Kochi: As several groups of missionaries and evangelists are aggressively running proselytisation campaigns across India, the Kerala Council of Churches (KCC) for the first time in history, declared that the church is against the forced religious conversion.
According to a press release, this issue was discussed in the meeting of the bishops and leaders of the laity that took place on July 7. During the meeting, the Council strongly condemned forced or induced conversions. The council also announced that Christianity is not a product of Europe and that their loyalty lay with India, stressing the point of “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam.”
In the meeting, President of KCC Bishop Dr. Oommen George emphasised that all Christians were citizens of India and that the Christian community shared the sentiment “vasudhaiva kutumbakam,” “the world is one family.”
“Christianity is not a product of Europe. It is a religion or a way of life which sprang from Asia. We stand committed to India’s unity and integrity”, said Thomas Mar Thimothios Metropolitan who inaugurated the conclave.
The Bishops’ Conference also passed four landmark resolutions. One resolution underscored the commitment of the Christian Community to the Constitution of India. The conference also resolved to denounce violence, riots and extremist activities in the name of religion, language or culture. Commenting on the future course of action of the Council of Christian Churches, its General Secretary – Dr Prakash P. Thomas highlighted the need for social dialogue to achieve social integration in the nation.
KCC Vice President, Alexios Mar Eusebius Metropolitan, Treasurer, Rev. L. T. Pavithra Singh, Samuel Mar Theophilus Episcopa, Mathews Mar Sylvanios Episcopa, Bishop Dr George Eapen, Vicar General Rev. George Mathew, Fr. Sijo Panthapallil, Commander T.O. Elias, Fr. Stephano Pulikkottil, Rev. Georvin Jose, Fr. Jose Karikom and Rev. Ratheesh Vettuvilayil addressed the meeting.
The General Secretary presented the resolutions to Dr C. V. Ananda Bose and Shri. Ravikumar, National Co-ordinators of Social Integration for further discussion and action with competent authorities in Delhi.
Kerala Council of Churches or KCC is a regional ecumenical organisation of the Protestant and Oriental Orthodox Churches in Kerala, India. KCC is an affiliate of the National Council of Churches in India. Its constitution states “The Kerala Council of Churches is autonomous and inter-confessional, comprising Churches in Kerala and Christian Organization”.
The jurisdiction of the council is also limited by the constitution to the state of Kerala. Kerala council of Churches has 15 member churches or dioceses from Kerala along with more than 21 member organizations working within Kerala. The four dioceses of the Church of South India (CSI) within Kerala are separate members in the council as well as the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and its Knanaya Archdiocese having separate memberships as well.