Celebrating 100 years of Student Christian Movement in India

Published 03 February 2012  |  
The oldest ecumenical movement of students in India is marking 100 years of fellowship and discipline that has past fostered Christian leadership and has had a remarkable influence on the student community.

On January 28, the Student Christian Movement of India (SCMI) launched the Centenary Year 2012 with a thanksgiving service held at Serampore, West Bengal.

The service was held in the midst of students, senior friends and leaders from different church communities. The centenary public lecture was delivered by Dr. Ruth Manorama, a renowned social activist and recipient of the Right Livelihood Award.

"SCMI has lot of students' history and movements within itself, and has had pre and post independence experiences. The journey has crossed many milestones and boundaries," says the chief of the organisation, Rev. Raj Bharat Patta.

SCMI was formed in the year 1912, in Serampore, the birth place of the modern missionary movement in India. Since its founding, the movement has inspirited the youth to commit to Christ and participate in the life of the Church.

The movement, affiliated to the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), presently comprises of over 10,000 members across 19 states.

"Although it had a very humble start, over the years it contributed widely in translating faith into actions and has brought a spiritual awakening among student communities with Christ's principles of love and justice," says Patta.

Now, he notes, SCMI has come to this juncture of a centenary with wider and broader challenges at hand. "One has to be aware of the changing landscapes in our college campuses, concentrations and competitions for a career oriented lifestyles, increasing privatization of education, the ongoing saga of discrimination and oppression, and prosperity spiritualities."

"These challenges call for renewed and re-invigorated mission engagements of SCMI in order to contemporize and make our faith in Jesus Christ realistic," he says.

Giving the Presidential address at the thanksgiving service, Dr. Geevargheese Mor Coorilos, a Syriac Orthodox bishop and the SCMI chairperson, encouraged the student ecumenical movement to take faith in Jesus Christ seriously and to make the Gospel socially relevant.

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