Northeast Christian forum to celebrate India’s “incredible” diversity
By Matters India Reporter
Guwahati: The United Christian Forum North East India has resolved to join nationwide efforts to uphold values and ideals of the country’s Constitution and celebrate its “incredible” diversity.
The leaders of the forum, representing all Christian denomination in northeastern India, met on September 28 at Guwahati to study regional and national issues and recent threats to freedom, equality and secularism enshrined in the constitution.
“We deeply believe that there are gems hidden in the Gospel of Christ and in the Constitution of India,” they asserted.
The Christian leaders reiterated their commitment to foster the constitutional values. “We will strive, in partnership with all the governments of North Eastern States and with all like-minded individuals and organizations, to bring these dreams to fruition,” the forum said in its concluding statement.
They also expressed gratitude to God for blessing their region with “incredible” diversity. Besides environmental and ecological diversity, the region is home to hundreds of tribal and non-tribal ethnic groups, making it one of the world’s richest regions in human diversity, they noted.
“The astonishing ethnic, linguistic, ecological and cultural diversity humbles us and we fall on our knees thanking the Lord for the generous gift of diversity,” the forum says.
The meet regretted that instead of considering the diversity as an asset, some “misguided leaders” try to use it to foment conflict and trigger violence.
“Instead of celebrating diversity and difference, they have tried to treat those who are different in cultural outlook, religious convictions, food habits and ethnic identities into an ‘enemy’ and a ‘threat,’” the statement says.
By imposing such thinking on people, those leaders have brought about a polarization in society that easily leads to violence. They leave behind wounds that fester and need urgent attention, the forum lamented.
The region’s Christian leaders reiterated their commitment to the creation of a society founded on peace and justice.
“We believe that the foundation of justice should be built on pillars of reconciliation, forgiveness and pardon,” they said.
They urged the region’s people “to forget and forgive unjust and inhuman acts of the past” and move forward to a society built on care, concern and compassion for each other in which vengeance and violence have no place.
They stressed revisiting the Constitution and uphold them in the northeast.
The Christian leaders resolved to strive to heal damaged relationships and forgiveness and reconciliation. They plan to conduct prayer services for peace in the trouble-ridden region.
They also extended their support to the region’s indigenous communities who seek to re-explore the resources of their culture in an eagerness to re-affirm their identity.
“We accompany them in their journey of re-discovering these cultural assets in order to re-shape their identity so as to the respond to the fresh challenges of the present and the future. “