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Convention on 22nd August at Ernakulam by Joint Christian Council August 15, 2010

Posted by Boris Paul in Uncategorized.
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The Joint Christian Council, an Organisation of various Christian denominations in Kerala is organising a Convention at Ernakulam on 22nd August 2010 to insist the Kerala Government to enact the Christian Church Properties and Institutions Trust Bill submitted by Justice V R Krishna Iyer to the Government. The move is a step towards justice for laymen who are the actual owners of Christian Church Properties and Institutions. Now there is no democratically elected administrative system and the minority Priests are administering the assets autocratically!

The Convention is scheduled to start at 2pm on 22nd August 2010 at MES Auditorium, Near Judges Avenue, Kaloor, Ernakulam.

All likeminded persons are cordially invited to attend the Convention.

Please contact Mr P H Hormis Tharakan at 94463 73188 or mail to phhtharakan@gmail.com for more details

Why we need a Christian Church Properties and Institutions Trust Act

Christians in India are denied their right to live with dignity as churches which their ancestors founded, with their own funds and sweat, are now claimed to be owned exclusively by the clergy. The laity has no voice in the administration of their own churches. This turnaround has made the laity subservient to the all powerful clergy. It is not uncommon for the laity to reluctantly pay the clergy to get their wards admitted in their own schools and other institutions!

Nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus advocate that the clergy should handle money. In Mathew 6:24 Jesus states – “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”. The early church evidently stayed away from money. After the church became institutionalised and structured, the clergy started to gather money and property and in course of time became omnipotent.

Christianity in India survived peacefully for 1600 years as the roles of the clergy and the laity were clearly defined. The clergy attended to spiritual matters and the laity handled the temporal wealth. This changed with the advent of the Portuguese. The Indian Christians were persecuted by the Portuguese and were forced to embrace the Roman system of governance. Since then, the Indian Christians’ wealth was being governed by laws made by Rome and other European power centres.

Laws made by other nations are not applicable to India. More so, after India became a Republic in 1950 when we gave unto ourselves a Constitution. Interestingly, the temporal wealth of the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Parses in India are regulated by laws made by Parliament and State Assemblies. So, why are the Christians left out of this loop? The Christian clergy have disingenuously advocated before all authorities that the temporal wealth of the Christians is being managed and administered by the laity. This is far from the truth.

The so-called parish councils are toothless and ineffective bodies and have no say in the administration of the parish church’s wealth. The laity are being bullied by the clergy in all matters and have no recourse to salvage their dignity. The plight of the Christian laity, who are robbed of their dignity by the clergy, was articulated before the Law Commission headed by Justice V R Krishna Iyer. After being convinced that this wrong must be set right, and the Christians restored to their right to live with dignity, the Law Commission chaired by Justice Iyer proposed the enactment of the Christian Church Properties and Institutions Trust Bill.

The Government of Kerala is yet to table this much-anticipated bill in the Assembly. The Joint Christian Council comprising various denominations of Christians in Kerala has called for a convention on 22nd August, 2010, at Ernakulam. At the convention, it is proposed to call upon the Government to enact the Christian Church Properties and Institutions Trust Bill immediately.

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