Friday the 26th of February

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Cardinal promises to back Dalit Christians in fight for equality

The National Council of Dalit Christians (NCDC) annual planning meeting has heard the Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, insist that the Dalit vocation can transform the Church and society in India and pledged his support in gaining full religious freedom for Dalit Christians.

He made his comments at Sarvodaya, Mumbai, where the meeting took place from 18th-19th March 2017.

Dalit Christians have been fighting for their religious rights in the country for some time, and the cardinal said the Church is “110 per cent with the Dalit Christians”.

In his message, Cardinal Gracias said that, “God created us equal and separation came from man because of his selfishness and he even justified this injustice by twisting the Christian teaching.

“God gives grace upon all people whether Dalits or non-Dalits, God sends rain on Dalits and non-Dalits as well. God does not discriminate.”

Handing over the recently released CBCI Dalit policy to the Dalit Christian leaders, Cardinal Gracias said that the biggest anti-poverty programme should be education and he would start concentrating on educating the Dalits.

Cardinal Gracias said that it is unfair that the Government discriminates against Dalits based on religion.

He appealed to promote vocations from the Dalits which will lead to transformation in the Church as well as in society.

In the meeting, it was decided to continue to pressurise the Government for the SC status of Dalit Christians through advocacy with the BJP Government. The members also promised to disseminate the Dalit policy in different parts of India.

Picture: The NCDC annual meeting held in Mumbai.