The Syrian Mar Thoma Church’s Maramon convention in Kerala, which is currently on, does not allowed women into the night sessions. The Supreme head of the church said that women aren’t allowed inside the sessions because of security reasons, not because of discrimination.
“It must not be forgotten that our church has always taken the lead by giving due importance to women and we were the first to give voting rights to women. The non-entry to women in night sessions is on account of security and it is not a ban,” he said.
However, a group of the church’s members, who call themselves Naveekerna Vedi, have been trying to get the church to allow women to enter the night sessions as well for the past month. They had raised the issue in one of the church’s meetings, but the matter was not discussed further.
The Maramon convention is a popular programme for the church, whose followers number more than a million. It is called Asia’s biggest Christian convention and has been going on for 122 years. The convention is held yearly, on the banks of the Pamba river and goes on for 8 days.
In his inaugural address, the church’s head, Joseph Mar Thoma, said, “There is a group here, who are trying to get media attention by raising non-issues. There are four sessions where women can enter, but it’s not possible in the night sessions and that’s not going to be changed.”