New Evangelization and Interaction with Hindutva

August 1, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

New Evangelization and InteractionJuly 31, 2013: The Gospel is proclaimed in and to a context, not in a complete void. Therefore, for us, the very understanding of New Evangelization needs to address some specific context of North India said Bro. Laurence CMSFS, President CRI North Region. Accordingly, the executive committee chose the theme “New Evangelization and Interaction with Hindutva” for the CRI North region annual meeting to which 35 Major Superiors participated on 27th July 2013 at CRI House, Delhi.

The Asian Bishops spell out the goal of the spirit-guided renewal in the following manner: “Renewal … does not count merely on numbers and crowded churches, nor on the numerous services we render. What counts inestimably more is our ecclesial identity and the quality of witness as servants and disciples of Jesus and the Kingdom of God for the peoples of Asia” (OTC 325).

Likewise, the thrust of New Evangelization in North India should be a response to God’s call for mission by becoming docile to the Spirit,

Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi in his message said, “you have chosen a relevant and urgent topic. We need to open our eyes and see the reality outside. In this reality we have to release the Gospel force of love , joy and peace. He asked what are the challenges before us? What is the concrete path for us to move forward? We should not shy away about being disciples of Jesus.

The Protestants are more courageous and are not afraid to profess Christ openly. Despite Hindutwa in our educational, health-care and social ministries we should not hide our identity as Christians. The faith of the people is strong, while the faith of Church leaders is dying. We need to re-kindle in our hearts the truth of the Gospel.

Fr. T.K. John SJ who has captured the mood of the nation was the apt resource person to address the theme, said Fr. Varkey Parrekatt SJ.

Fr. TK said, “we disciples of Jesus Christ are called to share the godly news in a human community which is violently opposed to the Gospel. We in the North, come from diverse places, with its cultural and religious marks of specificity. We came for ‘evangelization. Now we are asked to evangelize not in the old way but in new ways.

He then shared the background of the Hindutva ideology of Sangh Parivar, a steadily growing movement that radically affects our agreed national identity, Constitution and its commitment, our pluralistic society, our secular identity, and above all, the minorities. Remember Kandhamal! Remember Gujarat!

The revival in Hinduism is quite vigorous and with vengeance, so to speak, he said. Just consider the kind, range, frequency, and places of pilgrimage. ‘Uttarakhand’ shows the number of pilgrims even in difficult areas: Kumbh Mela, Anantnag, Vaishno Devi, Puri Jagannath, Tiruppatti, Sabarimala, Ujjain, Pandharpur, Vidyanath… Proliferation of Hindu temples, shrines, icons, images that seem studied planned.

However there are no manifest signs of applied religiosity—spirituality—ethics—or morality. Consequently fraud, dishonest practice, deception, treachery, callousness-cruelty, inequality (gender, caste), unconcern for the misery of others, seem to affect the quality of life at the personal or collective life.

Fr. TK said, “Humanity in our region bleeds in many ways. Can we intervene to bring these resources together for a change in the quality of life of our people?

If we could assemble a few people of affinity to seek ways of gathering, merging, and making a new transformative power! These rich resources could be applied as balm to their manifold wounds.

He asked: “Can we evolve a new joint Yojana. 1) A small group from these religions to gather, 2) list five major social evils that block genuine human development from the point of view of dharma, 3) commit us by joint wholehearted labour for the abolition of ONE the first step. Can we start the process in a small way, in many places?

We need to be apostolically creative and innovative; free and detached from one’s traditional work to look afresh at the Region. We need a new mindset to dismantle in order to rebuild.

A very interactive session followed after which there was reports reads from Delhi and Punjab units and the region. Business session followed with elections to fill the vacant posts.

crib / sr. claudette miranda dsp

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