Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Witch hunt killings worry Church activists
Christians in India are also involved in the disturbing murders, they say
- Ajay Kumar Singh, Bhubaneswar
- February 3, 2011
The latest case involved the killing of a brother and sister yesterday in the stateâ€™s Keonjhar district.
Kanda Hembram said he killed Sombari Chatar and her brother Utchaba Purthy because members of his family were suffering from a fever brought about by the dead womanâ€™s husband.
â€śI cannot understand this blind belief. It is so entrenched. People willingly kill their own parents, siblings and other relatives,â€ť said Divine Word Father John Baptist, who works in the area.
A Christian woman was last year hacked to death after being accused of witchcraft, he said.
Witch hunts are carried out mostly in rural and tribal areas. A person is punished, even killed, for bringing bad luck or illness to a village or family.
It is also considered as a way of grabbing land, settling scores or even punishing a woman for turning down sexual advances.
Father Manoj Nayak, who assists the social action arm of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese, voiced his concerns.
â€śThis is really worrying. We are at a loss as this belief is also held within the Christian community,â€ť he said.
Father Nichalaus Barla, a tribal activist in Sundergarh district where a large number of witchcraft cases are reported, believes poverty is one major cause.
â€śWhen resources are less, people tend to find an excuse to do away with people who stand in their way,â€ť he said.
According to some estimates, 150-200 women were accused of witchcraft and killed in India last year. Some 2,500 women have been murdered in witch hunts over the last15 years.
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