ibnlive » India

Feb 01, 2010 at 01:29pm IST

Kerala church starts anti-alcohol drive

Thiruvananthapuram: A section of the church in Kerala has begun a campaign against alcoholism.

In God's Own Country liquor flows free but now the church is trying to stem the tide.

The Syro Malabar Church has called on believers to give up drinking.

"We have noticed that it is actually the drinking habit that creates lot of problems in families. So the archbishop has written a circular to all parishes to take as a special programme to get rid of this habit," said Rev. John V Thadathil, Syro Malabar Church pastoral coordinator.

The church itself serves wine during mass, symbolising the blood of Jesus. So how can it adopt a holier than thou attitude?

"We are not imposing, but we are advising people. As loving parents or loving fathers, because loving parents will always give directions to the children," added Thadathil.

But in a state where drinking has become a favourite past time, will the sheep listen to the shepherd?

"Of course if the church is against it, we should be supporting it. As a true believer of Jesus Christ I think he also wishes the same," George said.

"Having liquor along with your daily diet is a European culture, which is now become a fashion here too. But in Europe they know how to control it. Here there is no control whatsoever," said another person, Thompson.

This is not the first time the church has issued pastoral letters warning against alcoholism. Some say the time has come to do more.

In a state obsessed with alcohol, at least a section of the church is taking the right step. It is now upto the believers to follow.