One lakh Christian grooms over age of 30 unable to find partners: Kerala Church expresses concerns

The pastoral letter also raised issues like low birth rate, unemployment, agricultural crisis, and even the recent floods that have adversely affected the Christian community over the years.
 

Published: 10th October 2019 10:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2019 10:22 PM   |  A+A-

Representational photo of a church.

Representational photo of a church. ( File Photo )

By Express News Service

KOCHI: In a pastoral letter issued by Changanacherry Archbishop Mar Joseph Perumthottam, the Syro Malabar Church in Kerala has expressed concern over the declining number of Christian faithful in Kerala, and said over one lakh Christian grooms over the age of 30 under the Syro Malabar Church are unable to find life partners.

"Over one lakh Christian grooms over the age of 30 under the Syro Malabar Church are unable to find life partners," said the letter, which was read out in churches during Sunday Mass on October 6. The letter viewed the issues brought out as "precarious to the existence of the Christian community".

The pastoral letter also raised issues like low birth rate, unemployment, agricultural crisis, and even the recent floods that have adversely affected the Christian community over the years.

Increased numbers of Christian youth leaving the country for better lifestyle and employment opportunities, catalysed due to high unemployment in Kerala is a matter of concern.

“Many Christian homes in the state have only the elderly staying while the younger generation prefers not to return home,” the letter said, referring to information presented in June this year by Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in the Lok Sabha.

Statistics available on the registry of parishioners in churches under the Syro Malabar Church were utilised to substantiate the findings.

“When the state of Kerala was formed, Christians were the second-largest community. Today, only 18.38% of the state’s total population is Christian. Birth rate amongst Christians has fallen to 14%, leaving us facing an alarming situation,” said the Archbishop in his pastoral letter.

With a view to creating awareness about these issues affecting the Christian community as a whole, various steps have been proposed by the Church, including publishing a book highlighting these issues and forming a teaching team under the Archdiocese to create widespread community awareness.

“The team will organise classes at parish level to discuss issues brought out the book. A help desk to explain details of Government schemes that are available, and the modalities involved in applying for them will be started at each parish and school under the archdiocese,” said the pastoral letter.
 
The letter also decried the serious crisis being faced by many sections of the Christian community.

“Farming, rubber, fisheries and small scale industries, sectors in which the community was actively involved in in the past, are facing huge crises, affecting all of us as a whole” it read.

“While the Union Government in 2006 formed a Minority Department and allotted Rs 4,700 crore for minority development, and the State and Union Governments also provided educational opportunities, the Christian community failed to utilise government assured benefits and job opportunities,” it said.

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