Thursday, Sep 08, 2011

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To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, it is not justice.
 Attributed to Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The Church of South India, while affirming the right of a government to exist, make laws and exact penalties on those who violate those laws, strongly condemns the practice of ‘Capital Punishment’ or ‘Death Sentence’ as a penalty. It is God, who has created us all as His children in His own image and therefore only God has the right over life. Further, all lives are very special to God and He does not take it lightly when one of His children hurts another. It is the inalienable right of any human to life, and therefore, sentencing a person to death and executing them violates that right.

The death penalty, which we believe, is a kind of denial of human rights, is cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, practised in the name of justice. In fact, it violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Moreover, being the part of the ‘Body of Christ’, who taught us the value of life and called us to love one another, we the Church of South India, believe, it is integral to our mission to advocate against the capital punishment in all cases without exception.

The Church of South India affirms the value and integrity of life and believes that every human person ought to be given opportunity to repent and live his/her life to its fullness. We pray that the Almighty would enable each and every one of us to live as Jesus lived – not to take life, but give life. We, the Church of South India, would therefore request the Government of India, to abolish the ‘Capital Punishment’ or ‘Death Sentence’ as a means of penalty.