Christian Forum for Human Rights
CBCI Centre, 1 Ashoka Place, New Delhi 110 001
4th of December 1998 as a National Protest Day
Christian Community Re-dedicates itself to the Service and Empowerment of the Poor,
the Weak, the Marginalised and the Downtrodden
|The Christian community
in India is observing 4th of December 1998 as a National
Protest Day to focus the attention of the government and
the people of India on the spate of violence against
Christians this year, and continuing efforts by a some
fanatical elements to demolish the secular character of
Nation-wide peaceful protest on 4th December 1998 calling on the State to fulfill its obligations to safeguard the rights of the Minorities, and of Christians in particular, in pluralistic and democratic India.
All schools, colleges and other Christian institutions run by various denominations and congregations will remain closed for a day on 4th December 1998. Those working in Hospitals and essential services will wear black badges of protest that day. Christians in service are being urged to take a day's leave to participate fully in the various protest programmes planned at state headquarters, diocese and parishes of all denominations of churches in India.
In New Delhi, the protest includes a relay protest fast hunger at Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the nation, and a memorandum to Parliament.
At the national level, the protest is being coordinated by the national organising committee of the United Christian Forum for Human Rights, which was set up last month. The Forum has a presidium consisting of all Bishops resident in Delhi, with the executive panel including heads of churches and communities representing the member-churches of the National Council of Churches in India, the Salvation Army, the Methodist Church in India, the Baptist church and the Evangelical Fellowship of India, CRI, All India Catholic Union, apart from Christian NGOs, the YMCAs and YWCAs. Church of North India's Bishop Karam Masih of Delhi and Catholic Bishop Vincent Concessao, are the coordinators and Fr Devadhas, director of Chetnalaya the co-convenor with Convenor John Dayal. Committees have been set to draft the memorandum, document the incidents of violence, and structure a special liturgy for the programmes to be held in every church leading to the 4th December protest. Special programmes are also being designed to sensitise laity and youth, school children and others on the issues involved.
The Organising Committee of the Forum has received heart-warming messages of solidarity and support by Human Rights activists belonging to various communities, NGOs and community leaders who share our deep concern at the threat that fanatical fundamentalist and communal elements pose to the unity and integrity of India, to its ancient pluralistic culture, and to its democratic and secular polity.