ASIA/INDIA - The new evangelization in the Indian context, between secularization and communalism

Tuesday, 6 March 2018 pontifical mission societies   mission   evangelization   society   politics   secularization   human rights  

Bangalore (Agenzia Fides) - The new evangelization in the Indian context: this will be the theme which Bishops, experts, theologians, delegates from India and the Vatican will discuss, in the national symposium organized in Bangalore by the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of India, from 7 to 9 March. As Fr. Faustine Lobo, National Director of the PMS in India reports to Agenzia Fides, "the objectives of the symposium are above all two: to reaffirm the commitment of the Indian Church for the new evangelization, as suggested by John Paul II; to help identify new paths, new means, new ideas for evangelization in today's Indian context, marked by phenomena such as secularization and communalism". "Proclaiming Christ has become more difficult", in an increasingly secularized social and political environment, notes the Director. Moreover, the phenomenon of "communalism", that is to say the polarization of society according to the division in distinct ethnic-religious communities, "constitutes a further challenge for Christians in the subcontinent. In fact, initiatives to proclaim the Gospel are considered as proselytizing or encouraging conversion, sometimes punishable by law or however a harbinger of violent reactions by certain extremist groups. The context is delicate and presents considerable difficulties. This is why we are called to look for new ways, new paths and methods to proclaim the Word of God", explains Fr. Lobo.
The first day of the symposium, dedicated to the "awareness of the new evangelization", will be opened by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Bishops' Conference of India, while the main speech will be delivered by Mgr. Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the promotion of the new evangelization, which will also speak about the evolution of the concept of "new evangelization". The second day, focused on "new evangelization today", will reflect on the new evangelization according to Pope Francis, with reference to the "Evangelii Gaudium", while the study on the Indian context will be presented by Bishop Franco Mulakkal, at the head of the diocese of Jalandhar. Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso, President of the Pontifical Mission Societies, will trace the contribution of the PMS and will conduct a workshop on the extraordinary missionary month comvened by the Pope in October 2019. On the final day, focused on the theme "new evangelization in action" different panel members will be created that will, in the end, give birth to a conclusive document. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 6/3/2018)