Loading
Catholics in northern India see Christian witness as essential
Bishop Ignatius Mascarenhas
Bishop Ignatius Mascarenhas

.- A survey of Catholics in a northern India diocese reports that, despite recent attacks against their fellow believers, they see authentic Christian witness as a top priority and as key to outreach to the poor. The local bishop has also committed himself to this goal.

Bishop Ignatius Mascarenhas of the Diocese of Simla-Chandigarh commissioned the investigating survey soon after taking office last year. He discussed the findings in a recent interview with the pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

The bishop told ACN he would redouble efforts to make Christian outreach a priority through schools, preaching and service, “telling people it is Christ’s love we are sharing, and not being too afraid.”

He said Christian institutions must remember they exist “to bring Christ’s love.”

Survey respondents listed education as their second priority, voicing a particular commitment to giving more poor children places in Catholic schools. They named support for youth as their third priority.

Bishop Mascarenhas told ACN that India currently has the largest number of young people in the world and it is normal for families to have three to four children. He said the Church would focus on increasing young people’s faith and on promoting ways of Christian living in contrast to contrary messages in the media.

The fourth priority of respondents was social development, such as helping poor people become independent. The bishop said there was a special need to emphasize the rights of women and girls. They are perceived as a drain on the family, which is required to pay a dowry when the women are married.

Because of this view, women are frequently neglected and many die. However, the Church has been caring for unwanted girls in hostels run by religious sisters. The perception of girls is slowly changing but the bishop said change will take time.

The final priority named in the survey was the expansion of health care.

The bishop told ACN that Christians in India are “well known” for social development and teams have been established to implement these priorities as part of the Church’s mission.

The territory of the Diocese of Simla-Chandigarh is four times the size of Belgium. There are only about 20,000 Christians in its population of 20 million people.

Recent violence against Christians in India has moved ACN to make it a priority country. In 2009 it gave more than $4.8 million to projects to help the Church there. Its aid includes Mass stipends for priests, distribution of ACN Child’s Bibles and other religious education literature, training for seminarians and novices, building churches, and providing vehicles for clergy ministering in remote regions.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Jul
30

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Gospel
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »

Saint
Date
07/29/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Homily
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: