World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Resources / Documents / WCC general secretary / Messages and letters / Letter of support to Indian churches amidst increasing violence

Letter of support to Indian churches amidst increasing violence

Letter from the WCC general secretary to the Indian churches, addressed to National Council of Churches in India, expressing solidarity and support amidst increasing acts of violence and vandalism affecting Christian community

19 March 2015

Dear Rev. Dr Roger Gaikwad, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in India,

I am writing this to express solidarity and support for the churches in India in the context of increasing acts of violence and vandalism targeting the Christian community in India. I was deeply disturbed to hear of one more act of vandalism on a church in Hisar district of Haryana state on Sunday, 15 March 2015, and of the gang rape of a septuagenarian nun in the Convent of Jesus and Mary High School in Ranaghat town of West Bengal state a few days earlier. These attacks and atrocities are understood as part of a wider pattern of repression against minority communities and their fundamental right to practise and profess a religion of their choice. In this regard, the recent rise in attacks on Christians and Christian institutions poses a deep threat to the secular and pluralistic social fabric of India where various religious communities have thrived and lived harmoniously through the ages.

The World Council of Churches condemns any act of violence or violation which targets people and places on the basis of their religious identity, and upholds the sanctity and dignity of all life and the universal right to religious freedom. I am aware of and support the NCCI’s letter dated 2 December 2014, addressed to the Honourable Prime Minister of India urging the government to “bring in suitable measures to cultivate a culture of democratic secularism”. The World Council of Churches joins the churches in India in urging the Indian government to take appropriate and urgent measures to prevent further violation of human dignity or violence against the Christian community in India, which has long been engaged in selfless service to the people of India across the boundaries of caste, ethnicity and religion.

Testing times like this can be daunting for the continued witness of the churches in India. The World Council of Churches affirms that as part of the body of Christ bound together by faith, hope and love you are not alone in your time of trial. We hope and pray that Christ’s words “I will never leave you nor forsake you”, will be real to you at this time and strengthen and sustain you to say with confidence “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” (Hebrews 13: 5, 6). Our strength and sustenance do not come by might or power but from the crucified Christ whom we remember during this time of Lent. May Christ’s grace be sufficient for you during these turbulent times and may Christ’s peace prevail in the days to come. Please be assured of our thoughts and prayers as you continue your work and witness.

With greetings of solidarity in Christ,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary