Rich Church, Poor Christians

via R L Francis President - PCLM published on May 22, 2011

New Delhi: 22nd May 2011
The Church in India is increasingly loosing its focus and turning away from the poor. “While demanding the special package from the Govt. of India in the 12 th Five Year Plan (2012-2017 period) the Christian leadership must introspect about the resources available with the Church and how that can be utilized for the benefit of the poor Christians in India”, R.L. Francis president of Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM) pointed out during the Press Conference at the Press Club in Moradabad in Western Uttar Pradesh on 21st May, 2011.

The condition of the North Indian Christians is far worse than their counter parts in South India, said Mr Gathia coordinator of the Church Parivartan Abhiyan pointed out during the press conferenc. He also said that despite the fact that the Church in India has more wealth than the combined assets of Tata, Birlas and Ambanis yet nearly 40 per cent of Christians in Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar live in poverty having no food security and adequate housing.

Mr. R.L. Francis, president of the Poor Christians Liberation Movement (PCLM) addressed the press that the presence of Christians coming from poor background in the Church run educational institutions and hospitals is negligible. The Church leadership runs the educational institutions and hospitals with a profit motive where the poor Christians do not have any place.

The Church is running 40,000 schools and owning some of the best educational institutions yet large number of Christian children dropout after class VIII and girls end up as domestic servants. This is result of “wrong priorities” followed by the Church leaders in India and time has come for more active role and power to be given to the ordinary Christians in running the church institutions and property management in India, Fr. William Premdas Chaudhary, a dalit Catholic priest and Meherban James president of PCLM in Uttar Pradesh said.

Although, there are already some hints as to what the church’s new course will likely be, there are several doubts what actually; will be the response of the Church in India to the new emerging challenges. Million dollar question is, Will the Church in India reconsider seriously the desirability – in fact, the necessity—of “opting for the poor”? Will the poor Christians in India get fair deal? Where is the new life? Where are the winds of change? Asked, the Christians leaders from the church.

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