The Churches of Asia join the vigil for persecuted Christians

May 18, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Vigil of prayer for persecuted ChristiansMumbai, May 13, 2015: The Churches of Asia will join the vigil of prayer for persecuted Christians, organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) for 23 May next, the eve of Pentecost. As president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai (India), spoke to AsiaNews about the meaning of the vigil and the role that the Catholic Church has on the continent.

Asia is a vast region with many  cultures  and religious traditions, of varied and complex socio- political-economic contexts.  There are some countries with different ideologies and some with different political systems.

Social issues are also of prime concern  of  the  Church and not too averse to look at public policy decisions in terms  of how they affect the poor, since the  deprivation  and  powerlessness  of  the  poor wounds  the  whole  community and contradicting ideologies – often identified with economic, social and political regimes – result in  a certain degree of  tension in some places where the church is working.

The Church is always mindful of the conditions of the people in the society. While there is tension in some places where the church is working, countries should realize that the church is always working for the good of the people, selflessly building up the community, society and nation.

However, since we have different perspectives, often it appears as if the Church is in confrontation.  The Catholic Church is witnessing to the values of God’s Kingdom through her presence, solidarity with the poor, the suffering poor, marginalized, deprived, and voiceless in the society.

We all belong to one human  family and God is the father of everyone. In the Christian kingdom, Jesus came to give us certain values which every society wants the same things. They only differ on the means and the ways and hence the need for a dialogue  There is a need for a triple dialogue: with the poor, with cultures and with religions.

God wishes that everyone be happy and that the church work for the good of the people, hence I see it as a challenge and not as a problem.

In Asia there is a big divide between the rich and the poor and when this becomes a system where the gap cannot be shortened, the church must intervene and work for the rural economies where it is not profit driven.

The Asian churches continue, even in the midst of persecutions, to give this witness.

– asianews

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