SHILLONG, Jun 7: The Department of Theology and Department of Conflict Management and Peace Initiatives of Martin Luther Christian University in collaboration with the National Council of Churches India-NEI Action Desk conducted a two-day seminar on “Christian response to the prevailing social issues in Meghalaya” on June 6th and 7th.
The main objectives of the seminar was to provide a platform for presentation and deliberation on the various issues, analysing and formulating a solution to these issues as well as formulating certain potential action plans for churches and Christian institutions in the state.
The seminar had leaders of different Christian denominations as presenters which each presentation being followed by observations by key respondents.
The sub themes that were discussed included strengthening of family values; management and reduction of alcoholism, substance abuse and AIDs; prevention of sexual offences against children; promotion of education and employment; awareness and prevention of human trafficking; and gender equity in church and society.
Meghalaya comprises about 74.59% of Christians making it the state with the third most number of Christians in the Northeast India. On the other hand, it is also grappling with various social issues that call for sincere Christian responses.
Throughout the two days, the resource persons discussed about the various areas like education, where the church has played important roles to bring about important development.
However light has also been shed on the key areas that the church and Christians as a whole have to work on to improve the overall social environment especially in factors like being inclusive and non discriminatory.
The resource persons also voiced the need of training and sensitising of church leaders especially in dealing with alcohol and drug dependents, people living with HIV/AIDs or commercial sex workers.
There is also a need to remove the senselessly imposed taboo on important topics like human sexuality.
The best way of achieving all this is by strengthening the synergy of the value base between one’s self, home, academia, church, and by using the Word of God as the infallible foundation of one’s life.