12/28/2018, 11.24
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Dubai Church donates funds for Kerala flood anniversary to victims

The Orthodox Cathedral of St. Thomas has collected 125 thousand euros, canceling "superfluous" events. Most faithful come from the Indian state. The church often launches charitable initiatives to support the weakest.


Dubai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A church in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has decided to hold low key celebrations of the 50th anniversary of its construction to donate the proceeds to Kerala, the Indian state hit in August by the "worst flood in 100 years". This is the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Thomas, which has raised 10 million Indian rupees (125 thousand euros), eliminating the "superfluous" from festivities.

In mid-August, Kerala, on the southwest coast of India, suffered the worst humanitarian and environmental catastrophe in its history. There were over 400 victims, more than 800 thousand  displaced. For weeks the waters left whole villages submerged; the road network has been devastated;  houses and buildings destroyed. The population is still struggling to recover from the disaster.

Most of the faithful of the church in Dubai come from Kerala, who have taken the form of aid and financial support to respond to the humanitarian emergency exploded in the State of origin. They collected a total of 20,000 rupees (2,500 euros) to be allocated to the Emergency Support Fund opened by the Indian Chief Minister.

Fr Ninan Philip Panackamattom, vicar of the cathedral, said that the sum raised by the faithful, together with that saved by the ecclesiastical authorities that canceled some events planned for the anniversary, directly helped 130 families suffering from the flood. Most of the beneficiaries had their homes destroyed ".

The cathedral of Dubai, located in the neighborhood of Oud Mehta, is the reference parish of the Orthodox churches scattered throughout the Emirates. Born from the impulse of four families in 1958, ten years later it obtained official recognition of the congregation of Orthodox faithful. Today it brings together more than 3 thousand families. The church is not new to charitable initiatives: to honor 2018 as "the year of Zayed" (the sultan father founder of the nation), it organized a campaign of blood collection; next January 4th, another charity event is scheduled to help cancer patients.

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