The United Christian Forum in North East India welcomes the initiative of the emeritus Archbishop of Guwahati. From next August, the first day of every month, the invitation to all Christians "to stand for a few minutes of prayer". The "timely" response of the local Church, following the vandalism of the Bongaigaon cathedral.
Guwahati (AsiaNews) - At the beginning of each month, a "special ecumenical prayer for peace and harmony among communities, by all of our Churches and Friends", has been proposed by Msgr. Thomas Menamparampil, Archbishop emeritus of Guwahati (in Assam) and former apostolic administrator of Jowai (in Meghalaya).
His effort is an attempt to calm tension in northeastern India, one of the most restless regions of the country and was enthusiastically received by the United Christian Forum North East India (Ucfnei), a grouping of Christian, Catholic, Presbyterian and Baptist organizations. Speaking to AsiaNews Msgr. Menamparampil reports that "from August, throughout the region the prayer that I composed will be recited (see at the bottom of the article)."
The archbishop argues that "all these initiatives at local level, such as training programs, encounters, prayers, respond timely to the painful Bongaigaon episode." He refers to the vandalism of the diocesan cathedral, which took place a few days ago for unknown reasons, but which would seem "more of a theft" than the intention of striking Christians.
The Forum issued a statement yesterday welcoming the proposal of the Catholic leader, a key figure in the process of pacification among ethnic groups in India. The document launches "a passionate appeal to all Christian individuals, congregations, groups of friends, institutions and schools, churches and organizations to offer a prayer on the first day of each month of the year, with effect from August 2017, for peace and harmony in our society and in our country. " What matters to the Christians of the region, continues the statement, is to "assist the situation of instability, atrocities of various proportions, religious intolerance and violence in the name of religion, ethnic and sectarian sentiments, and all the undesirable that has recently taken place. " The invitation to everyone is "to stand for a few minutes of prayer, at work, at school, in church, both with organized programs and individually, according to what everyone finds most convenient."
Below, the prayer composed by Msgr. Menamparampil:
“God of mercy and compassion, we thank you for the cultural heritage of our great nation. We thank you for the communal harmony that has prevailed among us for centuries, despite our many differences. We pray that this great tradition may not weaken; but rather, that it may grow stronger day by day among our communities and peace may reign in our society, today, and at all times. This we pray to you, Through the spirit of God In the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ”.