02/24/2014, 00.00
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Bishops of Japan: A solemn mass in Sendai for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami

The General Assembly of the Bishops' Conference of Japan has decided to continue to allocate all the funds available for the reconstruction of areas devastated by the earthquake of 11 March 2011. A special prayer for the victims and survivors will be read in all churches in the country close to the anniversary.

Niigata ( AsiaNews) - The bishops of all Japan are gathering in Sendai to concelebrate a Mass for the victims and survivors of the Great earthquake - and subsequent tsunami - that devastated the country on March 11, 2011. This was decided by the General Assembly of the Bishops' Conference of Japan, which was held recently in Tokyo. The bishops also approved the text of a special prayer for the victims of the earthquake, which will be read in all churches of the country near the third anniversary of the disaster.

The meeting of the Bishops' Conference ended with a Mass presided over by the president, the archbishop of the capital Msgr. Okada, and with a message read by Papal Nuncio Msgr. Chennot . The bishops have decided to meet March 10 at the Cathedral of Sendai, one of the areas most affected by the earthquake, for a Mass and a prayer for the repose of the souls of the dead.

In addition, during the plenary session, the bishops reiterated the commitment of the Catholic community in favor of the reconstruction over the next three years, all funds available to the Church in Japan will be directed to recovery projects in the affected areas. The provinces of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagasaki have confirmed the dispatch of volunteers, who through the national Caritas provide materials and funding for activities necessary for the population.

On 11 March 2011, a massive earthquake shook the eastern coast of Japan , causing a devastating tsunami . Approximately 16 thousand people died immediately after the tragedy (thousands more disappeared), but the number of victims continues to rise given the damage to the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, which caused a leak of deadly radiation . The Japanese Church and Caritas are engaged in rehabilitation programs in the area, but there are still thousands of people living in dire conditions.

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