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Dr Mar Irenaios shares thoughts at Congress of Asian Theologians in Seoul

# Indian society not doing enough to confront problem of migrants
# Says it’s clear violation of basic human rights and respect
#Flays exploitation of ‘children of lesser God’
# “We shall be judged, if we ignore these hapless human beings: Dr Mar Irenaios

SEOUL, South Korea — The seventh Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS VII) will be held at the Methodist Theological University, in Seoul, S Korea from June 30 to July 6. The Congress will debate on the theme “Embracing and embodying God’s hospitality today.”

Dr Yakob Mar Irenaios, Metropolitan of Kochi Diocese, will represent the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church. His Grace will share a panel discussion on the theme “Household of God-Embracing our neighbours,” on July 2 afternoon.

The other panelists along with Mar Irenaios will be Dr Gemma Cruz and Lian Hang Do Rev Dr Huang Po Ho will be the moderator. The opening worship service in the morning will be led by Rev Dr Kim Hong Ki, President of Methodist Theological University.

An intellect of the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox, Dr Mar Irenaios will share his thoughts on the ‘problems of migrant workers’ of India at CATS VII. His Grace feels that their case is a clearly one of discrimination, injustice and widely exploited by the ‘agents’.

The beneficiaries of their sweat include even the Christians with the result being violation of basic human rights and respect for them being a total nightmare. The monsoon has also compounded their woes and this is a unique problem that the Indian society confronts at the moment.
The Metropolitan regrets that we need to be ashamed of the treatment meted out to these ‘children of a lesser God,’ and on theological lines acknowledges that we are all ‘migrants’ here on the earth!

Metropolitan quotes from Exodus on the issue of migrant workers and compares the suffering people as the Hebrews and the exploiters being the Egyptians. “God shall act in his own way at the right moment. Anyway, we shall be judged, if we ignore the human rights of these hapless human beings!,” His Grace adds.

Rev Dr Henriette H Lebang, General Secretary of CCA, Rev Dr Young Ju Kim, General Secretary of NCCK, Rev Dr Moon Sung Mo, Chairperson of KAATS (Korea Association of Accredited Theological Schools) will deliver the inaugural address.

Representatives from India who will represent other various other religious denominations include Rev Sam Koshy T, Marthoma Church, Fr Greger R Kollanoor, Syrian Orthodox, Rev A Jayakumar, Evangelical Church of India, Rev Dr P Mohan Larbeer, Secretary, Biblical and Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College (BTESSC), Ms R R Irish Raih, Rev Dr Vanlalchhuannawma from North East, Dr Atola Longkumer from North East, Rev J Jeremiah Anderson, CSI, Rev Dr R R D Sajeeva Raju from Lutheran Church, Dr Hrangath Chungi and Rev Dr Ivy Singh from the Madurai Theological Seminary.

On the sidelines of CATS VII, the organisers will also hold a Women’s Forum on the afternoon of July 1.

This will provide for a special time for women to be together, share their concerns as women theologians and exchange theological insights on the theme of CATS and to reflect ourselves on what we contribute to promote Asian theology individually and also collectively.

There will also be a group discussion to tackle issues that will be raised by the women’s sharing as well as to bring these into dialogue with other issues.

The rationale of the theme for theologians from across the region who will come together, reflect on and celebrate together God’s hospitality, which is embraced and experienced through the church, neighbours and creation, and which are called to embody and witness in our own contexts.

The Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS) is a bi-tri-annual conference of theologians throughout Asia, founded in 1997 by Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), South Asia Theological Research Institute of the Board of Theological Education of Senate of Serampore College (SATHRI BTE-SSC), Association of Theological Education in South East Asia (ATESEA), and the Program for Theologies and Cultures in Asia (PTCA). It was later joined by some others, most notably by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC).

The first CATS was held in Suwon, Korea in 1997, followed by Bengaluru (India), Yogyakarta (Indonesia), Chiang Mai (Thailand), Hong Kong and Iloilo (Philippines).