India: National United Christian Forum – Our Journey Together With Christ

General June 22, 2009
Seventeenth April 2009 is a historic day in the ecumenical journey of the Church in India when the three bodies, the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) and Evangelical Fellowship of India  (EFI), signed a memorandum of understanding at the Joint Working Committee meeting at Delhi Bible Institute, Delhi.

The signatories to the memorandum are as follows:

For CBCI -  Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao, Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes
For NCCI - Bishop. Dr. D. K Sahu, Mr. Samuel Philip Mathew,
For EFI - Bishop Gollapalli John , Rev. Dr. Richard Howell.

The preamble and the aims and objectives are as follows:


Preamble
The National United Christian Forum invites us to a journey of faith, and confidence in the guidance of the Spirit to lead us into new relationships of trust and cooperation. We are committed to celebrate, enter into dialogue and act together to the glory of the One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We seek to broaden and deepen encounters to foster mutual respect, to explore and address together common challenges. We share common goals and establish a cooperative arrangement to strengthen the Church in India and the church’s engagement with the poor and the oppressed.

NOW, THEREFORE, we mutually agree as follows:

1. Aims & Objectives
  1. To foster and promote the spirit of intra-faith harmony
  2. To dispel the prejudices created against the Christian and other minority communities and to actively engage in the promotion of better relationships between the communities.
  3. To encourage and actively promote the prophetic engagement of the Church in the socio- political economic life of the nation.
  4. To respond to specific instances of atrocities against the Christian community and other minority communities.
  5. To educate the community towards the various provisions safeguarding their rights and privileges and opportunities designed for their development.
  6. To work towards bringing various Christian organizations of service together for a more coordinated action and effective witnessing.
  7. To safeguard and promote human rights and in particular the rights of people belonging to Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and Backward Classes, minority communities, children, women, the poor and the marginalized.
  8. To address and respond to issues concerning Christians of Dalit origin, in particular the discrimination against their constitutional right to legal protection.
  9. To critically observe and evaluate the socio-political developments within society and to effectively respond to the same.
  10. To take up research on issues affecting the Christian community and other minorities.
  11. To promote communication within the Christian fold and outside
  12. To make meaningful interventions in areas of policy making/opinion shaping and to make appropriate representations before the government and other concerned bodies on issues as mentioned above.
  13. And to engage in any other emerging activities for the fulfillment of above objects with the inspiration and motivation from the Lord Jesus Christ and His teaching.
     

Issued by
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
Secretary, NUCF