Miao (Agenzia Fides) - In a small village in the district of Changlang, in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, north east India, the largest church in this Indian state was recently blessed and consecrated. Fides was told that in Neotan, a village in Arunachal Pradesh on the border with Myanmar, in the Catholic diocese of Miao, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, presided on December 5 a solemn Mass for the blessing and inauguration of the church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The concelebrants included Bishop George Pallipparambil of the diocese of Miao, and other bishops with the participation of 2,000 faithful, all seated inside the spacious church building .
"Today ever more necessary is the message of peace, love and forgiveness, preached by Jesus. In India today, marked by hatred, discrimination, polarization, the message of the Gospel can be a remedy for wounded relations and heal hearts " said Bishop Mascarenhas.
The village welcomed the first seed of the Christian faith 19 years ago and today the local Catholic community rejoices for a new church, which took two years to complete and was built thanks to the voluntary labour and sacrifices of the faithful. "The people of Neotan, a small Mossang tribal community are proud to have the largest church in Arunachal Pradesh", the parish priest Rev. Felix Anthony told Fides.
The diocese of Miao, situated along the border of the North Eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, was previously considered almost inaccessible. Inhabited by Mongol ethnic groups often in conflict among themselves, up until 20 years ago, this area was barred for the Church. (SD) (Agenzia Fides 7/12/2018)