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Christians Pray Against Religious Persecution

ICC Note:

Group of Christians who are currently experiencing persecution or lost family members to persecution are meeting today to pray and give testimonies.

by Nirmala Carvalho

AsiaNews (08/02/06) – India ’s “persecuted” Christians are meeting today in Bangalore for the first ecumenical meeting “of prayer and testimony” in the nation’s history. The participants include seven widows whose husbands were killed for their faith and over 150 pastors who have been, or still are, persecuted for their faith in Christianity. The theme of the meeting is: “Thorns…and a crown”.

The one-day meeting will feature direct testimonies of persecution and violence suffered by Indian Christians. Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told AsiaNews: “It is through the blood of martyrs that India was evangelized, and this is our rich inheritance. St Thomas , the apostle who brought the Gospel to India , was martyred in India : similarly, we live in hope, awaiting the resurrection, certain that the blood of martyrs was not shed in vain.”

He continued: “This meeting is the first of its kind in our Christian history. We want to provide a network of encouragement and practical support to victims and their families. We hope and pray that our faith will be renewed and regenerated through our prayer.”

“We express our solidarity with those who have been victims of religious persecution in India and we pray to God to grant them strong faith and courage to carry on dedicating their lives to the Lord’s people,” Fr Babu Joseph, spokesperson of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, told AsiaNews.

“We wish the organisers of this prayer meet in Bangalore all the best and God’s blessings.”