Kerala

Tension over bid to take over churches

Jacobites gather outside St. Mary’s Church, Odakkali, near Perumbavoor, on Tuesday in order to prevent its takeover by the police and revenue authorities.

Jacobites gather outside St. Mary’s Church, Odakkali, near Perumbavoor, on Tuesday in order to prevent its takeover by the police and revenue authorities.  

At Kothamangalam Marthoman Cheriyapally and Odakkali St. Mary’s Church

The standoff between the Jacobite and Orthodox factions of the Malankara Church continues over the control of parishes as the police and revenue authorities failed to takeover the Kothamangalam Marthoman Cheriyapally and St. Mary’s Church, Odakkali, near Perumbavoor, on Tuesday.

Personnel from the Kurummpady police station entered the compound of St. Mary’s Church but were prevented from taking control of the church to implement the Supreme Court order. Police sources said a large posse of police personnel tried to take over the church.

Locking themselves

However, a substantially large group of Jacobites entered the church and locked themselves inside.

The personnel continued to be outside the church for the better part of the day even as the Jacobites continued to be inside the church, offering prayers. At the Kothamangalam church, Muvattupuzha Revenue Divisional Officer M.T. Anil Kumar arrived with a group of policemen to take over the church.

However, those assembled before the church prevented them from entering the church or completing the formalities. A report on the happenings at the Kothamangalam church would be submitted to the District Collector.

Sources said it were members of the Matha Maithri Samrakshana Samiti, an all-religion group, that spoke with the revenue and police officials at the Kothamangalam church. The group has been on vigil for over a month against the possible takeover of the church as per the Supreme Court order. The court on July 3, 2017 ruled that the churches should be handed over to the Orthodox faction and parallel administration, including parallel services, should end. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Orthodox faction said there was lack of political will on the part of the government to implement the court order even though the State had sworn to implement it.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 8:20:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tension-over-bid-to-take-over-churches/article30618838.ece

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