Inter-Religious Peace Rally to Pray for Peace with Pope Francis in East Arunachal Pradesh

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Amidst growing number of terror attacks and killing in the name of religion, Neotan village in Changlang District of Arunachal Pradesh organized an inter-religious peace rally on 20 September 2016.

Of late, the world has witnessed to an unprecedented violence and mindless killings by religious fundamentalists, said Father Felix Anthony inaugurating the candle-lit peace rally in Neotan village, in which around 300 hundred people participated. The world is in need of peace now more than ever. We see pain and flood shed all around in the name of religion, he added.

On July 26, 2016 the world woke up to a gruesome killing of a senior French Priest Father Jacques Hamel. His throat was slit while celebrating Holy Mass by Islamist extremists. This painful incident added salt to the wounds created by the killing of four Mother Teresa Sisters in Yamen by the same extremist group in the beginning of this year. Pained by the growing number of killings of Christians, Pope Francis invited all the Christians all over the world for A Day of Prayer for Peace on 20 September 2016 when the Holy Father himself would preside over an Interreligious meeting in Assisi, Italy.

Responding the Pope’s invitation of Bishop George Pallipparambil, the Bishop of Miao in eastern Arunachal Pradesh called on all Parishes, schools and institutions in the Diocese to observe this day of prayer with inter-religious meetings, peace rally and special prayer for peace.

The people in Neotan, a small village in Changlang District of Arunachal Pradesh, organized an Inter-Religious peace rally to participate in this Day of Prayer for Peace. The Head Monk at Buddhist Monastery in Miao, Venerable Narinda Bhikkhu Mahathero, attending the event highlighted the need of peace in the world at the moment. “Amidst growing religious intolerance in India and all around, this inter-religious peace rally is a great step to promote mutual respect and peace among the people of all faith backgrounds”, said the Monk.

Mr. Thiksal Morang, former Deputy Director of School Education (DDSE) Changlang District, representing the Tangsa Baptist Church Association in Arunachal Pradesh, invited all to be messengers of peace. “A peaceful society is a responsibility of all. All of us must strive to establish a harmonious society”, said the former DDSE.

There were prayer services and other peace initiatives conducted in other parts of East Arunachal Pradesh to participate in Pope’s invitation to pray for peace. The school children in Deomali in Tirap District also made a special prayer service to pray for peace in the world.

“Our peace initiative does not end with this rally. It only begins now. We should work to promote peace in our society in our own little ways to make the world a peaceful place to live in”, said Fr. Felix at the conclusion of the rally.

The people also remembered and prayed for the Army Jawans who lost their life in the terrorist attack at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, during the peace rally.

There is so much wound to be healed. Peace is the balm that the world needs, Mrs. Dangnai Mossang, a local public leader from Miao, said while closing the peace rally.

Will religious fundamentalists, fanatics and extremists realize that all of us are children of the same God and it pains Him as Father to see his children killing each other in His name?