Indian Christian Bodies Meet For Revival Amid Persecutions

Published 30 August 2017  |  
The Christian Post
A protester holds a placard during a rally by hundreds of Christians against recent attacks on churches nationwide, in Mumbai, February 9, 2015.

In the midst of unpleasant realties in India such as violent persecutions, aggressive hate-campaigns, worship-place vandalisms, false charge accusations, and new anti-conversion policies, various Christian bodies gathered for the Indian Missional Conversation in Ranchi, Jharkhand, on Aug. 23 and 24 and reflected on past missional work and they also discussed how they can cohesively work in the future.

In the meeting, they reiterated their commission to witness Christ though Christians are subject to various forms of persecution.

Several mission board representatives of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), India Missions Association (IMA), National Missionary Society of India (NMSI), Evangelical Fellowship of India Council of Churches (EFICC) and Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) came together under the banner, 'Journeying Together: Prophetic Witness to the Truth and Light, in Asia'. More than 100 delegates from 20 different mission boards and organizations, 8 church mission boards and 10 ecumenical organizations and four regional councils participated.

"Christian services to India are wrongly stereotyped as being carried out solely for conversion," said Rt Rev. Dr P C Singh, President of NCCI. Conversion isn't the sole aim why Christians serve India, but, their service is due honor to God and for building a nation that upholds the diverse people in unity.

People should know that "Indian history cannot be written without the contributions of the Christian Missions and Missionaries," he added.

The rise in persecutions shouldn't deliver Christians to compromises. In this pilgrimage, leaders should always reflect and check with whom they are intending to journey together, said Rev. Dr Richard Howell, General Secretary, EFICC.

"Our commitment to the Gospel cannot be compromised for the sake of being together," he added.

Howell also insisted to set off intra-faith ecumenical and missiological meetings to lessen the gaps that exist because of misconceptions and misunderstandings of each other and to strongly build relationships within and among each other in the process of preaching the gospel to others.

Prof. Dr Mammen Varkey, Chief Editor of Peoples Reporter and Facilitator of the VICHARA said mission has to challenge the power of the world.

"Money is on the throne and rules the societies; money decides every movement of society. Secondly, the majority and powerful want to create a homogeneous society. Furthermore, these un-godly elements decide what society should eat and how it should dress," said Varkey.

"In this context mission has to prophetically challenge un-godly attitudes and practices as a missional call," he added.

"Be vocal and we need to speak out against the powers that darken societies," he insisted.

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