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Karnataka Governor Assures Christians Safety
The Karnataka governor has assured Christians in the southern Indian state that their places of worship will be safeguarded and protected.
“Harming minority communities’ places of worship is akin to harming the constitution,” Hansraj Bhardwaj yesterday said while addressing a public reception organised as part of the 27th assembly of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), here. He noted that safety of the minorities is guaranteed in the Indian constitution.
Karnataka had witnessed a series of attacks on churches by Hindu radicals in 2008.
Lauding the Church’s contributions to society, the governor said that the “Church is a sign of hope to the poor and needy in the country.”
The NCCI, founded in 1914, is a forum of 30 Protestant and Orthodox Churches and more than 50 related organisations.
Deliberating on the April 25-28 assembly theme, “The Gospel in a groaning world,” Bishop Duleep Kamil De Chikkera of Colombo said God hears the groaning of the poor, exploited, needy, sick and the suffering.
The 64-year-old former Anglican bishop of Sri Lanka said “groaning, which has a therapeutic effect, happens when words fail to make any meaning.”
He told the assembly participants that prayers, debates and protest are different ways of groaning.
Methodist Bishop Taranath Sagar, NCCI president, called upon the Churches to come out of their “arm-chaired theologies and participate in the groans and struggles of the people and creation."
“Even an iota of injustice in and around our church and society has to be wiped out without any compromise, because the gospel compels us to do so," he told some 400 people, including priests, bishops, Church officials, laity and transgenders.
“Our commitment to the cause of social justice, peace and accountability and transparency are core to the gospel of Jesus Christ and … in living those values reflects our discipleship,” Bishop Sagar said.
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ in this post-modern world is a challenge in itself, Bishop Sagar added.
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