Miao, India, Mar 3, 2015 / 04:01 am
A remote diocese under the shadow of the Himalayas joined hands with Pope Francis' prayer for persecuted Christians in the Middle East on Sunday through a special candlelight prayer service.
In the wake of the rising persecution against Christians all over the world and especially the dramatic violence targeted towards Christians population in Syria and Iraq, Pope Francis called on all the faithful to offer prayers during his Sunday Angelus on March 1.
Responding to Pope Francis' call for solidarity and prayer, the Diocese of Miao, a remote tribal diocese located in India's northeastern Arunachal Pradesh state, joined to pray with the Pope at Christ the Light Shrine, Miao.
"The faithful in the Diocese of Miao and people of other faiths joined the Pope's prayer with a special candlelight prayer service, denouncing the horrifying atrocities of despicable torture against the human race," Fr. Felix Anthony, the Miao diocese's head of communications, told CNA March 2.
"Everyone present was deeply moved with tears to hear about the heinous cruelty committed against the Christians, and invoked God to stop these incessant, inhumane, and horrifying crimes that are committed against Christians," Fr. Anthony said.
Mr. Likhum, a layman and member of the parish pastoral council in Miao, said that "I feel deeply disturbed by what is happening to our brothers and sisters across the world and I join with our Pope to pray for them. I hope it ends soon."
Another parish member, Mrs. Mossang said, "The Church is going through a difficult time; this reminds me of what happened during the Apostles' time. God has always answered our prayers and I am sure he will help us all."
"I thank Pope Francis for helping us to express our solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters," Mrs. Mossang said.
Fr. Anthony said the faithful in the Diocese of Miao, under the pastoral guidance of Bishop George Pallipparmabil, has also been praying fervently for the protection of the Pope, for his good health and his safety.
"During the month of January the children in the Diocese recited 22,064,841 Hail Marys for the same intention," the priest added.
After his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis asked the faithful present to keep praying for Christians in Iraq and Syria, who continue to be persecuted and killed by Islamic State. Pope Francis said that he, along with other members of the Curia, offered the last Mass of his retreat last week for the Christians in the Middle East.