Do you approve of the following unanimous resolution passed by Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox bishops along with RSS/VHP/Bajrang Dal/other Hindu leaders in Kerala?
UNANIMOUS RESOLUTION PASSED AT THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN
LEADERS OF CHRISTIANS AND HINDUS ON 28 SEPT. 2008 AT KOCHI
We condemn the violence in the name of religion. No religion accepts violence. This meeting resolves that mutual trust, friendship and collective efforts among different religions are inevitable not only for the unity and integrity of the nation but also for the very survival of humanity. Attempts and postures to create hatred and distrust among religions are to be dissuaded and defeated. Faith in one's own religion is precious to everyone. Any attempt to convert one religionist to another religion by force will upset religious harmony. The right and freedom of individual to practice his religion should never be denied. Similarly the Indian Constitution and Indian tradition uphold the right and freedom of people of all religions to preserve and practice their respective faiths. The tendency to question and condemn other religions has to be stopped. It is also wrong to picturise in bad taste and insult icons and idols of religious significance held in great regard by the faithfuls.
Of late, there have been frequent developments that cause concern to the religious people. More than four churches in Kerala were attacked. Attack on and loot in temples have become quite common. The main gate at the entrance of the famous Angadipuram temple was set ablaze. Several Sree Narayana Mandirs were demolished. The failure of authorities to bring the guilty to book or to pursue the investigation effectively has led to strong protest among the people . Places of worship are solemn and sacred to whomever they belong. Any attempt to promote and strengthen faith in the Almighty should always be encouraged.
We are committed to the unity and integrity of India. We shall unitedly work and strive for the cause of the poor and the persecuted in this country. We shall also join hands with the moral upliftment of the society. All of us must be conscious and cautious about the political moves to exploit religious sentiments. We shall always try to ensure peace and harmony in the society.
THE FOLLOWING LEADERS ATTENDED THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN HINDUS AND CHRISTIANS ON 29/09/08 IN KOCHI
1)Cardinal Mar Varkey Vithayathil, President, Catholic Bishops' Council of India (CBCI)
2)Arch Bishop Daniel Acharuparambil, Head of the Latin Catholic Churches in Kerala and President ofKerala Catholic Bishops' Council
3)Major Arch Bishop Baselios Cleemis, Catholic Bava, Head of the Malankara Catholic Church and Vice President CBCI
4)Arch Bishop Mar Andrews Thazhath. Trissur Arch Bishop and Secretary KCBC
5)Poulose Mar Pakamios Metrapolitan, Orthodox Church
6)JOSEPH Mar Gegorios Metropolitan, MalankaraJacobiteSyrianChurch Kulathur.
7)Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Samuel, Bishop, Church of SouthIndia, Central Kerala Diocese
8)Rev. Dr. John Panicker, Representative of MarThomaChurch
9)Rev. Dr. Stephen Alathara, Deputy Secretary/spokesperson, KCBC
6)Sri. Kummanam Rajasekharan, General Secretary,Hindu Aikyavedi
7)Smt. K.P.Sasikala,President, Hindu Aikayvedi
8)Sri.9)P.E.B.Menon, Prantha Sangchalak, RSS
10)Sri. A.R.Mohanan, Prantha Karyavah
11)Sri. K.V.Madanan, Chairman, Pattikajathi-Samvarna Samrakshana Forum
12)Sri. K.M.Unnikrishnan, State General Secretary, Viswa Hindu Parishad(VHP)
13)Sri. Palliyara Raman, State President, Vanavasi Vikasa Kendra
14)Sri. E.S. Biju, General Secretary, Hindu Aikavedi
15)Sri. K.K.Kunjol, President, Harijan Samajam.
Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2008 10:35:12 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: An NGO's report from Mangalore; please do comment. To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for forwarding to me Gautam Chakrobothi's letter and your response. I fully agree with you.
Since you mention P N Benjamin's name, let me give you my impressions regarding him: I have met him and interacted with him sometimes, enough to get a fair view of him.
I find PN a good man, well meaning, He rums a group called Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dailogue, and has organized some high level very reflective talks for the public. At the same time he is either wearing blinkers and so can see only in one direction, or has a huge huge blind spot that he just cannot see.
I am not surprised that he has not answered your questions - I would guess that he has not even acknowledged them, and even if he were to acknowledge your letter he will have surely skirted all your questions and repeated his one line chorus that the church is at fault - always!
I tried corresponding with PN, since I know him, but have practically given up as this is a useless venture. He just enjoys church-bashing, and anyone who does the same is right. It is quite true that he has a special regard for the BJP; when the BJP was in power at the Centre he was able to contact them and get some favour done to some Christians. I forget the details, but they are not necessary for my point; - the fact is he succeeded where many others who tried did not. This is certainly to his credit, but he does not realize that we could, using his language, say that he was offered the inducement of a favour and he is now converted to the BJP!
I was not aware that he was coming to Mangalore on that fact finding mission. When I did hear about it I was otherwise engaged, but those who informed me about it said they were not attending because they did not expect any objectivity from the committee that had P N Benjamin on it. They based their observation regarding him on his letters to the press, they said.
PN's lack of objectivity is glaring in his report; his conclusion refers only to the fact that the government must be firm on conversions but he says nothing about government letting people take the law into their own hands. Apparently PN finds the conversion issue strong enough to justify their taking the law into their own hands (as if hordes of Hindus were being converted) - but all he has to offer about conversions is only two cases filed before the police one in 2005 and one in 2006.
His proof for conversions is the mushrooming of the wayside churches. I have asked him to visit these churches and see who frequent them. Eighty per cent of those who frequent them are from the mainline churches (Catholics, CSI etc). Some Catholics are really converted in the sense they stop coming to the Catholic church and attend their new church. But there are very few Hindus who regularly attend these churches, though a good number may attend some prayer rally. What is important to note is that these Hindus who attend come there to pray for a favour: to get a healing, or a job or to have a child or recover lost property back etc. They are all suffering people who come to pour out their needs and grief, before any God who can help them out; they have heard of miracles taking place in Christian prayer meetings so they come! It does not mean they are converted; they may even attend prayer in these churches fairly regularly without being converted. In our modern times hardly anyone gets converted (though they may in some cases of marriage)
And every religious leader knows that one who changes his/her faith for the sake of money or other inducement is a shallow person, and will as easily revert back when the flow of money or other inducements stops!
I brought this to the notice of PN but he conveniently ignored the whole thing!
I somehow believe that in his case all this is not any bad will but sheer blindness. He is just unable to see what many see in him. His anti-church stance has its advantage as he is quick to notice any corruption in church members and expose it. Hence I haven't fully written off PN; he is on the list of those I pray for, for I believe that one day he will see things as most of us see them.and will understand the difference between Hindutva and Hinduism
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