Subject: Prayer Request for Pastors and Christian leaders in Delhi
The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) seeks prayer support from fellow Christians for pastors and Christian leaders in Delhi in the light of the expose by News channel IBN 7. We as a Christian community denounce accepting of money by some pastors for issuing baptism and church membership certificates, as revealed by the channel.
The Archbishop of Delhi and the President of the National United Christian Forum, Vincent M. Concessao, has stated, “Any commercialization of religion needs to be condemned no matter who does it. It seems to be the result of self-appointed pastors accountable to nobody and appropriating for themselves designations that do not belong to them. This is very unchristian and cannot go along with Christian life, much less that of Christian leaders. We, therefore, condemn the actions of some pastors as reported in IBN 7 and some papers to the extent that they are true.”
Rev. Atul Aghamkar, Chairman of the Evangelical Fellowship of India, has also asked “the appropriate church authorities to take necessary action against the defaulting pastors and for the Christian community to stand together during this time.”
Bishop D.K. Sahu, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), expressed, “We pray for the grace of God in our ongoing journey of faith. We pray for courage to stand for truth with humility. We pray that God will pardon us our failures to be transformed so as to transform the world.”
Similarly, Father Babu Joseph, the Public Relations Officer of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), recently told EFI, “We pray for the different churches in Delhi - that the sad and unfortunate events that occurred in Delhi may not tarnish our image, rather we take it as a challenge to continue our service to society in honesty, sincerity and above all, the love of God and the love of human beings.”
Though the events have brought to light misdeeds of certain Christians, this is an opportunity for us to uphold each other, especially our leaders, in prayer as we strive towards walking in integrity and righteousness in a fallen world.
As we are a minority community in India, it is all the more important for us to support, pray and encourage one another. Being a minority, we also have to ensure that we lead lives of integrity as the world is watching us closely and especially as India continues to become hostile towards Christians.
Rev. Richard Howell