Indian Catholic bishops reaffirm support of Dalits

Bengeluru: Gathering in Bangalore for the assembly of the Indian Bishops’ Conference, Catholic news agency Fides reports that the bishops said the church should not only promote development programs and social inclusion of the Dalits, but is also called to a deeper understanding of the causes and manifestations of deprivation, discrimination and exclusion of Dalit Christians within society, by the state and by the church.

The organisation reports that at the end of the assembly, the bishops committed themselves to helping Catholic educational institutions to create spaces for disadvantaged Dalit students, to fostering initiatives aimed at promoting the rights and development of Dalits, and to removing every trace of discrimination based upon caste.

There are some 200 million Dalits in India, making up about 60 per cent of the 2.3 per cent of the population who identify as Christians. Under the caste system, their lives are marked by extreme poverty, unworthiness, shame and humiliation, impotence and social exclusion. Most are landless peasants.

The Catholic Bishops have joined with the National Council of Churches in India (which unites the Protestant denominations) in instituting ‘Dalit Liberation Sunday’ which is held every second Sunday in November.

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1 thought on “Indian Catholic bishops reaffirm support of Dalits

  1. JESUS said ” the poor you will always have with you “. It is reminding for the followers of CHRIST down through the centuries to be compassionate and take action to lift them up.

    300 million Dalits in India. The political parties in varying level will approach them at the eve of the election, then they are discarded.

    But the Church, as the body of CHRIST with hands must stretch the hands to lift the downtrodden people of the society. I have met hundreds of them in the northeastern State and in the slums of New Delhi. It will melt our hearts and break our conscience to see their suffering of mere survival in poverty every day. If the Churches of India won’t lift them up from the gutter of hopelessness, nobody will take that job.

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