Shillong (Meghalaya), June 30 : Saturday , July 3 will be observed as ‘Indian Christian Day’- Yeshu Bhakti Diwas by Christians across all denominations in India and beyond. It will be a people’s celebration in sobriety to be observed at various levels.
The move to celebrate this day was spearheaded by a group of Indian Christians across the country of various professions, from clergy to the lay member of the Church.
In North East India, a Coordination Committee was constituted comprising Christian leaders from all 8 States drawing from Clergy, Laymen, Women and Youth.
The vision of Indian Christian Day (ICD) is to celebrate the person and the message of Lord Jesus Christ which was brought to India in AD 52 by St. Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, and to reiterate our identity within the Indian cultural heritage and promoting unity in India.
They firmly believe that in such a time like this, when the nation is going through unprecedented challenges, it is necessary that all Christians, irrespective of denominational affiliation, who all value the contribution of Christians to India, come together in solidarity and observe the Indian Christian Day initiatives as Indian Christians.
The idea behind observation of the Indian Christian Day (ICD) is to reaffirm that Christianity has its roots in India since the 1st century and is not simply a western import.
Secondly, there is a need for Christians to be aware of their responsibility towards nation building and duty towards society. We are also acknowledging the contributions made by Christians in various fields – and the great potential we have to do more good for our beloved Nation. Following the teaching of Jesus Christ, we remind Christians of the fact that we are called to be the salt and light to society.
Through ICD celebration, where Christian youth from all walks of life are coming together irrespective of their denominational affiliations, we encourage young people towards constructive action in Nation building.
Traditionally, July 3 is observed as the death anniversary of St. Thomas, who was martyred near Chennai in 72 AD. Commemorating this, the Government of India had issued a Postage stamp on 3rd July 1973, the 19th Death Centenary of St Thomas. This day will also be observed for the first time this year as Indian Christian Day together with the launch of a Decade of Indian Christian Celebration (2021-30) concluding to correspond with the 2000th year of the earthly ministry and service of Lord Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity.
With the current restrictions due to Covid19 pandemic, the programmes on Saturday will be online with live-streaming on virtual platforms at the regional level, national and global forums.The event in North East India is scheduled from 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm. Those interested to attend need to register at https://bit.ly/ICD-NER for receiving further details. The national event is scheduled at 6 pm on the same day.