01/23/2012, 00.00
INDIA

Christian unity week in Vijayawada

Sr. Benigna Menezes
Leaders from various Christian denominations met in Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) for the Week of Prayer for Christian unity. “There is room for everyone in God’s plan of salvation,” the local bishop, Mgr Prakash Mallavarapu said.
Vijayawada (AsiaNews) – Christian unity “is not just about friendship and cooperation. It requires willingness to give and challenge each other. We must open ourselves to our fellow man, offering and receiving so as to enter Christ’s new life, which is the only victory,” said Mgr Prakash Mallavarapu, bishop of Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), as he welcomed religious leaders from other Christian denominations at the start of the Week of prayer for Christian unity at the local pastoral centre last Friday. This year’s topic, “We will all be changed by the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ”, comes from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians

Catholic, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Methodist and other clerics together opened the prayer service with a procession, led by Mgr Prakash who carried a Bible.

“There is room for everyone in God’s plan of salvation,” the bishop said. “Through His death and resurrection, Christ embraces all”.

“The movement of ecumenical unity is a new awareness that is slowly creeping beneath the suffering body of Christ which craves to remain united under the one head that is Jesus Christ, the Lord of all humanity,” said Rt Rev Gowada Daivashirvadan, bishop of the Church of South India, which belongs to the Anglican Communion.

Rev Bernard Apel, a German clergyman from the World Council of Churches, was present at the ceremony.

About 10 per cent (1 million) of the population of Vijayawada, where the ceremony was held, are Christians. Across India, Christians represent only 2.3 per cent of the population.
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