Dalit Christians in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu have held a protest in march against discrimination faced by Dalits in 45 Catholic parishes of Pondicherry-Cuddalore Arch diocese.
Protesters submitted a memorandum to parish priests on Dec. 20 and requested them to forward it to Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, India’s apostolic nuncio. “The memorandum contains Dalit Christians’ long-standing common demand for equal rights for all,” M. Mary John, president of the Dalit Christian Liberation Movement (DCLM), told UCA News.
“They fervently appeal to the nuncio and the Holy See for their urgent intervention to secure them justice and equal rights. DCLM has been vigorously pursuing these demands with the Catholic hierarchy in India as well as with the Vatican for years.
“The current protests follow a peaceful sit-in by 40 Dalit priests at the archbishop’s house in Puducherry from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 demanding a dialogue with the archbishop and the administrators.”
John said Dalits have long faced caste discrimination and continued denial of key administrative posts in the archdiocese and in leadership of ministries.