Italy: day of prayer and fasting for Christians in India


 This initiative, which may also be celebrated on a different day established by the diocesan bishop, is: "a sign of spiritual closeness and solidarity with our brothers and sisters of India, so sorely tried in the faith", says a CEI communique.

On 27 August, the Pope called for an immediate end to acts of violence against Christian communities in the Indian state of Orissa, which began following the murder of the Hindu leader Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati.

Benedict XVI invited "religious leaders and civil authorities to work together to restore among the members of the various communities the peaceful coexistence and harmony which have always been the distinguishing mark of Indian society".

Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil CSSR major archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, called all the dioceses of his country to observe a day of prayer and fasting yesterday, to express "solidarity with all the victims and prayer for all our missionaries in India, who are facing most trying and difficult times for the sake of the Gospel".

Source: VIS

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