KOCHI: Over one lakh Christian grooms over the age of 30 under the Syro Malabar Church are unable to find life partners, says a pastoral letter issued by Changanacherry Archbishop Mar Joseph Perumthottam, the Syro Malabar Church in Kerala.
The letter read out in churches during Sunday Mass on October 6, viewed the issues brought out as "precarious to the existence of the Christian community". The letter also raised issues like low birth rate, unemployment, agricultural crisis, and even the recent floods that have adversely affected the Christian community over the years.
Increased numbers of Christian youth leaving the country for better lifestyle and employment opportunities, catalysed due to high unemployment in Kerala is a matter of concern. “When the state of Kerala was formed, Christians were the second-largest community. Today, only 18.38% of the state’s total population is Christian. Birth rate amongst Christians has fallen to 14%, leaving us facing an alarming situation,” said the letter.
The letter also decried the serious crisis being faced by many sections of the Christian community. “Farming, rubber, fisheries and small scale industries, sectors in which the community was actively involved in in the past, are facing huge crises, affecting all of us as a whole” it read.
“While the Union Government in 2006 formed a Minority Department and allotted Rs 4,700 crore for minority development, and the State and Union Governments also provided educational opportunities, the Christian community failed to utilise government assured benefits and job opportunities,” it said.