As protests continue across the country against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, a church in Kerala decided to show its solidarity this Christmas season by having Christmas carollers wear skull caps and headscarves during their performance.
On December 23, in front of the altar at the St Thomas Mar Thoma Church in Kozhenchery in Pathanamthitta district, the male carollers donned skull caps and the women wore headscarves and performed Mappila — traditional songs sung by the Muslim community — renditions of traditional carols.
Mar Thoma Church is a non-Catholic Christian community and the St Thomas Church at Kozhenchery is a prominent parish.
Ah yes — “you can tell who themy are from their clothes “! https://t.co/BQArDRy2hr
Daniel T Philip, the church’s assistant parish priest, “We wanted to pledge solidarity with all communities, including Muslims, who are worried about the new citizenship law. As we are celebrating Christmas, there is a grave concern among minorities, particularly among Muslims, whether they would become refugees in this country. We wanted to share their concern and express solidarity with them.”
He said the youth outfit of the Church, Mar Thomas Yuvajana Sakhyam, sang the carols which were adapted to the Mappila-style. “I mooted the idea against the backdrop of the current situation. It was accepted by the choir members and has gone down well with parishioners,” he said.
“Jesus Christ was made a refugee a day after his birth. Hence, the church wanted to send the message that it shares the anxiety of people who are made refugees or are fearing they would be dubbed refugees,” Fr Daniel said.