St. Andrew Parish Church, located in Mumbai, India, has just finished celebrating 400 years of service. The Church has long been established in India, despite facing persecution from Hindu radicals. Since 2014, attacks on Christians and their places of worship have come under increasing assault from Hindu radicals. Many claim this rise in assaults coincides with the election of the Hindu nationalist BJP to India’s central government. Will the Church in India continue for another 400 years or will persecution start to push the Church out?
12/05/2016 India (Asia News) – St Andrew Parish Church in Bandra (Mumbai) had celebrated 400 years since its founding. Festivities started on 22 November 2015 and ended yesterday after a year of activities.
During the year, the parish carried out social outreach activities for poor and needy children, spiritual support for families and medical support for the indigent.
“In the 17th century, the whole area was Catholic,” Mgr Dominic Savio Fernandes, auxiliary bishop of Mumbai, told AsiaNews. “We have celebrated with gratitude the 400 years of the Christian faith, of Christianity and the fact of being disciples of Christ.”
Inspired by the First Reading of the prophet Isaiah (11: 1-10), Mgr Fernandes explained that “all creation lived in peace and harmony. God created nature and the animal world, and everyone lived in harmony. There was peace – humans, animals and the rest of nature lived in a peaceful universe, where there was no need to destroy one another. Because of Adam’s and Eve’s sin, distrust and dissent came to the world. But with the new coming [of the Lord] everything will be restored – peace and harmony to all creation.”
Now, he said, “We are waiting for the new coming of Christ, and we must prepare for it. Twice a year we are given time to prepare. One during Advent and one during Lent.”