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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Kerala Churches not with BJP

With hardly four days to go for the Lok Sabha election in Kerala, two prominent Christian sects have come out against the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre.

On Monday, Joseph Mar Gregorios, the head of the Jacobite Church, declared that the followers of his sect would vote en masse for candidates fielded by the CPI(M)-led LDF. “The LDF Government in Kerala have always supported and helped the Church. The CPI(M) has stood with the demands of the Church and hence we are obliged and bound to help them by electing the LDF candidates,” said the  Jacobite Church.

But he was evasive when asked about the Congress candidate Benni Behanan, the Congress candidate and a member of the Jacobite Church who is pitted against two Hindu candidates fielded by the CPI(M) and the NDA at Chalakkudi constituency. “Let the believers take their own decision after studying the ground realities. The interests of the Church should prevail,” said Gregorios.

He also said the Jacobite Church has a lot of issues regarding the control of Churches and it is the CPI(M) that had always stood with the sect. Meanwhile, the Latin Catholic Church, a dominant section along coastal Kerala declared that it would never support the BJP. The Kerala Region Latin Catholic Council, the apex decision making body of the sect declared on Monday that the Central Government has subverted the missionary works (proselytisation, evangelisation and indoctrination) by holding back the funds meant for the Latin Catholic Church.

Even after assuring that the funds meant for the Church would not be held back, the Central Government has withheld two more accounts and this has made missionary works impossible.

The training of young pastors and priests too have been stuck because of the delay in releasing the funds,” said the KRLCC in a release issued on Monday.

“There are certain heads of Church who are obliged to the State Government for their personal gains and this need to be seen in that background,” said Kevin Peter, founder, Christian Alliance and Action for Social Action (CASA), an umbrella organisation of all Christian sects. “The days of the laity blindly following the diktats issued by the bishops and archbishops are gone long back. The modern day Christians do not go by what the Church heads say , at least in matters related to politics,” said Kevin Peter.

There was a move by some BJP leaders, especially party leaders who were elevated to the position of Governors, to bring the Hindus and Christians together. “But it backfired as the Church can never think of a life without proselytisation and evangelisation,” said the CASA founder. – The Pioneer, 24 April 2024.

(The article was published on on April 25, 2024 and has been reproduced here)

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