'Equal rights' for Dalit Christians sought

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New Delhi, Mar 23 (UNI) A Christian organisation today sought equal rights for Dalit Christians of the country.

The Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM) has demanded the church leadership to take the initiative of giving equal rights and participation of Dalit Christians in the Church structure ''for the sake of concerted development of the Christian community as a whole.'' Alleging that the Church leadership has ignored the just demands of Dalit Christians listed in the 'New Delhi Declaration', Dalit leaders strongly criticised the indifference on the part of the Church leadership. The New Delhi Declaration was released in June, 2002 on behalf of two crore Dalit Christians of the country demanding equal rights and participation in the Church structure, a release by the PCLM here reminded.

Speaking at a meeting organised to mark Easter Sunday, PCLM national president R L Francis said if the Church leadership was serious about the development of Dalit Christians, it should come out clearly on the issue of implementing the demands of Dalit Christians. ''There is no alternative before them and the sooner they do it, it would be in the best interest of the Christian community as a whole,'' he added.

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