Church of South India (CSI) recently celebrated its 75th anniversary, attended by thousands of representatives from its 24 dioceses, civic and government leaders and more. Only a few weeks after the end of colonial rule, the church was founded as a “United and Uniting Church”—an expression of the dawn of a new era. Since then, CSI has established several educational institutions and hospitals, and contributed towards ecumenical leadership in the region, communal harmony and secularism in India. For many years, CSI has been committed to environmental protection and to combating climate change, which affects the impoverished in India significantly.

During the event with over 10,000 in attendance, CSI General Secretary Rev. C. Fernandas Raja called on the Indian government to end discrimination against Christians in India. CSI has more than 4.5 million members today, with two thirds of them being Dalits, so-called “untouchables” or “casteless”. The CSI General Secretary said,“We observe with great concern that the constitutional rights of the Dalits and other minorities in India are being increasingly undermined by the nationalist Hindu government. We demand full legal recognition of Christian Dalits.”

As part of the anniversary celebrations, the CSI also hosted an international Mission Consultation themed “Life Affirming Mission of God: Towards Building Living Communities” from 24-26 September in Chennai, India.

Dated 10 October 2022

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