24 National News

posted Oct 10, 2018, 10:38 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 10, 2018, 10:38 AM ]

Church rubbishes reports about involvement in politics

The Goa Church has taken the state's oldest English newspaper Herald Review head-on for its news item accusing the Archbishop of playing a role in selection of candidates for the Legislative Assembly elections, by terming the report as "blatantly false allegations."

Herald Review had carried the article 'GOA'S BJP: the hand that rocked their cradle ruined their world' in which they had claimed that the Goa Archbishop had a hand in deciding electoral politics in the State.

"Such a wild and baseless accusation could come only from elements whose main interest seems to be to mislead, induce suspicion and vitiate the communal harmony existing in the State," Fr Olavo Caiado, the Church spokesman said.

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New Delhi
Indian 'People's Charter' launched

More than 100 voluntary Church and other groups in India have drafted a so-called 'People's manifesto' focused on poverty alleviation, as the nation heads towards national as well as various state elections.

It was formulated Oct. 6 at the end of a four-day programme in southern Bengaluru city organised by Lok Manch, a forum of Jesuits in Social Action (JESA).

"The People's Charter demands basic facilities like potable water, food and roads for the most poor, and it will be given to all political parties," said Fr Sannybhai, national coordinator of Lok Manch. The Jesuit said the draft manifesto would be discussed at the grassroots and finalised according to local needs. The idea is that people would give it to election candidates of all parties seeking their vote, the priest said.

Fr Sannybhai said that even seven decades after India become an independent nation, widespread poverty remained, with many people lacking adequate food, drinking water, educational opportunities and healthcare. Voters needed to boldly challenge political leaders and demand protection of their rights.


Survivors draw strength from Rosary

About 2,500 Kandhamal survivors in Tiangia, a village in Odisha's Kandhamal district, gather every evening in October to pray the Rosary. Tiangia was among the worst affected Catholic villages during the 2008 anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal. Its survivors say that it was the Rosary that kept them strong in their faith during the persecution. The village comes under the Rakia parish of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar diocese, eastern India.

"I experienced special strength and power through the Rosary at the time of Kandhamal persecution," said Anakleto Nayak, who led the Rosary at Tiangia on October 3. The catechist had survived the anti-Christian persecution. During the Rosary, the catechist prayed for peace, harmony, equality and fraternity in India, Odisha and Kandhamal where fundamentalists continue to openly threaten Christians to leave their faith.

"The hatred towards us still persists in this secular country," Nayak regretted. Those who want to become Christians are threatened and fined Rs 10,000. They are even forbidden to relate with Christians, he added.