Demanding greater representation in government jobs, commissions and committees ahead of the Delhi Assembly polls, the Christian community in the city presented its wish list to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit at a meeting on Sunday.
“The community is feeling frustrated and anxious at the fact that since the formation of the State, there has not been a single Christian MLA, much less a State Minister. There is no Christian representation in any of the three Municipal Corporations and at senior levels of political parties,” noted Fr. Dominic Emmanuel of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese.
Ms. Dikshit met the senior leaders and youth representatives of the Christian community at the Convent of Jesus and Mary where the community representatives also demanded better security for women, universal education, the right to food and an end to corruption.
The other demands included an end to harassment of educational institutions and concessional land for schools, hostels, orphanages, old people’s homes as well as for burial grounds and places of worship.
Christian leaders from all denominations present in Delhi, including Catholic Church, Church of North India, Methodist Church, Syro-Malabar Church, Syro-Malankara Church, Mar Thoma Church, Orthodox Church, Syrian Church, Baptist Church, Believers Church, Salvation Army Church, Pentecostal Church and Jesus Calls participated in the programme.
The community leaders have also asked for adequate legislation for the welfare and protection of domestic workers, most of whom are tribal Christians, funds for improving the surroundings of religious places, including Jama Masjid and Gole Dak Khana Church, as has been done for the environs of the Hanuman Mandir and various gurdwaras.
“The government should also look at providing travel concession passes for Christian religious persons engaged in social service and take necessary steps to end harassment of Pastors, and small independent churches, especially in outlying colonies and rural areas,” noted the Christian leaders.