Staff Reporter

KOTTAYAM: Archbishop Joseph Powathil, chairman of the Inter-Church Council for Education and former head of the Changanassery Archdiocese has asked his flock to use the coming election as an occasion to evaluate the commitment of political parties to freedom of religion.

Inaugurating the meeting of the Jagratha Samithy (Vigilance Committee) at Lourdes Forane Church parish Hall here on Sunday, the archbishop said election is an occasion to evaluate the performance of governments and political parties as they themselves have said.

The community of believers should use this to assess the commitment of the governments and political parties to freedom of religion, he said.

The founding fathers of the Constitution had given shape to the minority rights with the intention of ensuring the peaceful coexistence of all religion and cultures.

This was not a threat to the majority community. However, now there is an attempt to create a society without religion.

This cannot be approved of, Mar Powthil said. He pointed out that the community of believers were part of the society. They have the right to live freely.

While the State did not interfered in the affairs of the Church in western societies, it was the presence of the religion which provided a value system to politics, he said.