Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Christian dalit protest continues
Three-day hunger strike to end with march on parliament to demand scheduled caste statusDalit protest in New Delhi on July 25
- Bijay Kumar Minj, New Delhi
- July 26, 2011
âOurs is a non-violent movement and we will fight till we get justice,â Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi told around 150 people gathered at Jantar Mantar, a venue in the Indian capital for public protests.
The hunger strike will end with a large march on parliament on July 28 attended by bishops, pastors and laity from all Christian denominations, Father G. Cosmon Arokiaraj, one of the organizers, said.
Father Arokiaraj, secretary of the Catholic bishopsâ conferenceâs Commission for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Castes, said people from other religions are expected to join the rally.
The hunger strike and the rally are being organized by the National Coordination Committee for Dalit Christians, a joint body set up by the bishopsâ conference and the National Council of Churches in India.
Archbishop Concessao accused the United Progressive Alliance-led government of being the main obstacle to Christians achieving their goal and of misleading people.
By not granting Scheduled Caste status for dalit Christians the government âis asking for trouble,â he warned.
Rights groups have for decades demanded statutory benefits for Christian and Muslim dalits to help their socioeconomic advancement.
The Indian Constitution provides seats in legislative houses, allocates jobs and provides places in educational institutions for Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh dalits.
However, Christians and Muslims are denied these benefits under the pretext their religions do not recognize the caste system.
Christians argue that such a stand violates a constitution that grants equal rights to all citizens.
Church urges immediate adoption of dalit-rights report
Christians threaten to withdraw support for ruling party