Home News Indian bishops call for prayer for Manipur, conflict-stricken regions on Christmas

Indian bishops call for prayer for Manipur, conflict-stricken regions on Christmas

The head of the Catholic Church in India, on Christmas Eve, issued a call for prayers for war-torn regions worldwide, including Manipur in the country.

“In the spirit of Christmas, I earnestly request your prayers for those in violence-affected and war-torn regions of our world, including the state of Manipur in our beloved country, and the conflict zones of the Israel-Palestine war, and Ukraine,” stated the Christmas message from Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.

Ethnic violence has ravaged the northeastern Indian state of Manipur since May 3, leaving thousands homeless.

The prelate wishes for “collective prayers” to serve as a beacon of hope and healing for those enduring the harsh realities of conflict.

“As we celebrate the joyous occasion of Christmas and welcome the dawn of the New Year, I, along with all the Catholic bishops in India, extend heartfelt greetings to each one of you. May this season be filled with the love, peace, and joy that the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ brings into our lives.”

Archbishop Thazhath prays for the coming year to “witness a transformation, where peace triumphs over discord, and compassion reigns over cruelty, fostering understanding and harmony in the troubled areas of Manipur and bringing solace to the people of Israel, Palestine, and Ukraine.”

The Indian Church leader urges those celebrating the festival to pause and reflect on Christmas’ true essence. “It is not merely about Santa Claus and Christmas trees adorned with glittering ornaments. Christmas is, above all, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior, whose life embodies the principles of love, justice, and compassion.”

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The archbishop reminds people that Jesus came to the world not “as a mighty ruler” but as “a humble child” in a manger.

“His life was a witness to selfless love, reaching out to the marginalized, healing the wounded, and advocating for justice. As we celebrate this divine occasion, let us dedicate ourselves to the teachings of Christ—love one another as He loved us, seek justice for the oppressed, and work towards fostering peace and harmony in our Motherland.”

He urges people to transcend religious boundaries and join hands “as brothers and sisters of one global family.

“Regardless of our faith traditions, let us come together to build bridges of understanding and cooperation. The challenges we face as one nation—be they social, economic, or environmental—are best met with unity, compassion, and collective action. Let the spirit of Christmas unite us in our shared humanity,” he asserted.

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