The synod of India’s Syro-Malabar Church has appealed to the Kerala state government to stop discriminating against Christians when it distributes benefits intended for religious minorities.
Ucanews.org reported that at the end of its assembly in Cochin, the bishops said 80 per cent of the federal grants meant for religious minorities “went to one minority community (Muslims), and the remaining 20 per cent is divided among the other five minority communities in the state.”
Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains are classified as minorities. Together they make up 20 per cent of India’s 1.3 billion people. Some 80 per cent of Indians are Hindus.
The federal government offers individual grants for things such as education, scholarships and tuition, aiming to improve the socio-economic development of religious minorities.
Such aid is distributed through minority welfare departments in each state. However, bishops in Kerala maintain the Christian community is not given such benefits in proportion to their size, ucanews.org reported.
“Despite representing almost 20 per cent of the population in the state, we are not given federal grants for minorities as per our population ratio,” said Fr Antony Thalachelloor, synod secretary of the Syro-Malabar media commission.
Picture: Seminarians pray at St Joseph Pontifical Seminary of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in India’s Kerala state. The synod of India’s eastern rite Syro-Malabar Church has appealed to the Kerala state government to end discrimination against Christians in distributing benefits intended for religious minorities. (CNS photo/Msgr. John E. Kozar, courtesy of CNEWA).