable, and "does not repent and make way for Jesus" as  urged by John the Baptist, Christians will continue facing the consequences of the wrong-doing of their own Church.

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