Prayers at cemeteries peacefully

Prayers that were held by members of the Jacobite Syrian Church at cemeteries of all churches in the district, to reassert their demand to hand over churches where the faction is in majority passed off peacefully, but for a stray incident at Piravom church following which the police registered a case.

The police said they registered a case after members of the Orthodox faction complained that a priest ‘illegally’ entered the church cemetery, along with believers who offered prayers. A case has been registered under IPC Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 188 (disobedince to order promulgated by public servant) and 447 (criminal trespass), apart from provisions of Epidemic Diseases Act, for reportedly not adhering to social distancing norms, the police said.

he Jacobite faction had stepped up their protests demanding their right to worship in churches where they were in majority. The latest was a 72-hour agitation in front of the Secretariat, following which a relay hunger satyagraha is set to begin on Monday.

Demand for law

In the meantime, the Jacobite church demanded that the State government formulate a legislation to end the feud between the two factions. The church welcomes efforts by the government and heads of different church denominations to settle issues between the factions. “We hope a permanent settlement will be arrived at during the tenure of the present government,” said Joseph Gregorios Metropolitan, the Metropolitan Trustee of the Jacobite Church.

The church did not have any political intentions, nor was the church hungry for power. The ongoing agitations were aimed at ensuring justice, he added.

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