04/10/2007, 00.00
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Announce the hope that comes with the Risen Christ, says Card Toppo

by Nirmala Carvalho
The chairman of the Bishops’ Conference of India tells AsiaNews about the meaning of Easter, a time to renew oneself in “justice, peace and truth,” a time to announce to the world the “joy of the Resurrection and share it even with those who do not know Christ.” Non Christians greet Christians throughout India.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Joy and fervour characterised Easter celebrations throughout India as Non Christians joined Christians of every denomination in observing the event.

“Easter for us Indians is a call to renewal, to live a new life as brothers and sisters in a spirit of unity, peace and truth,” said Telesphore Toppo, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, especially at this time in the country’s history when it faces the double challenge of terrorism and inter-faith coexistence.

Speaking to AsiaNews, he said that the “Resurrection of Christ is the central fact of Christianity. The Risen Christ enables us to discover that love and sacrifice can transform our lives.”

Card Toppo, who celebrated Easter in his diocese of Ranchi, said that “Easter is the light that dispels humankind’s inner darkness, which subtly leads to evils like terrorism and the cult of the individual. If you believe in the Risen Lord you must have the courage to proclaim it to the world. We must share with all, even those who do not know Christ, hope in His Resurrection.”

Toppo presided over Easter celebrations in Loyola Grounds among his Tribal parishioners, whom he urged to “announce publicly and without fear the great things the Lord has accomplished for them through the Church.”

Mgr Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, also urged the faithful “pass on the joy of Easter and the message of hope of the Risen Jesus to the poor and the needy.”

In New Delhi, Archbishop Vincent Concessao celebrated the main Easter service in the Columba’s School grounds, where about 3,000 people attended a midnight vigil followed by Holy mass.

Local media also reported that throughout the country non Christians went to church to greet and express their solidarity to their Christians neighbours. In the big cities, religious functions were followed by the distribution of Easter eggs as a sign of fellowship and sharing.

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