Abraham Mammen has passed away on Jan 7, 2014 leaving behind a big void on behalf of all those who are struggling for freedom of conscience and digntiy of man around the globe especially in India. When Dr. Graham Staines was murdered along with two of his children in Orissa, India, a movement was born in USA that brought the Indian Christian Communtiy in North America together under the banner of Indian Christian Forum and the spirited leadership of Mr. Abraham Mammen who served as its President. Later, he was elected as the President of the Federation of Indian Christian Organizations in North America (FIACONA) and continued the work of defending the oppressed and helping those who were in dire need and difficutly because of their faith.
He was passionate about the cause of the persecuted Christians and devoted his valuable time, efforts and resources in defending the right to worship according to one's conscience. He strongly believed in the democratic and secular fabric of India and worked hard to promote and preserve that heritage. To him, Freedom of Conscience is innate, it is God-given and nobody has any right to take it away. He has organized protests in front of United Nations, led delegations to meet with Bush Administration officials and often met with members of the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to highlight the plight of the persecuted and to gain Freedom, Justice and Relief.
Mr. Mammen provided strong leadership when minorities were attacked in places like Gujarat and Orissa and never shied away from bringing those incidents to the attention of the communtiy and US officials. He served as well as the Editor of the 'FIACONA. ORG', that primarily dealt with human rights and religious freedom issues. He has always believed that the United States has a special role and a moral responsibiltiy to play in advancing the cause of human rights everywhere. Recognizing his concern and activism, he was one among the handful of Asian Indians invited to the White House by President George W. Bush for the first state dinner given in honor of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
It is significant to note that he has done a lot of the work without bringing any attention to himself, a selfless attribute that is quite rare in these days and times. With absolute certitude, I can say that I am a better person today for having had the opportuntiy tot ravel part of this journey with Mr. Mammen. He has changed the world for better by his tireless advocacy of human rights. He has shown that each one of us can make a difference and play a role in making this world at ruly better place where we respect each other regardless of our differences. May God bless his soul!