Vasai (Agenzia Fides) - Fasting and prayer for peace in Syria sees Christians and Hindus in India united. This is what was said to Fides Agency by His Exc. Mgr. Felix Machado, Bishop of Vasai and President of the Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue of the "Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences" (FABC).
"The Pope's appeal for a special Day for peace in Syria - says the Bishop to Fides – was welcomed with joy and enthusiasm by Christians in India, and now has spread to the leaders and the Hindu communities. Some Hindu leaders called me to express solidarity and to ensure fasting and prayer in the Hindu temples".
The Bishops' Conference of India has invited all dioceses to organize prayer vigils. "In India - explains the Bishop - the fact that the appeal is also addressed to the faithful of other religions and all people of good will was very much appreciated. These gestures are very important for us".
"The initiative - continues Bishop Machado - comes at a very favorable moment because it is the eve of the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, deeply felt by Indian Christians. The churches are already full. Tomorrow we will add the special intention for peace in Syria during the liturgies. The Hindu faithful are very sensitive to this Marian feast. In particular, the weapon of fasting is universal, it is very dear to Hindus and is capable of uniting the faithful of all religions in a deep spiritual communion".
"The faithful Indians and Hindus also thank Pope Francis, who is very much loved in our country, and hope to see him soon in India", the Bishop concluded. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 06/09/2013)