On 25 June, 1975 – nearly forty years years ago, Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi unilaterally had a state of emergency declared across the country. Officially issued by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352(1) of the Constitution for “internal disturbance”, the Emergency was in effect from 25 June 1975 until its withdrawal on 21 March 1977 (21 months). `
So what did the Emergency imply? Essentially, at the stroke of the President’s pen India ceased being a democracy and was converted into a virtual autocracy. Civil liberties were suspended, media was censored, state and parliamentary elections were postponed, and anyone who wrote or spoke against the Government was put behind bars. In the 21 months of the Emergency, 100,000 people were arrested and detained without trial. ~ www.thelogicalindian.com
Under the Emergency rule, it was not easy to raise voices of critical opposition, in making even a mild-toned protest, one did so at considerable risk. Many kept silent because of the fear which spread among the people. Despite these pressures, some of the Christian groups made courageous attempts to express critical voices. It is significant to recognise that those who made the critical protests were not the representatives of the large institutional churches; rather, they were members of relatively small groups or of a minority group within the institutional church.
Metropolitan Juhanon Mar Thoma was the only Church leader who wrote a letter to her disapproving it. The Metropolitan’s letter stated that he deemed the Emergency rule as a setback to democracy and demanded its speedy withdrawal as well as the release of the politicians arrested in this regard.
His earlier statement was drafted in Malayalam in the fall of 1975. Even though it was not an entirely critical protest, but raised in a modest way a critical question, it was refused publication in Kerala. Metropolitan has written a brief yet pointed letter to Prime Minister Gandhi stating clearly his concern for the political situation.
“A vast number of people, and that growing numbers, feel the price we have to pay is costly. With people like Morarji and others in jail, and a press which has lost its freedom to write news and views, we feel a kind of depression. On behalf of thousands, I request withdrawal of Emergency by gradual stages. Immediate and altogether withdrawal is likely to have very bad repercussions. If the political detenus are released and’ freedom for press is given, it will be a great relief.
“I have one more request: not to have elections and constitutional changes during the time of Emergency. Hoping to be excused for this letter written from a sincere and painful heart.” ~www.daga.org.hk
He wrote that he was writing as a Church leader and a citizen. Mrs Indira Gandhi gave orders to arrest Metropolitan Juhanon Mar Thoma. Mr. C. Achuthamenon was the Chief Minister at that time and with his interference the arrest was avoided. It was the Mar Thoma Church’s fight for independence and national integrity that echoed through Metropolitan Juhanon Mar Thoma, a fearless commitment to the concerns of the people that is hard to find among religious leaders now. On September 9, shortly after he wrote this letter, he fell ill and died on September 27, 1976.
The first edition of the Indian Express after the imposition of emergency consisted of a blank page instead of editorial. The Financial Express had Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, “Where the mind is without fear, and the head is held high”.
Where The Mind Is Without Fear
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake
It’s that time of the year when we say a big Thank You to all our readers and well wishers! We are encouraged by every message and email we receive from around the world and we pray for your continued support as we turn five. A dream that started half a decade ago has inspired many to take interest and get to know their history and traditions.
Readers and Parishes have reached out from far and wide, telling us how our resources are being used in Parish Bulletins, Sunday School textbooks, VBS, Summer camps, sermons, prayer groups and much more. We have made new friends on the journey and social media has enabled us to take the rich cultural history and tradition of our Church to many more readers. We request that you keep us in your prayers.
“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 106:1
Date of Birth: 02 April 1938
Ordained as Deacon: 08 May 1964
Ordained as Kassesa: 04 July 1964
Appointed as Vicar General: 30 November 1998
Retired from Active Service: 02 April 2003
The death of Very. Rev. A.C. Kurian is unlike the death of any other priest. We feel it differently and deeply. We sense that in losing him, we have lost not only the man but also his unique way of manifesting God. He was a model priest. His memory will live on forever in the hearts of his entire dear and near ones. His parishioners remember him for his gentle presence that extended beyond the altar and into their homes, where “he was a part of our families”. Many will also miss his personal emails, letters and calls remembering people on their birthdays, anniversaries and in times of grief.
Throughout his ministry, achen took special interest for the welfare of the poor, sick and needy. He was the superintendent of many of the destitute homes. After his retirement, he took active part in the Palliative Care Centre unit in Pushpagiri Hospital, Tiruvalla. At the time of his death, he was the Director of the Unit. His services were a source of comfort for the terminally sick patients in the palliative care unit.
Achen used to send birthday/marriage anniversary greetings to more than 15,000 people with the final words being:
“I am not Miles away but a Mail away.”
The Very. Rev. A.C. Kurian was a strong supporter of Nalloor Publications and Nalloor Library (www.nalloorlibray.com). He used to correspond with us and shared valuable information for updating our Library records. Through his death we have lost a true friend.
We express our deepest condolences to his family.
Details of the Very. Rev. A. C. Kurian:
Very. Rev. A.C. Kurian (S/o O.A. Chacko and Mariamma, Arapurayil, Kottarakkara, Mother Parish. Pattamala MTC, Kottarakkara). Present Residence: Arappurayil; Bethel Junction, Kuttapuzha, Tiruvalla-689103
Kochamma: Mrs. Susamma D/o of K.T.Thomas and Chinnamma, Kallodikuzhiyil, Vadasserikkara)
Children and Grandchildren:
- Nirmala – Sanu (husband); Children: Vivek
- Jacob (Vinod)- Susan (wife); Children: Nikhil and Nithara
- Anila – Manoj (husband); Children: Reuben and Benjamin
Shornur, Vadakacherry, Thannipadam, Peechi, Koodal, Athirumkal, Andamans, Kottarakkara, Neeleswaram, Inchakad, Puthur, Anaprampal, Kuwait, Eraviperur, Theverkad, Kizhakenmuthur, Annavattom, Mukkajiram,
Kozhencherry, Tiruvalla St.Thomas, Perurkada, Nellikunnam, Vilangara Salem, Vilangara St.Thomas, Chennamkary St.Pauls, Chennamkary Bethany, Madavupara, Karyavattom, Kazakutam, Kurupuzha Jerusalem, Ponnumangalam, Perurkada Ebenezer.
*Special: Sabha Secretary -2 Terms, Senior Vicar General, Supdt. of Trichur Ravi Varma Mandiram & Kottarakkara Jubilee Mandiram, MTEA Correspondence Secretary, Trivandrum JMM Study Centre Associate Director, Development Fund Collection Convener, Sabha Council Member, Episcopal Nomination Board Member, Tiruvalla Mar Thoma College -Titus College- Governing Board Member, CCI Member, Vaideeka Selection Committee Member.
First Service: 27/5/2018 7pm – At residence. To be presided by Rt. Rev. Joseph Mar Barnabas Episcopa
Second Service: 28/5/2018 8.am – At Residence. To be presided by Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Theethos Episcopa
Third Service: 28/5/2018 11 Am – At Residence. To be presided by Very Rev. George Zachariah
Fourth Service: 28/5/2018 2:30pm – At Varicad Sehion Mar Thoma Church. To be presided by His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan
The Poet Oliver Goldsmith’s (10 November 1728- 4 April 1774) lines hold true for him:
“Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
And sorrow, guilt, and pain by turns dismayed,
The reverend champion stood. At his control
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,
And his last faltering accents whispered praise.”
(The Village Preacher)
Pages from History:- 25 December, 1905: Formation of the National Missionary Society of India (NMSI).
On Christmas Day 1905, a meeting of the church leaders held in the historic library of William Carey at Serampore decided to form a National Missionary Society.
The following principles were adopted on that day
1. The work of evangelization shall be done by Indians
2. That its expenses should be met by Indian money.
3. They must choose mission fields in areas where Western Missions were not working
4. The society should not form a church or denomination but entrust the converts they gather to the care of the churches in that area.
The First Sunday of December is observed as Bible Society Day. It was the British and Foreign Bible Society, established in London in 1804, that first made a concerted effort of translating, printing and publishing Bibles in different languages.
In India, it’s auxiliaries were formed in Calcutta (1811), Bombay (1812), Madras (1820) and in Kerala (1956). Other auxiliaries were formed later. Even before the formation of the auxiliaries in India, the work of translation of the Bible to Indian languages had been taken up by William Carey and his associates in Calcutta. In obedience to the commandment of the Lord “Go ye unto the uttermost corners of the earth and preach my gospel”, the Bible Society aims at making available, copies of the Bible, New Testaments and portions of the Bible to
1.To Every Person in his/her own language.
2.At a price within his/her reach
3.In a style which is easily understood
It is in pursuance of this objective that it brings out special editions for students,members of the armed forces, in Braille type for the blind, etc. The United Bible Society distributes an average of 32 million full Bibles each year. In addition to that, they distribute enough New Testaments and Scripture portions to potentially reach 5% of the world’s population each year. In 2012 they distributed over 405 million Scripture items.
2016 was ‘a first’ for no fewer than 30 languages, spoken by over 95 million people. 17 communities now have their very first Bible, 6 have a New Testament and 7 communities have their first, or additional, portions of Scripture.
They also manage a growing social media ministry on Facebook and other social networks. The Digital Bible Facebook page reaches millions of young adults every year. 71% report it helps them apply the Bible’s teaching to their lives. https://www.facebook.com/UnitedBibleSocieties
5th November 2017 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 5th November, 2017 as World Sunday School Day.
Robert Raikes (1735- 1811), an English Publisher, started the first Sunday School in the city of Gloucester in England in 1780. During the early days, reading, arithmetic and Bible was taught at the Sunday Schools.
In 1809, Church representatives of the Malankara Churches held a meeting at Kandanadu Church, near Ernakualam to arrange facilities to teach children in the Church about religion, prayers and sacraments. The India Sunday School Union was founded in 1876.The Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam was established on 25 February 1905, at the Maramon Convention.
On 22nd October 2017 (20th Sunday after Pentecost), Family Sunday is celebrated by the CSI church, CNI church and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church. The focus of the service is on the “Family a Place of Faith formation”.
Download this free pdf Ebook published in Malayalam in 1951 that is still relevant to today’s Christian life. This book can be used as a resource for your Family Sunday service. The link can be shared and used by church members, parishes and church organizations. It can be accessed on any smartphone, tablet or computer for free.
Church South India – Celebrating 70 years of God’s Faithfulness (1947-2017) (Order of Worship, Video & Rare Photos)
The official Order of Worship for Sunday the 24th September 2017 : Celebration of CSI 70 Years in the Congregations in English, Kannada and Malayalam (CSI Synod Secretariat).
Please encourage each and every congregation of your diocese to celebrate 70 years of CSI. May the Churches join together in unison, thanking God for His faithfulness during the 70 years of our pilgrimage towards forgiveness and reconciliation. May this be an occasion of joy, celebration and hope for all the CSI congregations around the world. ~ Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda, General Secretary, CSI (15 Sep, 2017)
27 September, 1947: Formation of Church of South India (CSI) in 1947, as a union of Anglican, Presbyterian, Congregationalist and Methodist churches. The idea of a Church union was proposed in 1919 at a conference held in Tranquebar (now Tarangambadi) in 1919. After 28 years of discussions various denominational churches in South India established by different Missionary societies agreed to the formation of the Church of South India in 1947 after India attained independence. The inaugural ceremony was held at St. George Cathedral Madras (Chennai).
Today the Church of South India is one of the largest Protestant churches in India and is a member of the Anglican Communion and its bishops participate in the Lambeth Conferences. It is also a member of the World Council of Churches, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the National Council of Churches in India.
The Church of South India (CSI), Church of North India (CNI), and Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church of India jointly formed the Communion of Churches in India (CCI) in 1978 for mutual recognition of the ministry and leaders, inter communal relationship, and to explore possibilities of working together and other areas of cooperation in the fulfillment of the mission of the Church in India.
The presiding bishop of the inaugural function was the Rt. Revd. C. K. Jacob of the Anglican Diocese of Travancore and Cochin. A vast congregation gathered in the cathedral at Madras from all over the world. The following historical declaration was made by Bishop Jacob at the inaugural service.
“Dearly beloved brethren, in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ the head of the church, who on the night of his passion prayed that his disciples might be one, and by authority of the governing bodies of the uniting churches whose resolutions have been read in your hearing and laid in your prayer before Almighty God; I do hereby declare that these three churches, namely – the Madras, Madura, Malabar, Jaffna, Kannada, Telugu, Travancore Church councils of the South India United Church; the Methodist Church of South India, Trichinopoly, Hyderabad and Mysore districts; the Madras, Travancore and Cochin, Tinnevelly and Dornakal dioceses of the Churches of India, Burma and Ceylon; are become one Church of South India, and these bishops, presbyters, deacons and probationers who have assented to the basis of union and accepted the constitution of the Church of South India, whose names are laid upon this holy table, are bishops, presbyters and deacons of this church. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.” ~ wikipedia