Christian priests fast over being denied prayer permits

Christian priests fast over being denied prayer permits

Priests and believers of the Jacobite faction of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala staged a 12-hour fasting in Kochi on Tuesday alleging that the Orthodox faction was denying them permission to offer prayers at many churches as well as to conduct funeral of members of the Jacobite faction at many cemeteries .

Head of the Jacobite faction Catholicos Baselios Thomas I who led the fasting said that even at the age of 92 he would strongly resist any attempts by the opposite faction to enter illegally.

The Orthodox faction was allowed to enter a church at Kandanad in Kochi after 45 years on Sunday on the basis of Supreme Court in their favour. This was learnt to be the immediate provocation for the Jacobite faction to launch a demonstration alleging that faction members were being denied entry to many churches by the Orthodox faction.

Even as the Supreme Court recently criticised the Kerala government for not implementing a 2017 order allowing Orthodox faction control over about 1,100 churches in the state, the Kerala government was trying to soft-peddle on the issue. Both the factions are decisive vote banks in the state.

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