The Church of South India (CSI) is delivering a series of workshops to about 175 men, women, and youth in five different states in India under the “Church Enlightened – Informed and Responsible Citizenship” initiative. They are aimed at addressing contemporary challenges the church faces and educating congregational members on the constitutional rights and protections for religious minorities, including freedom of religion or belief, religious harmony, benefits of the constitution, and opportunities. They also affirm the Indian constitution while addressing the right to equality and the current socio-religious climate in the country.
CSI SEVA and CSI South Kerala Diocese organised this programme for 52 participants from East Kerala Diocese, Kollam Kottarakara Diocese and South Kerala Diocese on 12 and 13 May. They discussed issues including corporations exploiting resources, activists being maltreated, communalization of religious festivals, and the corporatisation of wealth by the sub-leasing of huge government projects.
The guest speaker stressed the need to understand fundamental rights and civil liberties, with the speaker emphasizing the need to constitute a legal board in the CSI dioceses. During the thematic session, the resource person highlighted constitutional guarantees for religious minorities, and the need for the church to exercise its rights to religious freedom. Finally, the Moderator spoke about the shrinking space for mission work and the importance of constitutional awareness during the valedictory session.