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Amid protests, Kerala govt backs out from implementing SC order on church

Author: Shaju Philip
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: December 11, 2018
URL:      https://indianexpress.com/article/india/amid-protests-kerala-govt-backs-out-from-implementing-sc-order-on-church-5487408/lite/?__twitter_impression=true

Facing protests and suicide threats from a section of Christians, the Kerala government on Monday backed out from implementing a 17-month-old Supreme Court order regarding the ownership of St Mary’s Church at Piravom in Ernakulam district.

On July 3, 2017, the apex court had ordered that the ownership of the church, currently held by the Jacobite Church, should go to the rival Orthodox group.

The Ernakulam district administration, with assistance from the police, on Monday tried to implement the court order. However, the officials were stopped in front of the church gate by a crowd, including faithfuls and priests belonging to the Jacobite Church. Two persons also threatened to set themselves on fire if the court order was implemented.

Revenue officials decided to not implement the order due to the resistance from people belonging to the Jacobite Church.

Although the Supreme Court directive has been pending for more than a year, it came to the forefront after the apex court verdict on entry of women at Sabarimala.

Referring to the CPI(M) government’s move to implement the apex court order on Sabarimala, several Hindu organisations had pointed out that the state government had not implemented the SC verdict on St Mary’s Church.

The Kerala high court is scheduled to hear a petition on Tuesday seeking implementation of the SC order on the church.
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