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Re: Syrian Christians facing Parsi syndrome

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  • DANIEL BABU PAUL
    Pen from Den A column in New Vision by DANIEL BABU PAUL Forwarded as a complement to the news on KCZ s monograph. The census figures of 2001 have become
    Message 1 of 1502 , Sep 26, 2002
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      Pen from Den A column in New Vision by DANIEL BABU PAUL
      Forwarded as a complement to the news on KCZ's monograph.

      The census figures of 2001 have become available. As expected Kerala shows
      all signs of a society which has reached demographic stability. We have what
      statisticians describe as cent per cent literacy, a sex ratio of 1058,infant
      population(0-6) of 11.48% and a decadal population growth of +9.42 %.The
      respective figures for the country as a whole are 65.38, 933, NA, and
      +21.34%. If we analyse these figures further we can see that those districts
      where Christians are substantial in numbers show figures which are even
      better.

      These figures are satisfactory per se and a matter of pride. However we must
      notice that these figures place Kerala as a whole, and the Christian
      segments in particular, almost in the same niche as Japan and other
      developed countries. As one proceeds from Narita to the city center in Tokyo
      what strikes the most is the numerous elderly couples taking their
      constitutional" supporting each other. We in this part of the world are
      also into a societal pattern which has a large geriatric segment. This is
      because infant mortality has declined, death and birth rates have decreased,
      and, consequently life expectancy has gone up significantly.

      During the twentieth century the decadal growth has varied from +11.75%
      during 1901-11 to +9.42% during the last decade. These figures are more
      significant than they appear prima facie. This is because it had risen to
      26.29% during 1961-71 before beginning to decline. What this means is that
      with improved health standards population began to grow around 1941, but
      with improved awareness and education society has controlled its total
      growth to less than what it was in the decades of higher infant mortality
      and lower life expectancy.

      Kerala as a whole and Christians, especially Syrian Christians, in
      particular have to sit up and notice these figures published by Sheela
      Thomas of the Indian Administrative Service who captained the enumeration
      this year. Let me try to draw attention to a few points which cry for it.
      The first fact I notice is that the number of women exceeds that of men
      substantially. This means that in any parish there are more women than men.
      We know from experience that all along we had more practicing Christian
      women than practicing Christian men, but now even in terms of absolute
      numbers the women are ahead. And, yet, the women have little or no say in
      administration of church or its properties. A Syrian Orthodox woman judge of
      the Supreme Court can decide who is the Malankara Metropolitan, but she has
      no say in deciding the budget of her own parish. This is because church has
      not kept pace with society in the empowerment of women. At least now let us
      recognize that time has come to correct the picture.

      Secondly the community seems to have stabilized demographically. This means
      that we should seriously consider positively encouraging marriages with
      other communities. Of course to some extent it does work out that way
      because our people migrate all over the world and settle down wherever the
      local laws would permit that, but we have to consider the possibility of
      dangerous inbreeding during the current century, or at least over the next
      couple of centuries.

      Thirdly we are far ahead in education, health etc. We must reorient our
      priorities in the social service sector. This is not a matter of demography
      or sociology, but one of spiritual dimension: should we spend our resources
      on schools and hospitals which help us make money? Should we not, rather,
      decide to concentrate on special schools like those for the mentally
      challenged and special hospitals like leprosy hospitals and lunatic
      asylums? Fourthly we should ensure good Christian witness in the social,
      economic and political areas. The whole society has moved forward and
      Christians should demonstrably be the salt of the earth in Kerala society.
      We should train our future politicians as much as we try to train our
      engineers and doctors in Christian morals.

      Finally the church should note that the attention now bestowed on the
      elderly and their needs is inadequate. The time we could limit our attention
      to children through Sunday Schools and the youth through our youth
      associations is an endless segment in history, but an additional
      responsibility we must focus on relates to the geriatric segment. We have
      Vanitha Samajams and Yuvajana Sakhyams, but is it not time we also thought
      of Vridha jana Sakhyams?

      TOTUS TUUS MARIA

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com>
      To: <SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2002 5:57 PM
      Subject: [SOCM-FORUM] Digest Number 343
      > Message: 2
      > Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 09:17:06 +0300
      > From: Thomas Daniel
      > Subject: Syrian Christians facing Parsi syndrome
      >
      > Syrian Christians facing Parsi syndrome
      >
      > THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Rapidly declining birth rate among Syrian Christians
      > and their high migration rate can by the next decade erode the community's
      > political clout in the State, warns a study by veteran demographer K C
      > Zachariah of the Centre for Development Studies here.
    • SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com
      Dear members We have created a database section in our forum. We would like to update our list of parishes. We request our members to go to the data section
      Message 1502 of 1502 , Oct 1, 2004
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        Dear members
        We have created a database section in our forum. We would like to update our list of parishes. We request our members to go to the data
        section and update your parish informations or send details to SOCM-
        FORUM-owner@yahoogroups.com. From the existing data base if you find
        any error please write to SOCM-FORUM-owner@yahoogroups.com

        In our Lords Love
        Forum Moderators.
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