Koodankulam divides Catholics, Protestants


The CSI moderator said the Catholic Church’s claims are “not totally true.”

Posted on March 10, 2012

Chennai:

In a clear indication of division among Christians in Tamil Nadu, the Church of South India (CSI) says it has faced no harassment from the federal government over the Koodankulam nuclear project.

“We don’t think the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government is harassing us,” CSI Moderator G. Davakadasham said yesterday, a day after the Catholic bishops in the state accused the federal government of induldging in a witch hunt of NGOs and Church groups supporting the anti-nuclear protests.

Archbishop A M Chinnappa, president of the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council, urged the prime minister to stop harassing the Christian community and withdraw the negative injunctions issued against Tuticorin diocese and grant appropriate relief.

 The CSI moderator said the Catholic Church’s claims are “not totally true” as his Protestant Church, which also does a lot of charity work, has not faced governmental pressure.

 As far as the Koodankulam project is concerned, both the public and nation’s interest should be protected,” he added.

 According to sources, all the 22 bishops of the CSI had met in Chennai on February 14 to discuss the Koodankulam controversy and decided not to take a stand on the issue.

“We discussed the on-going protests against the Koodankulam project. Bishops from south Tamil Nadu expressed their support for the protestors. But a few other bishops did not accept the argument. So we did not take any stand on the issue,” said a bishop, who attended the meeting.

 Head of the Evangelical Church of India Bishop Ezra Sargunam also supported the CSI view. “To be fair, the government has initiated many policies for the minorities. At the same time I don’t believe that the Christian missionaries misused funds,” he said.

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