Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Bishop of Orissa: Glory in heaven and peace on earth, including Kandhamal

ICC Note: This is a Christmas message from a church leader in Orissa.

by mons. Raphael Cheenath
12/23/08 Bhubaneshwar, India (AsiaNews) – “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will”: Christians from all over the world, uniting themselves with men and women of good will, are celebrating Christmas, remembering the birth of Jesus, born in a manger.

This little district of Kandhamal has through the power of Jesus Christ heralded a new world order.

I am deeply aware of the pains and agonies that many of our sisters and brothers, Hindu, and Christian, tribals and dalits, and many other people have gone through in the recent past in our state. It is time that we stand united, determined to dismiss all that divides us and say in once voice, enough is enough. Everyone of us is yearning for peace where we can live without fear. We need to exhibit our togetherness and respect for one another celebrating our diversity of cultures and faith and begin the process of healing,

This Christmas will reflect the events of last year [editor’s note: when Hindu extremists destroyed 13 churches, killing 3 people], this Christmas will reflect the agony that our people suffered, and importantly the Christmas story will be replayed here in our eastern state of India in the Kandhamal district.

Christmas night reminds us of Joseph and Mary, who gave birth to the Saviour of the World in a manger, a stable for animals. Mary and Joseph, the unwanted, the couple who experienced homelessness – there was no room in the inn – this is the situation of our 13,000 people in our relief camps – no homes, unwanted, who will bring forth the Saviour of the World in the Relief Camps – this little babe who will create a new world order in humanity.

When Christ was born, the choirs of angels sang, but here the joyful singing has not been heard, the sounds and howls of miscreants and criminal have been resounding since last year, and in this situation a child is born for us, the Star will shine over Kandhamal, a Saviour is born who will establish his kingdom of justice, peace and love. That is why it is so important for us to celebrate Christmas and welcome the Birth of Christ, this event of salvation which can give new hope to the life of each human being… [Go To Full Story]