Dalit Christians face discrimination and untouchability, admits Indian Catholic Church

A policy document released by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) contained admissions of the Indian Catholic Church accepting for the first time in history that Dalit Christians face discrimination and untouchability, reported The Indian Express.

Representational image. News 18

Representational image. News 18

The document released by the apex body sought a detailed report and plans from 171 dioceses on how to end these caste-based discriminations against the Dalit Christians, added the report. According to The Telegraph, of the 19 million Dalit population, 12 million are Catholics.

Fr. Z Devasagayaraj, executive secretary of the CBCI Office for Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, was quoted as saying, "untouchability was prevalent in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh". Not only are the Dalits forced to have separate graveyards, but also have separate feasts, added the report.

The policy documents stated that though there have been positive changes with more participation from the younger generation, but greater awareness and sensitivity is required to address the issues of discrimination and untouchability.

The document also claims that Dalit Christians are “sandwiched between the State and the Church”, reported The Indian Express.

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Updated Date: Dec 15, 2016 14:28:08 IST

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