Dalit Christian body backs `swadeshi church' concept


NEW DELHI, OCT 18: The RSS, which has come under fire from several quarters for suggesting the formation of a `swadeshi church', received a shot in the arm today when an organisation representing Dalit Christians said the idea should be debated within the community and not rejected "outright".

"There should be a self-evaluation by the Christian community on the concept and it should not be rejected outright just because the RSS chief suggested it," R L Francis, president of the Poor Christian Liberation Front, said in a statement here.

Stating that the "monetary aid and directives" of foreign countries have failed to improve the lot of the backward Christians, Francis said the members of his organisation would take the initiative of starting a dialogue within the Christian community on the concept of `swadeshi churches'.

Accusing some Christian organisations of "indulging in mischievous propaganda against the NDA Government" both in India and abroad, he said, "We (Christians) are born here and have to live and die here. If there is any problem, we have to seek and find a solution here only and not in foreign countries."

RSS chief K S Sudarshan, in his Vijayadashmi address in Nagpur on October 7, had asked Christians to free themselves from foreign domination and suggested establishment of a `swadeshi church'. The suggestion attracted widespread criticism with opponents of the Sangh Parivar terming it as an attack on religious freedom.

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