christian Forum to protect Christian schools

February 11, 2010 at 2:09 am 9 comments

“Christians to form forum for protection of schools’, was a news item in the print media. This is an ill conceived move for the following reasons:-It shows that the governments at the Centre and the respective States have failed and are utterly incapable of protecting educational institutions. It gives the impression that Christian schools need protection because they are under attack. This is not true.
It can be a precedent which will prod managements of other schools to embark on a similar move-the result will be opposing armies of lay people with the sole intention of opposing and not of protecting. Lines based on religious communities will be drawn.
It creates distrust and disharmony
Now some in-home affairs: Will the forum be responsible if other schools are attacked and the blame is placed at their door?
The NCCI (National Council of churches in India) is a conglomeration of mainly Evangelical churches-these have been in the forefront fanning discord and enmity. What is happening in Haiti should be an eye opener for the Catholic Church. There Catholics are being persecuted by the Protestant churches as devil worshippers. In India too there is not much love lost between the Pentecostal churches and the Catholic Church-the former are accused of poaching and the later even preaching on Sundays to be wary of the Pentecostal churches and its propaganda.
Will the Catholic Church be responsible if the Protestant churches attack other places of worship and the schools run by private bodies and the Hindus? If the hindu ashrams are attacked-pamphlets derogatory of Hindu gods and goddesses are distributed near temples and other public places. A Forum of protection for the Christians schools cannot be a closed ended one-it must also be accountable for the anti-hindu propaganda unleased by the Pentecostal churches.
It is a well known fact that the Pentecostal churches are mushrooming and every other pastor claims to a bishop (self appointed).There is no accountability of word(preaching)or deed-activities, because each one is a law by himself. The UPA government when it comes to Minorities is wary of taking any action because of its vote bank politics of appeasement.
Organizationally the Catholic institutions are well knit. There are two sets of Catholic schools: one- diocesan schools which are run by the local bishop and the other set run by religious congregations. These come under their respective congregation heads-Provincials. But still they also are aligned with the diocesan educational body under the Bishop.Each diocese has its own association for Education headed/supervised by the local bishop. The religious congregation like Jesuits, Salesians, Patrick Brothers, Sacred Heart Brothers, the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, Jesus Mary , Presentation, Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Mary,Cluny sisters of St Josephs, Carmelites(of different hues and shades)Bon Scours, St Anne’s,Holy Cross, Servities,et al. These are just a handful in the long list of religious congregations which run education institutions. They are well knit at the diocesan ,regional and State levels reaching out to the international level. The Protestant churches run schools and the Evangelical church administered schools do not have such a well oiled and well structured organization. These are headed by their respective church leaders and are as numerous as the number of schools! They see the strength of the Catholic organization-both structurally and leadership wise at the different levels and want to hang on to it to get the strength and benefit from such an organizational set-up. They should not be allowed to piggy-rid on the Catholic leadership. Because the later will be dragged down with the leaden like burden of the Pentecostal/protestant run schools.
When one mentions Christian schools does it mean schools run by churches and or Christian individuals and comprising of both catholic and other churches? A forum based on this will be a problem and not a solution.
There are distinct features which separate the protestant schools and the Catholic schools-to cite an example: catholic schools by and large do not force children of other faiths to read the bible or to compulsorily attend catholic rites. But the Protestant and Evangelical churches do. A telling example was published a year ago when a boy from Bishop Cotton school B’lore was forced to study the bible.I have had students in the post graduate level who did narrate how in the Evangelical schools they studied were forced to attend the bible/scripture classes. The catholic schools where such things happen are exceptions and not the rule as far as I am aware. But the opposite is the case for Evangelical church run schools.
What happened in Orissa, Kandhammal could be repeated because the Evangelical churches enter into areas with a crusading fervor and think that their actions through education /social work and welfare activities all need to end in conversion. This will trigger problems-Will the Catholic schools stand for this? Will they through the forum protect such schools which mean abetting proselytization and increasing the numbers in their churches which I am sure the Catholics do not approve of?
The Protestant/Evangelical run schools must stand on their own Numbers are not strength. Truth was and is a lone voice in the wilderness.
Are the Christians so naïve as to think that their schools are being attack. Does one sparrow make a summer? There are more than 5000 schools the news item states-this is gross under estimation. It could easily be double that number. How many schools have been attacked? I wish the community of Christians become more open and form forums to protect the citizens living in and around their churches and schools.
All are children of God-so we were taught But when it comes to practice the churches become closed and self centered. To substantiate this I would like to cite the example of the Archbishop of Orissa –Rev Rafael Cheenath complaining that the Centre and the State governments have not kept their promise regarding the Christians affected by the riots. This was an unchristian utterance. I wished he had simply made a plea in the name of all those affected in the riots and not only the Christians. His stand was anti Jesus and the bishop betrayed his own closed mentality and totally unchristian attitude. There is no special heaven for Christians and there are no special ghettos on earth where the Christians can be flocked and penned in and safeguarded. The sooner one realizes this the better. Be it terror attacks, natural disasters like floods, earthquakes differentiation drops, lines are washed away and ghettos crumble. Suffering is not partial and knows no religious discrimination. There is no majority/minority line drawn.
This idea of a Forum to protect the Christian schools not only sounds illogical but also is an affront to Christian values of openness, all embracing, and goes against the very grain of unity and harmony.
May be there the churches see this as another channel for fund to pour in-may be global attention can be attracted-may be some busy bodies need to be kept engaged…whatever be the reason a little bit of patriotism and openness will go a long way in clarity and in realizing the setting up of a Forum to be abandoned. On the other hand citizens’ forums can be formed irrespective of religion caste and community to safeguard community (not the narrow sense of community) but people’s assets.
There are enough of divisive forces, divisions and barriers, which need to be pulled down and leveled. Instead the creation of open forums at all levels, comprising of all right thinking persons to protect people’s properties, buildings, children, and belongings, must be thought of and concretized-that is the sum total of Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam(AMDG)
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,

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christian churches and Forum for protecting their schools. The soldier and the celebrity

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sita  |  February 12, 2010 at 4:38 am

    The idea of a common /public platform where people can join regardless of their affiliation for the common good is really a good one and we must work out the logistics to make this happen.

    • 2. Dr Mrs Hilda Raja  |  February 12, 2010 at 6:20 pm

      Yes Sita that was a very encouraging postive reponse.Now for the second step.I often wish we were close by!But that need not deter one we need to form forums in all regions.Thank you.

      • 3. Sita  |  February 13, 2010 at 8:56 am

        Yes .First we need to get the skeleton ready.What should be the principals: To help our community/society/country at the local /state/national level;
        2)What should be its agenda:-speaking out/doing work[like organising events for funds/support etc. .
        I think we need to start from here.

  • 4. bletleLus  |  March 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm

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  • 7. Rajeev Khaneja  |  May 1, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I fully appriciate the knowledge of thwe writer about the setr up of christian run schools.But i have close association of catholic run schools.i an say they have become extortion centres and source of money laundering.Huge amount of cash is taken in different namesi.e school devlopment fund,feast collection etc. same money is used for adivavi /poor areas for conversion and other activities. of late,there are number of complaints,just to protect themself they always had been taking united stand.all this talk of service to mankind and poor is an Eyewash.

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