UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
'Keep harvest festival liquor-free' plea
Dismayed archbishop speaks out against Kerala's love of alcoholWomen dance during the celebration of the Onam harvest festival in Kerala
- ucanews.com reporter, Kochi
- September 8, 2011
â€śPeople now celebrate Onam by consuming large amount of liquor,â€ť lamented Kerala Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Council president Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur in a statement on Tuesday.
Hindus believe that during Onam, Mahabali, a benevolent king whoÂ once ruled Kerala, visits their houses.
People from all religions celebrate Onam, in which sports and cultural activities are staged, and finishes with a lavish communal or family vegetarian meal.
However, over the years, it has provided many of the stateâ€™s 32 million people with an excuse to consume even more alcohol than they do already, according to the archbishop.
During Onam last year, Kerala sold 1.6 billion rupees (US$33.7 million) worth of liquor, a 17.6 percent increase on the previous yearâ€™s sales.
Annual liquor sales total around 700 billion rupees, almost 40 percent of the stateâ€™s total revenue.
This increase in liquor consumption is an alarming trend, Archbishop Thazhath said.
The Church wants to educate people to celebrate a â€śliquor-free Onamâ€ť to lead society from alcoholism, â€śa great social evil,â€ť he added.
The archbishop has the backing of Keralaâ€™s excise minister K. Babu.
The minister said yesterday that he wants to discourage drinking as Kerala consumes more liquor than rice.
Kerala sells only 200 billion rupees of rice annually, the minister noted.
â€śWe should learn from our past mistakes,â€ť celebrate Onam without liquor, and drink less generally, he added.
Church to oppose new liquor laws