Church to Observe Dalit Liberation Sunday on Nov. 11

Published 09 November 2018  |  
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Christian population in Arunachal Pradesh rose from less than 1% in 1971 to more than 30% in 2011 while Manipur saw a rise from 19% in 1961 to more than 41% in 2011.

The Catholic Church in India will observe Dalit Liberation Sunday on Nov. 11 to counter the marginalization of the former "untouchables" within the church.

"There is a tendency to deny the existence of the caste system," Fr Devasagayaraj M. Zackarias, national secretary of the Office for Scheduled and Backward classes of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), told AsiaNews.

"Even more surprising is the fact that discrimination occurs in a country where the literacy rate is among the highest and the history of Christianity is long. We do not live the spirit of Christianity if we practice caste discrimination," he added.

This May, a dalit Christian man was murdered in an "honor killing" in Kerala. Kevin Joseph, the 23-year-old man was murdered by his Syriac Christian wife's father only three days after the wedding because he was opposed to the marriage.

A court in Kerala said that caste prejudice was the cause of the crime.

The caste system was abolished under the Indian Constitution. However, the young man's death explains the deeply rooted discrimination in both society and the Indian churches.

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