A petition has been filed in Madras High Court on various practices of caste-based discrimination within churches in Tamil Nadu villages. The Madras High Court has set July 8 as the deadline for India’s Catholic bishops and State Governments to respond to a petition.
The court on that day admitted a writ petition filed by Gnanapragasam Mathew, convener of the Tamil Nadu Dalit Christian Coalition, explaining various practices of caste-based discrimination among Catholics in Tamil Nadu’s 151 villages.
In his petition, Mathew alleges that Dalit Christians are forced to have separate churches, cemeteries, festivals, and funeral carts in Tamil Nadu. They are barred from church councils and denied participation in the choir and alter services, Matters India reported.
No bishop has been appointed from the Dalit community, the petition pointed out.
Mathew pointed out that India has 174 Catholic dioceses, 18 of them in Tamil Nadu.