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Thursday, 31 March 2016

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FCRA Registration Validity extended to 31st October 2016

An official Notification dated 29th March 2016 has been brought out by Govt. of India Ministry of Home Affairs Foreigners Division (FCRA Wing) announcing:


(i) To extend the validity of registration certificate of all the associations whose registration certificates are expiring on or before 30th September, 2016 upto 31st October, 2016; and

(ii) To extend the time for applying for renewal of registration upto 30th June, 2016.





Saturday, 26 March 2016

An Easter Reflection from Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of NCCI.

TRANSFORMING LIFE-THREATENING REALITIES INTO LIFE-AFFIRMING SITUATIONS


 Resurrection Experience in This Life itself! 
The resurrection of Jesus has significance not only for life after death but also for our life here and now. The resurrection of Jesus is not merely good news for individuals in their personal lives, but it has collective significance for human history and all creation. Over the centuries, Christians seem to have become content with the good news of the resurrection in terms of the hope of life it offers after death. Human beings in general do not want to die. Our survival instinct has made us afraid of death. Christ’s resurrection gives us comforting assurance: “We will not die! We will come back to life!” Funeral sermons usually focus on this hope. Quite often our hymns give expression to such a faith affirmation. Addressing some disappointed people in his times who considered Jesus to be a great martyr, whose message and ministry came to a premature end with his crucifixion, Paul declared, ‘If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (I Cor. 15: 19) However, today perhaps Paul would tell many Christians, “If for life after death only we believe in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

Belief in Life after Death: Not something New!
Belief in life after death was not something very new or revolutionary in the times of Jesus. The parable of Jesus about the rich man and Lazarus (Luke16:19-31) gives an indication of the beliefs of the people in his times. In the parable it is said that Lazarus died and went to Abraham’s bosom while the rich man died and went to Hades where he was in torment. Both had a life after death. However it was almost a reversal of their earthly conditions: Lazarus experienced bliss while the rich man suffered. Moreover there was a great chasm between Abraham’s place where Lazarus dwelt and Hades where the rich man languished; one could not cross over from one place to another. Another instance of belief in life after death was the conversation between the repentant thief and Jesus at Golgotha (Luke 23: 39-43). Jesus assured the thief that he would be with Jesus in Paradise. In ancient Persian thought and culture, Paradise was a ‘walled garden’ or ‘park’. By Jesus’ time Paradise was believed to be a pleasant resting place for the righteous dead. So, belief in existence after death was already there among the people in those days.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Bail granted to one of the 7 innocent convicts of Kandhamal.

Message received from Mr. Anto Akkara

Great Victory for Kandhamal's Innocents - Christ is Risen!!!! 

Bail granted to one of the 7 innocent convicts of Kandhamal.


On March 22, the Odisha high court granted one-month bail to Gornath Chalanseth - one of the 7 innocent Christians - undergoing life imprisonment for Swami Laxmanananda's 'murder'. The bail order has come a day after I got a call from the National Human Rights Commission - 19 days into the signature campaign for the release of the innocent I launched in New Delhi at great risk.

Thanks for all those who have signed petition. 

Remember each signature at www.release7innocents.com generates three instant emails to the Chief Justice of India, the President of India and the National Human Rights Commission Chairman. 

Request: Pls join the signature campaign for the release of the innocent convicts. The greater the  numbers the faster the innocent Christians will be released.I plead once again - lend your voice to the innocents. Link one and all to ww.release7innocents.com and ask them to sign as a Lenten Act


Here's Gornath pic and his story. You can read the shocking story of other innocents at '7 innocents' at www.release7innocents.com

Source: Mr. Anto Akkara

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Report of Citizen Journalism National Consultation and Training Program



A Citizen Journalism national consultation and training program “Pathways to Digital Frontiers: Communication Rights and Inclusion” was organized from March 11 – 12, 2016 in Panjim, Goa. It’s a program of the Commission on Communications and Relations of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI-COCR), Christian Service Agency (CSA) and World Association for Christian Communication (WACC). There were 30 participants of various profiles: Theologians, Church leaders and Pastors, Social Workers, Community Development workers, Grassroots community enablers, heads of Institutions, Heads of NGOs, Communication leaders, and publishers. Many of NCCI’s constituent member bodies and all major regions from across India were represented. The concept of Citizen Journalism as communicated in the course of this national consultation and training program was a serious take on the responsibility and privilege to enable information sharing by developing communication pathways to digital frontiers in a way that opens up possibilities for advocacy and self-advocacy towards wider engagement, inclusion and ensuring communication rights.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Strong demand for SC Status for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims.

Press Release


The Constitution enshrines the equal treatment of all religious communities, along with freedom of religion and conscience (Article 25). Granting Scheduled Caste status to Sikhs and Buddhist of Scheduled Caste origin has not weakened Hindu religion or encouraged conversions to those religions. How can Honorable Thawar Chand Gehlot, the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, come to the conclusion that granting SC Status to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims would weaken Hinduism and encourage conversions?

It is not the Indian Constitution, but it is the Presidential Order 1950, paragraph 3 that discriminates against the Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste origin. We urge the Minister to speak an inclusive language. His remarks are a smack of divisive language which divides the Dalit community on the basis of religion. 

The Honorable Prime Minister Modi should not just give verbal assurances and empty promises, but act concretely on the norms of the Constitution. Prime Minister rightly said in the Parliament ‘India first’ is the only religion and Constitution the only ‘holy book’ for his government, according to which he should be committed to working for all sections of people irrespective of religious affiliations. He must guarantee equality to all citizens; he must see that the majority does not force its will on minority communities to exclude and marginalize them which will impede the development of the nation. 

To protest against the undemocratic and exclusive language of the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment and to demand SC Status for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims, a Public protest meeting was held on 10th March 2016 at Jantar Mantar from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Five thousand people from all over India participated. Students from AICUF performed traditional drum dance. Participants from different states sung awareness songs in different languages.


Thursday, 10 March 2016

Chattisgarh Christian Council condemns vandalism and assault on church members in Kachana, India.


Chhattisgarh Christian Council (CCC), regional Christian Council of the National Council of Churches in India,  strongly Condemns the Vandalisation of Church and assault on Believers Chhattisgarh Church and subsequent assault on the church members in Kachana near Raipur city. The attack happened around 11 am on March 6, 2016 allegedly by members of Bajrang Dal. The Pastor Ankush Bareyekar approached the Vidhan Sabha thana where the police after a long delay registered the FIR. 


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of India on the occasion of 107th International Women’s Day, 8 March 2016

Demand for Maternity Entitlement in all Sectors and Immediate  Implementation of National Food Security Act 2013


Dear Hon'ble Prime Minister,

We, the undersigned women’s organizations and other concerned groups, convey our greetings on the occasion of 8th March, Women’s Day. This day has been celebrated for more than a hundred years to commemorate the women’s movement’s struggles for equality, justice and peace across almost all countries of the world.
 On this memorable occasion, we are aware that you and your colleagues will be making speeches and statements to indicate how much this nation values the contribution of its women to the country’s progress. We expect that many will praise women as mothers, caring family members and hard workers; we hope some will acknowledge the diverse struggles of women everywhere in securing freedom from violence and ensuring peace.