The 32nd Thomas Mar Athanasius Memorial Lecture was held on 24th November 2018 at 4.00 pm in TMAM Research and Orientation Centre Auditorium. Most Rev. Dr. Joseph MarThoma Metropolitan presided over the meeting. Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary, Christian Conference of Asia was the Chief Guest.
Dr. Mathews George Chunakara delivered the memorial lecture. The theme of the lecture was “Politicisation of Religion and Religionization of Politics in Asia.”
Religion is an institution that existed from time immemorial and seeks to advance and expand without borders. It became a physical expansion of the geographical domain of the universe. Politics refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community, particularly a state. Religion and Politics and not divergent entities. Religion almost always delve into the socio-political affairs of the State/ country. Likewise, Politicians use Religion for mass mobilization and realization of their political agenda.
Religion influences perceptions, attitudes and behaviour. It even dictates the ethnicity and nationalism of a region. Throughout history there is no stronger bond of brotherhood than religion. Regardless of race, religion gives people unified identity.
Religion plays a major role in Politics and public life. Religious groups form allies with political parties to safeguard their interests, get favours from the government or oppose regimes. Politics use Religion as an effective instrument to create specific vote banks.
The Politicisation of Religion as well as Religionization of Politics, destroys communal harmony and intensifies religious hatred. It leads to the rise of religious extremism and political unrest.