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Clashes erupt in Kerala between two factions after Bishop converts Tiruvananthapuram’s MM church into a cathedral: Here is what happened

A Church committee member alleged that the Bishop wants to construct a shopping complex between the land belonging to the Wills Hostel inside the campus and the CSI Cathedral.

A section of Christian protestors clashed with another faction in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram after the Bishop converted the Mateer Memorial Church into a cathedral.

According to reports, on Friday, protests erupted outside the Mateer Memorial Church in the heart of the capital city of Kerala after one faction opposed the decision of the Bishop to convert the 116-year-old church into a cathedral. The two sides clashed with one another in the presence of the police.

MM Church is one of the prominent landmarks in Thiruvananthapuram, located over 16.50 acres in the LMS Compound. Built in 1906, the church is considered one of the oldest in south India.

Reportedly, the 14-member church committee had unanimously passed a resolution against the conversion of the church and protested against the incumbent Bishop A Dharmaraj Rasalam. The church committee allege that Bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam is leading the campaign to convert the church into a cathedral.

A church refers to a Christian house of worship, while a cathedral is a church where the bishop and other priests of churches also reside.

Premchand Johnson, a church committee member, had alleged that the motive behind the conversion was to sabotage the democratic setup prevalent in the MM Church. He alleged that the Bishop wants to construct a shopping complex between the land belonging to the Wills Hostel inside the campus and the CSI Cathedral. Hence, the existing church is being converted into a cathedral to house the parishioners living in these areas. 

However, on Friday, Bishop Rasalam announced that the existing church has been converted into a cathedral evoking a strong reaction from a section. He also dissolved the existing church committee and replaced it with a new body. The bishop has also appointed five priests to replace the current priests.

Meanwhile, Rasalam has claimed that everybody has wanted this elevation since 1959, but it could not take place for various reasons.

“However, on perusal of records, we recently found out that a church committee in 1963 had given its nod for the elevation subject to the clearance of the CSI South Kerala synod. In January, the synod gave its nod, and today we have all assembled here for the elevation function,” said Rasalam.

Reacting to the protests, Bishop Rasalam said 99 per cent of the parishioners of the church were supporting this elevation.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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