Churches in Kerala, Kolkata, Telangana and Assam gave sermon calls to people on Christmas-eve and morning mass to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Citizenship Amendment Act looks at giving citizenship to persecuted religions minorities, including Christians, from the neighbouring three Islamic nations, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who have taken refuge in India prior to 31st December, 2014.
As reported by Times of India, Kolkata churches called for an end to ‘politics of hate’. On Thursday, all churches have organised a protest march against the new law. The law which gives citizenship to persecuted Christians in three neighbouring states is being opposed by Churches in India. “The perpetrators of coercion should develop the fear of God in them and should know where they are heading instead of creating the fear psychosis,” Father Pradip Nanda of the St John’s Church told TOI. He said that he has asked the congregation to not fear the NRC and CAA and help the poor and needy wherever they could. Shockingly, Father Nanda did not clarify that the CAA is not applicable to the Indians, irrespective of their faith and NRC is not even ready in draft form.
The report further states that Kerala’s Syro-Malabar Catholic Church also said that they are getting ‘anxious’ because of barriers of ‘differentiation and division being created’. In a church sermon, Archbishop Mar Anthony Kariyil said that attempts should not be made to create confusion and complexity amongst people. In fact, Father George Pattery of Jesuits in South Asia tried to compare the CAA with Jesus’ birth and said how he was born in a manger in Bethlehem.
In Secunderabad, Telangana, Wesley Church on Christmas Day congregation had people standing with placards that read “We Indians reject CAA” and “CAA against constitution”. One Mubbassir, who was part of the protests at Wesley Church said that people from all faiths participated in the same. The CAA was also discussed at 150-year-old St Mary’s Basilica in Bengaluru.
Assam, too was protesting against the CAA. The reasons for the protests in Assam are very different. Assam is not against the non-inclusion Muslims from Islamic nations in CAA but are actually insisting on the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. Ironically, Assam is essentially protesting, demanding the implementation of NRC and not for the reasons that propagandists would like people to believe.