01/15/2020, 14.10
INDIA
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A march for peace to be held in Kolkata during the Week for Christian Unity

by Nirmala Carvalho

The event is planned by the local diocese and dozens of Christian groups. This year the Week of Prayer is set for 17-25 January. For local priest, “Peace is the need of the hour and we need a miracle to happen.”

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Church and other Christian denominations are planning a march next week in Kolkata in favour of peace, unity and equality, praying for forgiveness for hurtful actions.

The rally will be held on 20 January and involve over 100 churches as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian unity, which this year is set for 17-25 January.

“We shall pray for unity keeping in mind today's atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, but there will be nothing political in the initiative,” said Fr Dominic Gomes, the chief organiser, speaking to AsiaNews.

The march in Kolkata is being organised by two ecumenical organisations, Bangiya Christiya Pariseba and the Bengal Christian Council, which call on all Christians to participate.

Representatives of 175 Churches and institutions recently met in St Paul's Cathedral to plan the gathering. The procession will start from the cathedral and end at the statue of Gandhi on Mayo Road, covering some 3.5 kilometres.

The goal of the prayer meeting is to "proclaim the message of unity, amity and communal harmony” and express solidarity with those who have been protesting over the past few weeks against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, deemed anti-Muslim.

For organisers, Christians "see with anxiety and fear what is happening to other minorities”. For this reason, “We hope that all quarrels will end and equality will be unpheld,” Fr Dominic said. “May all those who have hurt others through their words and actions be forgiven too.”

“We should try to forget all our differences and unite as a community of Christians for peace and love. This year we shall pray as a Christian community for the country as a whole. Peace is the need of the hour and we need a miracle to happen.”

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