ASIA/INDIA - The Church of Orissa is preparing to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the anti-Christian massacres

Friday, 15 June 2018 persecutions   massacres   violence   human rights   religious freedom   freedom of conscience   religious minorities  

Bhubaneswar (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Church in the Indian state of Orissa (or Odisha), in the East of India, is preparing to celebrate the solemn commemoration of the victims of the anti-Christian massacres of 2008. As Fides learns, there will be a commemorative Mass in the district of Kandhamal, theater of the massacres, in collaboration with the Episcopal Conference of India (CBCI).
A letter of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar recalls that the anti-Christian persecution of Kandhamal 2008, which happened 10 years ago, on 25 August 2018. In the letter, sent to Fides, Archbishop John Barwa, SVD at the head of the diocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar remarks: In Ecclesiastes it is said that 'There is a time for everything'. We believe, God had a reason and purpose for having allowed persecution to take place in Kandhamal in 2008. As St. Paul writes (2 Cor 4: 9): We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed".
"In all moment of difficulties, the Church continually experiences the powerful presence and accompaniment of God. Let us pray so that the Holy Spirit enlightens the Churches persecuted for growth in faith", and announces that the solemn celebration of the Eucharist on 25 August, a "Holy Commemorative Mass", Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, priests, religious and faithful are invited to remember "those who gave their lives for the Lord and His Gospel" and pray "so that their lives may inspire and encourage us", writes the Archbishop.
The Church in Orissa invites the Bishops of the CBCI to "join us in prayer for this privileged, sacred and memorable occasion". "I also urge you to pray incessantly for the cause of the martyrs of Kandhamal. May St. Thomas, the Patron Saint of the Archdiocese, intercede for us so that we may be healed of our wounds and live in harmony and peace as brothers and sisters, sons of the only God", concludes the letter. (PN) (Agenzia Fides, 15/6/2018)


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