KOCHI: THE 12-hour fast launched by Jacobite Church Catholicos Mar Baselios Thomas I at Marine Drive here in protest against alleged human rights violations by the Orthodox faction against Jacobites has evoked sympathy, especially from political circles.
UDF leaders like Benny Behanan and Anoop Jacob and LDF leaders including CPM district secretary C N Mohanan were among the prominent persons who visited the Jacobite Church head on Tuesday to express solidarity with their cause. The UDF leaders’ visits assume significance as the church faction had hinted at supporting the Left in the upcoming bypolls.
Mar Baselios rued it would be the first time that a Catholicos will have 69 cases registered against him, following the dispute between the churches.
“The Supreme Court has already stated in its judgments that disputes between the churches must be resolved through mediation. Since the Orthodox faction is not ready for any deliberation, we’ve decided to stand steadfast and refuse to hand over our churches,” said Catholicos.
The political heavyweights seemed to be making a significant move in the wake of the recent incidents, where the Orthodox faction interrupted Jacobite funeral services on more occasions than one and took control of their churches citing the Supreme Court order.
Behanan, who is the UDF convenor and an MP, said: “The plight of the Jacobites is very unfortunate. The recent Supreme Court verdicts seem to be a bit harsh as far as the parishioners are considered. When it comes to religion, solutions can arise only through mediation. The government should make efforts to resolve the issues between both the groups.”
More than 300 laity members of the Jacobite faction from different parishes and 25 bishops including Joseph Mar Gregorios, Mathews Mar Ivanios, Yuhanon Mar Milithios and Mathews Mar Theophilose offered support to the protest at the venue.
The protesters drew notice to the present lawless state of affairs saying even the dead were not allowed to rest in peace by the Orthodox faction, which flouted all norms of humanity by holding even burial services to ransom.
Speaking at the event, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of Niranam diocese, said the time for giving speeches was long gone and the time to fight for rights had come.“We’ve no option, but to hold protests. We’ll build walls in front of all the churches they’ve planned to snatch away from us,” said Mar Coorilos.
He added the Episcopal Synod, which convened a meeting on Monday, had taken the decision to launch a series of protests against the Orthodox “brutalities”.Politicians including former Muvattupuzha MLA Johnny Nellor, Perumbavoor MLA Eldhose Kunnappilly and Thomas Chazhikadan, MP, too have expressed solidarity with the Jacobites.
‘Act against love jihad’
Kochi: Raising concern over incidents of forced conversions through ‘love jihad’ in Kerala and all over India, the International Syro-Malabar Mothers’ Forum has said the police are not seriously probing such cases despite the victims’ parents filing complaints.