“A hundred thousand Christians gathered in the 3rd synod of the Pentecostal Church at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, this week called on the Union Government to revoke the Citizenship Amendment Act. Large meetings of many Christian denominations have been held in recent weeks at Kolkata, Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Mangalore, Bangalore, Panjim and other cities against CAA-NPR-NRC. The Preamble of the Constitution has been read out at thousands of minority schools in big and small towns and remains posted on Notice Boards of these institutions.
Photo courtesy Pastor Nehemiah Christie in Coimbatore. Nehemiah Christie AC Michael Dolphy D’souza Lancy Dcunha
Government urged to take proactive steps for peace
The Synod of Pentecostal Churches and various Christian leaders have come together for this 3rd congress of SPC to prayer for peace and prosperity of the state Tamilnadu and our secular nation India and also we have called for an urgent action to put an end to violence against churches and Christians in Tamil Nadu. The Government of Tamil Nadu and the Centre must take steps to put an immediate stop to the climate of communal disturbance prevalent in Tamil Nadu which has instilled fear among the Christians in the State. Recently several Christian private places of worship in Coimbatore, Thiruppur and Erode districts were asked to shut down on the basis of unsubstantiated complaints.
Religious extremists are orchestrating a state-wide campaign against Christians by systematically filing complaints to pressurize district authorities to order the shutting down of churches on the false propaganda that if continued to function, they pose an imminent threat to law & order.
It is deplorable that Christians worshipping in private places are repeatedly being asked to seek permission from district authorities in gross violation of the orders of the Hon’ble Courts. In many cases, their constitutional right to worship have been indefinitely suspended by the Government in the name of a potential law and order problem. It is respectfully stated that maintaining law and order is an essential function of the Government which pertinently must not be at the cost of the fundamental right to conscience of the Christians in the State.The Synod of Pentecostal Churches submits that Article 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India grant the citizens of this country including the Christians in Tamil Nadu inviolable rights which cannot be trampled by the Government on one pretext or the other. The Christians in the State of Tamil Nadu equally contribute to the public exchequer and thus, cannot be treated as second class citizens. It is the duty of the Government to ensure that the right of Christians to worship is not trampled and their life and liberty is protected at all costs.
It is pertinent to state that in 2019 there were about 328 incidents of assault against Christians throughout the country. It is unfortunate that Tamil Nadu is second in the list last year with nearly 56 incidents of vandalism of churches and attacks on Christians. The Government has failed to take any measures to ensure that 2019 does not witness a repeat of similar incidents of violence against Christians. The Synod of Pentecostal Churches along with other Christian organizations, sincerely urge the State to take proactive action to bring an end to the hate campaign being run against minorities by religious extremists. The Government of Tamil Nadu is requested to permit Christians to exercise their constitutional right to worship without any fear or apprehension”.