Economically deprived Christians under the banner of Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM) demanded the church leadership to stop fraudulent conversion of Dalits and Vanvasis in India. ?Evangelism cannot be a measurement of a society'ssocio-economic development. Therefore, evangelism programme should be suspended for long years and funds be saved and utilised for welfare of deprived sections among Christians for creating awareness among them,? said a resolution adopted at the convention organised on June 8 in New Delhi.
They further demanded that the foreign funds received by the church should be used for welfare and uplift of economically deprived Christians who are being discriminated in Christianity. More than 300 delegates from different parts of the country participated in the convention.
The convention urged the Catholic Bishops? Conference of India (CBCI) and National Christian Council of India (NCCI) to set up a Rs 1000 crore development fund to ensure integrated social and economic development. The delegates alleged that a handful of priests and bishops are monopolising the church funds and property in the country. This has led to worsening of the condition of neo-converted Christians who are living in a pitiable condition and are deprived of even the basic necessities. ?If the church in India pursues the reservation for Christians on the basis of caste then it must pay compensation to the poor Christians who got converted to Christianity long back,? the resolution added.
Addressing the gathering PCLM national president R.L. Francis said the church leadership is interested only in increasing the numbers and is hardly bothered about their living conditions. The biggest proof of this is that a large chunk of the foreign funds is being utilised either for purchasing land or for the luxurious lifestyle of a few Christian leaders in India.
Senior journalist Shri Balbir Punj suggested that the church in India should honestly make a model for the progress of economically backward Christians. He also called for moratorium on conversion.