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Thousands of Christians reaffirm their loyalty to India and faith

Monday, February 3, 2020, 22:24 (IST)

In the "Catholic Maha Samavesha-2020" rally organised by the Indian Catholic Church in Mangalore, at least 30,000 Christians hit the street on February 2 to reaffirm their "Loyalty to India, to the Constitution and the Christian faith."

Hundreds of priests, nuns and representatives of Catholic communities participated in the long unity procession that started from Madanthyar's city center and ended in front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

In the inaugural speech, Msgr. Peter Paul Saldanha, bishop of Mangalore said, "We are Indians. In Mangaluru, we have a 450-year history of living peacefully, respectfully, and not doing any harm to others as followers of Jesus Christ. We believe in the goodness in humans and we always give priority for humanity in our private and social life. At the same time, we believe in our Constitution. We live for our country."

Msgr. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, of the Syro-Malankara diocese of Puttur said, "We are eligible for all kinds of facilities given to us by our Constitution. We are known for social service and harmony. With this Samavesha, we are announcing that we are not the people who will fall easily. Our emotions are always with our country and our faith is always with one God who brings us all together and teaches us to love. We are united with India which has a Constitution that emphasizes unity in diversity."

Msgr. Lawrence Mukkuzhy, of the Syro-Malabar diocese of Beltangady, who also participated in the event, said that "We reflect the teachings of Jesus. He teaches us humanity. Without humanity there is no meaning to religion. Humanity is our faith which is centered on Jesus."

The rally falls at the time the country is witnessing high religious intolerance and is divided along religious lines by the radical Hindu nationalists who consider Christianity as foreign faith and hold a strong belief that India should be a Hindu nation.