KOCHI: Recent actions by the Orthodox Syrian Church, such as the forceful taking over of its churches, preventing the laity from burying their loved ones and exhuming of already-buried corpses, have got the Jacobite Syrian Church riled up.
Terming the actions of the Orthodox faction as human rights violation, the Jacobite group has decided to launch strong protests.“The Orthodox faction is engaging in such activities under the guise of the Supreme Court order,” alleged Kuriakose Theophilose metropolitan, media chairman, Jacobite Syrian Church. “The faction is committing grave human rights violations. They are capturing our churches and forcing the laity out,” he alleged. The series of protests by the Jacobite faction will begin with a 12-hour prayer fast by Catholicos Baselios Thomas I from 8 am on September 24, Kuriakose said.
He said denying a person a decent burial infringed upon the deceased’s fundamental rights. “We are living in the dark ages! The very act of an Orthodox priest approaching the court seeking the exhumation of the body of a believer belonging to the Jacobite Church two weeks after his funeral reveals the inhumane approach of the Orthodox faction. Such is the situation the church is facing today,” Kuriakose said.
He alleged the Orthodox faction had carried out various corrections and added conditions in the 1934 Constitution to suit their “nefarious agenda.”
“The hand-written, as well as the first print edition of 1934 constitution, mentions that Jacobite Church members who want to become members of a church of the Orthodox faction do not have to undergo the confession ritual. However, contrary to what is written in the constitution – which they always quote while arguing with us – the Orthodox faction has been forcing people from the Jacobite Church to perform the ritual,” Kuriakose said.
He said the Jacobite Church will do everything possible to stop the “nefarious designs” of the Orthodox faction. “We have decided to hold various forms of protests to expose the persecution of the Jacobite Church by the Orthodox faction,” he said.