11/30/2022, 18.28
SRI LANKA
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Church calls on Sri Lankans abroad to avoid waste and share Christmas with those who suffer at home

by Melani Manel Perera

Fr Basil Rohan, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, appeals to Sri Lankans at home and abroad. For him, at the start of Advent, people should turn their heart towards the poor and the country’s economic hardships.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – With the start of Advent, the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka is urging all the faithful to use the money saved from buying superfluous decorations to have a “Christmas of sharing" with the poorest families.

This invitation is extended in particular to Sri Lankans living abroad who today more than ever are called to be in solidarity with those who suffer in their country of origin.

"Usually at the Advent, many people distort the true meaning of Christmas by giving it a commercial value, decking their homes with unnecessary decorations and buying expensive items,” said Fr Basil Rohan, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Sri Lanka, in his special message shared with Asia News.

“Even our churches sometimes follow the same path and use more electricity than necessary to decorate buildings without thinking too much about it."

The priest asked the entire Christian community to avoid this type of behaviour.

“All of us Sri Lankans are going through a very difficult time. Everyone knows how difficult it is for people to make ends meet. Those who can should turn their minds and hearts to those who are in financial difficulty."

In recent months, after protests against the high cost of living led to the ouster of the country's former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, inflation has skyrocketed and Sri Lanka has not yet overcome its economic crisis.

For Fr Rohan, sending a message to Sri Lankans abroad can draw their attention to the current situation in the island nation.

“Let's not spend money to celebrate Christmas; instead, let's focus on the difficulties of the here and now, and get ready, starting today, to share the Christmas meal with another person or family.

“Let’s make sure that the poor can enjoy the same love, the same joy, and the same peace that we experience at Christmas by supporting them with a meal or food rations.”

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