06/03/2011, 00.00
JAPAN
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The diocese of Sendai takes on Japan’s emergency: "New Creation"

by David Uribe
Japan’s Christians are working to support people affected by the tsunami and earthquake, regardless of religion. The diocese of Sendai concentrates on reaching isolated people and places.

Sendai (AsiaNews) - The diocese of Sendai has put a structured plan in place to support people affected by the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March, entitled "New Creation." The plan was decided on 15 April and has since been developing in practice. The bishop of the diocese, Msgr Martin Tetsuo Hiraga, said: "We feel the mission to be close with this great number of people who are suffering. To execute this new project, we must live according to this attitude: be a Church that seeks a new creation, striving - where our forces allow - to maintain a special and profound approach to people and the most isolated places in a way that allows us to be close the people who inhabit them, so we can revive them, give them strength and walk with them." Responding to urgent needs after enormous damage was done to the entire coastal area, the diocese of Sendai has raised some fundamental pillars for its action, basing them on establishing and promoting the “Sendai Diocese Support Centre” as a foundation for relief efforts and asking that all dioceses contribute to this effort. The Centre was formed on 16 March under the responsibility of the Bishop of Sendai to support, strengthen and increase its area of ​​rescue. It brings together the staff, equipment and material which may be required. To finance this activity, donations received through Caritas Japan will be used. Continuing in a spirit of charity, the Centre not only assists fellow Catholics affected, but also supports all those who are in need of help. Currently, the Centre consists of a headquarters and several secondary centres in buildings and on various church grounds in the affected area. From now on, according to the needs of these areas, the centres will continue to give active help to the best of their abilities. Currently, the diocese of Niigata operates refuge centres and aid to those affected by the disaster. Similarly, the diocese of Saitama helps our brothers of the south coast of Fukushima, particularly in the city of Iwaki. The diocese of Sapporo is helping the community of the Church of Miyako and its surroundings. The archdiocese of Tokyo, thanks to its international pastoral centre, supports all these activities.

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