The Bishop Emeritus Dr. Suneel Bhanu Busi from India visited ECAC in Slovakia between 19th up to 24th May 2017, and had a lecture at the General Pastoral Conference of the ECAC in Slovakia.
On Saturday he visited wooden – articular church in Leštiny. This church is one of five “Articular” evangelical churches, so called because they were built under the article of the law issued in 1681 by Emperor Leopold I. in an attempt to halt the spread of Protestantism. As such they had to be built at the edge of a village with the entrance facing away it and to be constructed only from wood with no foundations, towers or bells. Bishop Busi was acquainted with the history of the church through the local pastor Jana Velebírová-Hudáková. He aslo visited Orava Village Museum in Zuberec and Orava castle.
On Sunday he was part of the solemn Worship Service at the seniorate meeting in Turčiansky seniorate. The Worship service was prepared in connection with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. He delivered greetings to the gathering.
On Monday Dr. Busi had a lecture at the General Pastoral Conference in Zvolen, it was the main reason for his visit to Slovakia. In his lecture „Heartbeat of Dalits“, he spoke about his church and its members - Dalits, which are marked as untouchable. Dalits are the members of the lowest cast in India, they were excluded from the four cast therefore they are outside of the cast system. They are not included into social category and are segregated and ascribed as ritual polluted, what result into their untouchability. Out of a total population of 1, 21 billion, the Dalits constitute about 167 million (16, 6%). The figures would be substantially higher if Dalits who embraced non-Hindu religions are taken into account by the Government of India. In his lecture he spoke about salvation, which is for all, also for Dalits; about teaching of theology of the cross, which offers liberation from cast system and with it connected dehumanization. After the lecture he received a commemorative medal, which is given in this year when we commemorate 500th anniversary of the Reformation. On Monday evening Bishop Busi accepted invitation to India Club.
In the next days he visited some parts of the capital city Bratislava and the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Faculty in Bratislava. The spiritual chaplains gave him insight into history of faculty, study programs and life of the students (the morning and evening devotions, student Worship Service, and practice of students in evangelical churches in Slovakia).
At the end he visited General Bishop´s Office in Bratislava. In remembrance of visit to Slovakia, General Bishop Klátik gave him two reformation candles, which should be now in the space of the Theological Seminary in India, where Bishop Busi has been teaching as a professor.