1 Aug 2013

Understanding and Responding to Violence

National Seminar on Understanding and Responding to Violence
Indian School of Ecumenical Theology  organized A National Seminar on Understanding and Responding to Violence  at Ecumenical Christian Centre  from 6 to 8, October 2010  Rev. Reji Samuel, the in charge of ISET and coordinator welcomed the participants.  Rev. Dr.  M Mani Chacko inaugurated the seminar. Fr.George Muthalil, Director ISI,  in his  key Note address on ‘Violence and State’ highlighted the issues nation is facing today. After the lunch, Child Right Trust(CRT) an NGO did a presentation on  Violence against Children. In the following session,  Rev. D. Jebaraj, CIT, Chennai  presented a paper on  Violence and Scriptures from the  Bible. In the second day, Dr V.S. Elizabeth  , from National Law School University  did a presentation on Gender Based Violence' in the second session of the day,  Akkay, and team from Sangama, an NGO working among the transgender community , shared their experience as a transgender . which was an eye opener to all the participants.
After the linch, Prof. Dr. G. K. Karanth, Institute for Social and Economic Change  brought a lecture on Violence to Migrants. In the last session on the second day, Dr M. Stephen , FTS, Manakala  brought a paper on ‘Violence to Dalits and Tribals’ On the third day after the  Eco friendly Worship Dr .George Zachariah presented a paper on Response from Theological Ethical Perspectives. The program came to a close with the concluding remarks by Rev. Dr. Mani Chacko.

Bangalore Inter Theologate Seminar -Faculty Colloquium

Bangalore  Inter Theologate Seminar -Faculty Colloquium  

February 2012  

The Bangalore  Inter Theologate Seminar Faculty Colloquium of the academic year 2011-12 was held at at Ecumenical Christian Centre  at On Saturday, 18th February 2012 at 10.00 am 
With opening prayer opening prayer by Dr. Siga Arles, Director, CFCC.
Rev. Dr. Reji Samuel, Coordinator & Convener, BITS  welcomed the gathering.                :
Fr. Stanislas Savarimuth, Professor  at St Peters Pontifical Institute and Seminary and  Chairperson, BITS moderated the program. After the remarks byRev. Dr. Cherian Thoms, ECC Director  two papers were presented.   Fr. Dr. Sebastian Periannan, St. Peter’s Pontifical   Institute & Seminary presented a paper on “Corruption: A Christian Response” Dr Prabhu Singh, Professor at SAIACS presented a paper  on “  Corruption at Ecclesial Communities”  Capt. Jose an Alumnus of SAIACS   shared about  Nehemiah group , an attempt to  stop corruption initiated by Christian professionals.

After the discussions, Rev. J. R. Paul Singh, Deputy Director, ECC proposed vote of thanks. The program was concluded  with    remarks by BITS Chairperson  Fr. Stanislas S  and prayer and  benediction by Rev. Dr. Mohan Larbeer. Secretary, BTESSC .



BITS Colloquium Aug 15 , 2011

Rev Reji Samuel, Coordinator & Convener of BITS, welcomed all the participants The first half of the seminar was chaired by  Rev.Dr. M.Mani Chacko, Director, Ecumenical Christian Centre. FR. Dr Paulachen brought a presentation : Climate Change: Issues and Implications particularly  from a Indian Perspective. The Second half was Chaired by Rev. Dr Jones Muthunayagom, BITS Chair person,  and Dr Ken Gnanakan brought presentation of Environment Stewardship, which was followed by lively discussions
 Rev. Reji Samuel Lecturer, Convenor &  Co-ordinator of BITS proposed Vote of Thanks and the meeting came to a close with   lunch at ECC refectory.

31 Jul 2013

National consultation on Corruption and Spirituality: Discourse in India in a Globalised World

 National consultation on Corruption and Spirituality: Discourse in India in a Globalised world 
Joint programme with ACISCA
  August 27, 2012

The  National consultation on Corruption and Spirituality: Discourse in India in a Globalised world was attended by 32 participants from all over India representing churc

hes, educational institutions and NGOs.
Rev. Dr Reji Samuel, Dean of the ISET, ECC , coordinator of the consultation  welcomed the participants. He introduced the program, persons and presented the agenda for the consultation.  
There  was a traditional way of inauguration of the day with the lighting or the lamp by the director of ECC, Rev. Dr. Cherian Thomas. Rev J.R Paul Singh, the Deputy Director of ECC introduced the ministry of the Ecumenical Christian Centre.  
 Dr A.J. Anandan, I.P.S. (Retd.), former Director General of Police, Karnataka presented the  Key note Address on Corruption and Spirituality: Are the citizens’ attitudes towards corruption shaped by their religious beliefs and devotion? He defined various meanings of corruption. He also addressed on the different types, causes and the history of corruption,   giving a clear picture right from the early years till now explaining with the related instances from holy books of the religions and from the society.
In the second Session Fr. Dr.  Sebastian Periannan, Professor from  St Peters Pontifical Institute and Seminary gave a pictorial representation “Corruption: A Christian response”. He stated about the spiritual trends  of the millenniums and the globalised world.The theoretical framework of corruption starts from society, to the government, then to the education field and ends up in media. Corruption has become a political tool for the misuse of the public for the private gain. Fr. Sebastian gave the instances from bible, how corruption started right from Adam and Eve during the time of kings and prophets of Israel, how they denied God and practiced the corruption. Violence begins in the mind; likewise corruption begins in mind; only spirituality changes our heart and mind. So applied spirituality to us enables to infuse values that distance us from corrupt practices.
He suggested Four pillars for today 1) Hospitality like that of Abraham, 2) Honesty 3) Hard work and 4) Holiness
In the third Session Participants shared their own experiences of corruption.
In the fourth session Dr. M.P Joseph from Chang Jung Christian University, Taiwan presented on Globalization and Corruption: Soul-mates or antagonists? Dr. M.P Joseph presented the corruption analyzed  the whole issue of corruption. Corruption is one of the most visible forms of untruth but it has become the normative statement of faith; it is a `daylight robbery’ by the privileged. He concluded by giving the “Vision for a Corruption Free world” “Corruption being untruth, it can always lead to insanity and truth alone leads to wisdom”.
The  second day( 28-08-2012) started with an Environment - friendly worship led by Ms.Lalbiaknii and every one  actively participated in the worship which  emphasized about the beauty of nature.
 In the first session Dr. M.P Joseph dealt about Corruption and Spirituality: Towards an Ethical reflection. He started with an emphasis of the need to understand corruption and engage in a new discourse on corruption. He stressed on creating a system where money will not determine our being and the need for the process to reverse the transfer of resources.  Two elements of spirituality: openness and responsibility, which are inter-linked.   He concluded with the need for “I and Thou” relationship where thou should not be treated as “it”, where the personal identity is lost. So he suggested to do away with the “corrupt god” concept and spirituality should be a determination of active following of JESUS.
 In the second session Rev. Vincent Rajkumar, Director of CISRS, Bangalore discussed the question: “Do the dispositions of religious leaders to corruption by the way of denunciation, tolerance or even over involvement is corrupt activities influence the laity’s attitudes towards corrupt behavior?”He compared politicians from the earlier days who were professional, eminent who came from grass-root who looked for the welfare of the state and the present day politicians who concentrate on the welfare of the political parties. He emphasized the role of religion which is transactional. And religion is a feudal system of govt to manipulate and control people for the betterment of the select group in the society. He concluded by saying that every individual should take a step to say “no” to corruption and also not to bribe God.
The third Session  was an inter religious Dialogue on  Corruption and spirituality:  The panel Included Prof. Seenu Iyengar(Hinduism), Upasaka G. Sudhakar Rao(Buddhism)  and Dr. Bhatia( Sikhism) Dr. Bhatia speaking on corruption said that, corruption is based on selfishness. The classification of evil and good are based on the natural principles and not on anyone’s views or opinions. Spirituality is a process of scientific education based on universal laws. He brought a three word formula: 1)Meditating God 2) Honesty 3) Work and sharing
 Mr. G. Sudhakar Rao speaking on the topic on the perspective of Buddhism said to avoid uncontrolled thinking and to keep the mind in a concentrated state then to lead the life selflessly, synchronizing with the universal characteristic of nature. Only such a life  can lead us to full security, peace and freedom.  
Dr Sreenu Iyengar sharing his views on corruption in the Hinduism perspective said “Most people who are truly spiritual are not religious”. There is a restriction between the religious and spirituality. True spirituality transcends the material world. Corruption is an ego of mind to have most connection to materialistic world. Then he brought out the Hinduism concept of Dharma: 1)  Dharma 2) Artha 3) Kama 4) Moksha.

In the Second day afternoon session Dr Kiran Bedi, (Rtd) IPS officer, New Delhi talked about the question: “Do public servants see ethical teaching as implementable or practicable at work or as a utopian, difficult to implement or non operable in practice?”  Dr. Kiran Bedi addressing on the subject said that the humanity which lacks in the human beings is cause for all the mischief. So all are required to be humans first and then act to the situations. She   said that the future of the country does not lie in politicians but the parents and teacher and in religion preachers. We should do anything not because we are to do it but we want to do it because we join anything unconditionally. So all those who deal with people require ethics and we should develop ethical values. Understanding ethics is a continuous education. So render the values the selflessly rather measuring them. The work we do remains as long as we do not scale our values. Be a person with humanity and include ethics, that is human values in all you do.
In the last session of the day 
Rev. Dr Dexter S. Maben, Associate professor, UTC, Bangalore   Personal transformation as Response to countering Corruption. Dr. Dexter came out with a new idea of comparing the present governance that of the governance of the Bible. He brought out the three main points in governance to bring about the transformation from corruption (from Bible, Luke 19:1-10) as : 1) Issue of accountability  2) Issue of capability 3) Issue of transparency
On the third day(29th Aug’12) Rev.Dr.Dexter Maben  continued the Bible Study  about  Countering Corruption based on the text Rom 13:1-7. He  emphasized the role of the tax payers.
Rights of Tax payers or the citizens:1) Right to Participate 2) Right to Deliberate
3) Right to celebrate

In the second Session,  Capt. Jose P.O  brought a case study on the lay people response to Corruption in Ecclesial Communities based on attempts done in Bangalore. He invited us “not to be immune to the broken(i.e)corruption”Facts of Corruption : 1)  Universality of Corruption 2) Brotherhood of Corruption 3) The ugliness of corruption is intolerable. Church and Corruption-Responses by Laity:1)Ignorant acceptance of the corrupt system 2) Despondency3) Holding leaders accountable and responsible
In the last session of the program Rev. Dr. K.C Abraham presented on How to work towards a Just Society. He emphasized on  Dharma : Doing one’s duty.  Caste Dharma – doing things for their own caste.  It is nepotism. Corruption is multi-dimensional – It is very difficult to root out corruption because of its systematic character. Moral man and immoral society.  Good people who are caught up in bad system. Ethos – a complex of fundamental values.   Rooting out corruption is not possible, so we have to create an ethos where corruption is not possible.  Our emphasis should be what is proper and what is appropriate.  The heart of Christianity – the rules, the manner of life in which are conducting our life.
The consultation was concluded with words from Rev. Dr.K.C. Abraham //

Understanding Human Sexuality

Understanding Human Sexuality  

29 Jul 2013

Rational for the Bangalore Inter - Theologate Seminar ( BITS )

  Rational for  the Bangalore Inter - Theologate Seminar ( BITS )


The Bangalore Inter- Theologate Seminar ( BITS )  is a vision of the Ecumenical Christian centre to promote more  integration in the arena of  Theological Education offered in the Indian Context. It is an attempt to create a space where persons involved in the process of Theological Education, both faculty and students in and around Bangalore, could come together at least once a year for fellowship and interaction; mutual sharing and listening; reflection and discussion on issues pertaining to life, despite doctrinal/ecclesiastical/theological standing. The BITS is envisioned as a forum where multiple voices and perspectives could be shared, heard and respected as part of our quest for meaning in life. It is also an endeavor to promote the spirit of Wider Ecumenism, the main thrust of the Ecumenical Christian Centre, where plurality/diversity is recognized as a gift of God to humankind on the one hand and on the other an attempt is made towards convergence keeping in mind the richness of this gift of plurality/diversity which make human life dynamic and vibrant.

The Rationale

 There is a great divide among us who are involved in Theological Education in our country. As it is stated in the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 1: 12 " What I mean is this: One of you says, " I follow Paul"; another," I follow Apollos"; another," I follow Cephas "; still another, " I follow Christ ", time has come for us to critically and realistically analyze our nomenclatures with which we exist. Some of us would say  " We belong to the Asia Theological Association; some would say , " we belong to the Roman Catholic fraternity of theological education; others would say , " we belong to the Senate of Serampore University", yet others would say , " we belong to none; we exist alone, we are independent". Although this kind of affiliation to a body helps us to offer Theological Education in a more focused manner, the divide we experience in the field of Theological Education is not healthy or helpful. We , many a time see each other as a foe and not as a friend. We need to realize that Theological Education is not  an end in itself but a means to a greater end , i.e. spreading the values of the Kingdom of God on earth. Therefore we need to come together transcending our differences and work towards a just , humane and peaceful World Order, which I believe ought to be the main task of Theological Education. The BITS facilitates this process of integration, reflection and action;

The Aim

To facilitate more cooperation and integration among persons involved in theological education;

To become conscious of and to fathom the intrinsic  relationship between Theology and Life;

To become aware of the issues which affect and threaten life and to theologically respond to such issues.

The Methodology

The BITS will be co-coordinated by the Indian School of Ecumenical Theology(ISET), which is an arm of the Ecumenical Christian Centre  but with the support of a Steering Committee which consists of one representative( faculty or student ) from each college/seminary participating in the BITS. This committee will meet occasionally and monitor the functioning of the BITS. The Lecturer , ISET will be the Convener of the Steering Committee with the Chairperson elected on rotation.

The main event of the BITS would be an annual get together of a representative  group of faculty and students from each seminary/college at the Ecumenical Christian Centre on a mutually agreed date, time and theme. In this one day seminar, two Papers on the chosen theme will be presented, which will be followed by a response to each Paper and discussion.

Prior to the seminar, there will be a time of Worship, which will be the responsibility of each participating institution in turn as will be decided and requested by the Steering Committee.

At the beginning of the Seminar, a Statement Committee will be appointed, who will be responsible to put the deliberations of the Seminar in the form of a Statement for publication and circulation.

The Steering Committee could plan other programmes as and when necessary to strengthen the BITS.

The Role of Participating Institutions  in the BITS

The Ecumenical Christian Centre will be delighted to host the annual one day Bangalore Inter- Theologate Seminar.

The participating institutions will be responsible for transportation to the ECC and return.


It is hoped that the BITS will prove to be a worthy instrument to promote the ministry of Theological Education in our nation. It is desired that the BITS will become a life sustaining force and a think-tank for the church in India on important issues pertaining to life.

( A short paper presented at the planning meeting of the BITS held at the ECC on Monday, November 27,2006 ).

National Workshop on Holistic Child Development

Holistic Child Development
Consultation for pastors and Theologically educated
August 2009

                    The National Workshop on  Holistic Child development
 25-27 August 2009

 Rev. Reji Samuel Welcomed the participants and Introduced the program . Dr. Mani Chacko  inaugurated the program  He  highlighted the following points in his talk.

I. Children Do matter

Bring forth about the desperate conditions of the Children in India.
Children are experiencing the discrimination in all the spheres of society and church.
 Their rights are not the matter and even insignificant.
   Brought forth 10 principles, this provides holistic child development
 Discussed the two Beacons of light in Holistic Child development
 They are DR.Maria Montessori and Jesus Christ
 Challenge is that it requires right perspect and recognize the child as “wonder”
 We should be “ The Champions of the Children”
 It is you and me.
 Create an environment for the healthy growth
                 Enhance the ability to grow
                  Affect the life of children

          Mr. Thomas Swaroop from Compassion International   
 II. Identifying Children –in- Crisis in India- An overview of the trends and responses
                    Addressed as it is a  appreciate time to think the needs of the children as they   are vulnerable in all the respect.
                  They are exploited due to the poverty
                Children issues are discussed as below
Ø  Malnutrition
Ø  Health
Ø  Out of school
Ø  Drop out from the school
Ø  Child laboring
Ø  Street children
Ø  Girl Child
Ø  Child trafficking and prostitution
            Advocated some steps towards achieving Holistic Child Development  goals.

25th August,2009
Mr. Thomas Swaroop
*      III.Understanding  Children in Poverty

v  Why care for Children
·         1. Children Have rights
·          God’s concern for Children
·         Children are our future
·         Children being marginalized
·         To analyses the issues
·         To explore the possible solutions
·         To determined and involved

v  Challenges of Children

o   Poverty
o   Malnutrition
o   Street Children
o   Child labor
o   Out of school
o   Girl Child
o   Child trafficking and prostitution

v  Contributing factors
§  Poverty and unemployment
§  Drug abuse
§  Expansion of organized crime
§  Corruption
§  Low status of Girls
§  Moral decay and depravity
§  Access to pornography
§  Lack of Education
§  Lack of political will.
v  Impact
ü  Long- Lasting diseases
ü  Violence
ü  Drug addiction
ü  Unwanted pregnancy
ü  Malnutrition
ü  Poverty
ü  Death

Rev.Lawrence Mangalrajan  from compassion , Chennai

Models of Holistic Child Development

1.      Understanding of Poverty and Development
Poverty as Deficit
Poverty as  capability depravation
Poverty as denial of choices and opportunities
Poverty as a lack of access to social power
Poverty as Entanglement
Poverty  as pronounced deprivation of well being
Poverty as multi dimensional and complex
Poverty is in inclusive, cultural, social and political and economical in nature.
                  Poverty as Broken relationship ( Myer)
2.      Some theories of Poverty

3.      Some theories of development
      1. Development as Growth
      2. Development as Human Development
                        3. Development as Human rights and freedom
      4. Development as Well- being
      5. Development as restored relationship
      6. Development  as Transformation

v  Partner Development outcomes

¨  Demonstrates effective vision and leadership
¨  Mobilizes resources
¨  Establishes efficient structures and management
¨  Reflects local ownership
v  Holistic Development
        Economic /Educational


26Th August,2009( Wednesday)
4th Session

Ms. Anita Kanaiya  ( Oasis)

Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

v  Child  trafficking
Two real life stories
Young people may run away but Children
90% Children live in India in the world
India2007: Study on Child abuse
 Physical abuse
Social abuse
Emotional abuse
Neglect of Girl child

The findings
 Sexual abuse
11 MILLION Children live on the streets.
 Strongest character of Children is Trust

Commercial sexual exploitation
  Child trafficking
 Children make up half the number of people trafficked each year 1.2. Million
 Parents sell children for as little as Rs.1200
 Traffickers circle natural disasters sites looking for orhphans
Trafficked children are forced to become prostitutes, soldiers, camel jockeys (Middle East), and factory workers.
 How Children are trafficked
 Pretend to be benefactors of the families of the victims

v  What are Children trafficked for?

 People are trafficked for
Ø  commercial sexual exploitation
Ø  Begging
Ø  Military service
Ø  Forced illegal adoption
Ø  Forced marriage
Ø  Religious prostitution
Ø  Sex tourism
Ø  Pornography
Ø  Trading in organs
Ø  Drug trafficking

1 out of the world’s malnourished children
v  Other form of sexual abuse
·         Incest-  Incest between a child or adolescent and related adult has been identified as the most widespread form of sexual penetration
·         Sexual assault-
·         Sexual molestation
·         Sexual grooming

v  Effects of abuse in a child
Physical harm
Neurological and psychological damage
Post-traumatic stress

v  Legal loopholes

 There is no central law on child abuse

v  Our biblical mandate
Matt.18:4, 5, 6.

v  Challenge
 Enormous problems demand enormous solutions
Will you remain silent?
Or do you have the courage to make a difference and standup

                                        26th August,2009 (Wednesday))
Perspectives on Children and Their Develoment
Rev. Lawrence Mangalrajan

v  Major Themes




v    Child in Creation

                     Gift  of  God - Psalm 127: 3-5
                     Image of God – Gen. 1: 26 & 27
                     Choice before the creation Eh. 1: 4
                     Our very hair is numbered Math 10:30
                     Blessedness of children  - OT language

v Children & Fall
·                     Pain in childbearing  Gen 3:15
                     Children at risk of deprivation 2 Kings 5:1-6
                     Jesus’ birth -  4 depravity
                     Birth related risk – cattle shed
                     Risk of being killed by herod
                     Refugee – exodus

v    Child and Restoration…. 

Child and the Kingdom of God
v     What is Kingdom of God

                   Dynamic reign OR Kingly rule of  GOD – Sphere in which the rule is
                   Essence  – Is acceptance of His rule
                   Qualities- righteousness/joy/peace…
                   Kingdom Belongs to all –open for all
                   People of God’s rule, who enter it, live under it and are governed by it.

v    Children and Kingdom of God

                        Children as recipients of Kingdom Mark10:13-16.
                     Children as a model to the Kingdom  Mark 10:15.
                     Welcoming the child inaugurates the Kingdom  Mark 9:33-37 –informs social practice toward children & they strengthen the faith in Jesus.
v    Isaiah’s vision
                     V 20 – Longevity of Life
                         -  No  IMR
                     V 23 – No child labor (misfortune) –children enjoying their childhood. CRC.
                     Child Friendly Atmosphere.
                                                              27-08-2009 ( Thursday)
6th Session
Mrs. Mary Paul   ( Vathsalya Organization)

Holistic Child Development – Psychological perspective

o   For Holistic development it is the need of family and parents
o   All children have right to be protected
o    Categories of Children who may be without parental care
o    Changes in attitude of care givers ( Foster parents willing to care for the severely challenged . Foster care/home  is better than the orphanage)
o    Adoption- Child gets legal status. Natural inheritance
o     Changes in perception
o   Change in policies
o   Need to converge (Govt.  Dialogue  with NGO’)

v  The five love languages of Children
·         1. Physical Love
         Physical Touch- Hug- Age wise
·         2. Words of Affirmation-
               Words of Praise,
              Words of encouragement,
              Words of   guidance
·         3. Quality time
           Being together
           Story telling and conversion
           Planning for quiet time
·         4. Gifts
          The grace of giving
·         5. Acts of service
           Making service appropriate to                                                                 age.
            Being role models
v  Obvious things about Children
o   They are Children
o    They tend to act like  children
v  How to communicate your love to Children
v   Effective control of your child’s Behavior-
v  Issuing commands- Negative means of control- Less effective
v   Punishment-  correction should be free from your feelings (Angry)
“We want to see our children to behave well.”
     Love Tank- Fill them with Love again and again
     Children are our extension

Imp. Question!

       What would you do if a child is seen in streets and abandoned?

7Th   Session                                   
 D.R.J.Prasad Phillips

Caring Child care givers: Issues and Challenges

v  Biblical foundations: Child care, Service and Mission
·         The importance of Children
·          Service and Child care
·         Child and Church
Ø  Image of God
Ø  Children in the church and outside the church
Ø  Children Friendly Churches ( time of Lord Supper distributing chocolates)

v  Mission and Children
Ø  Children objects and subject of Mission
Ø   Children should  be in our mission agenda
Ø   Children should have major role in many      many families
Ø   Family transformation through children-
       ( Mal.3: Last verse)
Ø   Children needs parental care
Ø   How children can play the role of fathers/ mothers when they grow up

v   Child care: People and policies
·          Policies, People and partners
Ø   Church/NGO’s- Organized/unorganized
Ø  Sunday School
Ø   Child protection policies?
Ø   Practical programs outside of the church?
Ø   Parents with single children
·          Help and Support
·          Child Care Givers in the Church
Ø  Sunday School Teachers
Ø  Children- 4/14 window
Ø   Committee members
Ø  Pastors
Ø  Congregation

v  Training and it’s challenges

·         Methods and Models
Ø  On Job training
Ø   Special seminars/consultations/Advocacy
·         Issues and challenges
Ø  Theological seminars
Ø  Course books
Ø   Modules
Ø   Trainers
·         Training the trainers

                            Who are the child care givers?  Church

27TH August,2009 (Thursday)
Dr. Sarasu Thomas

Religion and Juvenile justice

v  Religion   as a right

 It is both a civil and political right
·         Who is a child?
            Not attained 18 years old (  Less than 18 years old)
·         The unit
v  Religion and Children
 In India, every child is assigned a religion at birth and the law pertaining to that religion is applied
 A child may thus belong to a particular religious group by
Ø   Birth if both parents belong to the same religious group
Ø  Birth if one parent belongs to a particular religious group and the child is brought

              India has the following rights which are relevant in the context of religion
Ø  Freedom of thought and expression
Ø  Freedom of beliefs
Ø   Freedom of religion including the right to practice, propagate and preach
Ø  Protection from exploitation

v  Rights of Cultural groups
Ø  To  set up and administer educational institutions

v  It Is  unfortunate that, many religious beliefs are also
Ø  Patriarchal- Superiority of males over females
Ø  Insular- Creating a strong sense of keeping away from “the other” among children
Ø  Stereotyping- creating prejudices on many lanes right from worship modes, clothing, food references and others

v  Religious practices which are downright harmful
·         Sati
·          The Devadasi  system
·          Female circumcision/FGM(female genital mutilation)
·         Tonsure
·         Prohibition of contraception
·          Denial of medical care

v  The Child Rights Convention- 1989
·         Autonomy
·         Best interest of the child principle
·         Child participation

v  Child has a right
·         To chose religion

In India however, children are not given right to choose religion

v  Due to pressure from religious/ cultural groups, we still have
·         Child marriage
·         Dowry
·         Sexual selective abortions ( Gender finding)
·         Illiteracy and school drop outs

v  A Child is seen as

·         A future citizen who will be vested with important rights to vote
·         A Future adult who must be appropriately socialized to fit into the role her community has envisioned
v  A child is not seen to
·         Fulfill any role now
·         Have any voice now
·         Have any rights now

v  Cutting across religion we see
·         Child sexual abuse both at home
·         Corporal punishments sometimes leading to death
·         Discrimination against girls

 Very rarely parents are hauled up because
             Children are seen as the property of their parents
Law governing child violence
Criminal laws dealing with offences against the person assault, battery

v  Juvenile justice Act,2000
Defines cruelty to the child
 Provides for a system of termination of parent rights
Provides for children in need

v  Religion can play a positive role
·         Challenging stereotypes
·         Being watchdog against Child abuse
·         Setting up institutions like schools, hospitals etc to further the best interest of the Child
·         Recognizing the right of the child to participate in and exercise her own opinions on matters of religion
·         Giving the child an identity in a multicultural world

                               Concluding Remarks- Dr. Mani Chacko ( Director-ECC)

                        Text:  Matthew.25:41-46
                                      I was hungry,
                                      I was thirsty,
                                      I was a stranger,
                                      I was sick,
                                      I was in prison,
                                      I was naked
                                                                  What you did?
                          What will be the answer?
*      4 Principles for reading the Bible

        1. Principle of Going beyond  
                          Think relevantly, Be in   context of   today
                                2.  Principle of Critical and theological imagination –
                                                 Invent the insights
                                3. Principle of engage in liberating enterprises-
             Contemporary  Issues like poverty, child labour, abuse
                                4.  Principle of relive and review/ revision