- Jul 9, 2020
Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal said the reason he organized an interfaith event marking the day of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth is because the “father of India” preached non-violence and constantly spoke about unity, peace and harmony in society. Incidents of harassment against Christians have increased over the past few months in India, with various Christians being detained or arrested for “attempted conversion,” and places of worship being vandalized.
Catholic Bishops in India told new president, Ram Nath Kovind, the Christian community, though a small minority, has always served the country and will continue to serve the county in health care, education and other areas, in particular, serving the poorest of the poor and the marginalized.
From the beginning of their independence from Britain, both Pakistan and India have promised to respect the rights of religious minorities, and recognize the equal citizenship of the believers of all faiths. After 70 years, both countries have struggled to fulfill that promise, but Christians living on the subcontinent are proud of their contributions to their societies.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has designated that August 10 be observed as a “black day,” and called for demonstrations to be organized to show support and solidarity to those Christians and Muslims belonging to scheduled castes (also known as ‘untouchables’) who are being denied the rights given to Hindu Dalits.
In July 2010, Pope Benedict XVI established the Elmont-based eparchy as an exarchate for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the United States. Now with the approval of Pope Francis, the synod of bishops of the Syro-Malankara Church has elected as the first bishop of the eparchy they set up in India, Bishop Thomas Eusebius Naickamparampil.
Bishop Henry D’Souza told participants of the 7th Asian Youth Day in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, “the greatest challenge before the youth in Asia is to kindle hope in millions in the region who look for a ray of hope to brighten their lives and make their struggles meaningful.”