India – suffering and consolation while helping everyone -“Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Muslims without any discrimination whatsoever.”
India is currently under a total lockdown as a result of COVID-19 and millions of low-paid migrant workers have suddenly found themselves unemployed. This has triggered a mass exodus from urban areas on a scale never seen before. An Indian nun, Sister Christin Joseph of the Sisters of Charity of the Holy Cross (SCSC), spoke to to the Church in Need (ACN), describing the situation and how they try to help people of all religions alike.
Sister Christin helps to run some of the Small Christian Communities (SCCs), the small groups of Christians formed in places which priests can rarely visit. Members meet with catechists to pray and celebrate Liturgies of the Word instead. There are some 85,000 of these small Christian communities scattered across the whole of India. Indian Catholics very often belong to the lowest classes of society and today they are facing increasingly violent discrimination.
The SCCs there are informing people about the virus and the protective measures they need to take. Sister Christin said that SCC members are constantly supporting each other via ‘Whatsapp’ and text messages with advice and suggestions for prayers, especially for the situation of the pandemic and its consequences. She said that “we have to adapt to this new way of being Church, of how to be love in action during the lockdown.
She emphasised: “What consoles me is the fact that many of our small Christian communities are responding to this situation with thousands of simple initiatives. While still adhering to the measures imposed, they are seeking out those in need and giving them food. They are helping everyone—Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Muslims—without any discrimination whatsoever.”
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