WYD: bearing witness to the anti-Christian pogroms in Kandhamal

» 08/16/2011 14:40
INDIA

by Santosh Digal
A young teacher and a priest left Orissa for Madrid to take part in the World Youth Day. “If I am lucky, I’ll meet Benedict XVI personally during the WYD,” the teacher said. “I’ll talk to him about Christians in Kandhamal and their faith, which is strong despite the suffering they endured during the pogroms of 2007 and 2008.”

Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) – A priest and a young woman from Kandhamal District (Orissa) left for World Youth Day (WYD), which began today in Madrid. Mousomi Kumar, 25, is from Kumbharkhupa Parish. She and Fr Rabindra (Florence) Ranasingh left on their pilgrimage on 11 August. Kandhamal Christians were among the most affected by the pogrom that broke out in August 2008. AsiaNews spoke with them on the eve of their departure.

“I’m happy for this opportunity to participate in the WYD thanks to the Church and the parents who funded my trip,” Mousomi Kumar, a part-time teacher, said.

“If I am lucky, I’ll meet Benedict XVI personally during the WYD,” she said. “I’ll talk to him about Christians in Kandhamal and their faith, which is strong despite the suffering they endured during the pogroms of 2007 and 2008. I will share with other young people the suffering we experienced and to which we bore witness, and its meaning. I’ll tell them what the Christian people of Kandhamal went through and ask them to pray for us.”

“I am proud to be Catholic and from Kandhamal,” she said. “I am also proud of participating in the World Youth Day. I’ll bring to the pope the best wishes and prayers of the people of my land, young and old.”

Fr Rabindra is in charge of youth in the diocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar. Speaking to AsiaNews he said, he was “happy that they have this opportunity to participate in the WYD.”

“For me it is the first time that I attend such a big event. I am very touched. I deem myself very lucky for being able to participate,” he explained. “I am going as if I were on a pilgrimage to be among the youth of the world and learn from them.”

“Since I am in charge of young people in my diocese, this opportunity will help me better fulfil my ministry and shape the youth of my diocese.”

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