Churches come together to fight for Dalit Christians

MUMBAI: Catholic and Protestant churches in India will be demanding the extension of Scheduled Caste (SC) reservations to Dalit Christians from the Centre shortly.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) and the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), which comprises the main Protestant Christian churches in India, will be making demands on behalf of the group.

CBCI spokesperson Babu Joseph said: "The Dalit Christian issue has been ignored by successive governments and we will now be seeking reservations in government jobs, educational institutions and politics for them from the newly elected government.''

NCCI president Bishop T Sagar said his organisation would join hands with the CBCI to combat the injustice. The Dalit Christian issue has been in the news for the past 20 years.

Christian leaders said that the poor among the Christians, who were formerly SCs, continue to be neglected. Reservation has been extended to include Dalits of other religions. According to the leaders, in Bihar, Kerala, Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya, Christians who have a
tribal background can claim the status.

General secretary of the All India Christian Council, Abraham Mathai said, "The state is discriminating against people on the basis of their faith by not giving reservation.''


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