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Malaysian archdiocese raises money for pandemic-hit India

Bishops hope to send aid to the Covid-ravaged country by the end of May

UCA News reporter, Kuala Lumpur

UCA News reporter, Kuala Lumpur

Published: May 17, 2021 08:17 AM GMT

Updated: May 17, 2021 11:20 AM GMT

Malaysian archdiocese raises money for pandemic-hit India

Archbishop Simon Poh of Kuching Archdiocese in Malaysia has appealed to Catholics to help India battle the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo: Today’s Catholic)

Kuching Archdiocese in Malaysia has launched a fundraising campaign to help pandemic-hit India.

Archbishop Simon Poh of Kuching has urged Catholics in Sarawak state and other parts of Malaysia to donate money and pray for people in India where millions are struggling to survive as thousands die each day because of the Covid-19 catastrophe.

The prelate made the appeal during a livestreamed Sunday Mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral on May 16 and said collections will continue until May 22, reported Today’s Catholic, the official publication of Kuching Archdiocese.

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“We can make a difference for others, beginning from where we are,” Archbishop Poh said, adding that although we may be struggling financially, “there are many others who may be struggling much more than us.”

“What I believe is that while we may not have the resources to solve their problems, we believe that when we give in love and in faith out of our poverty, out of what we have, this will make a difference for those people that we are able to assist. It makes a difference for those people,” he said.

Anyone wishing to contribute can do so through the SarawakPay e-wallet or bank transfer to Kuching Archdiocese.

The unprecedented outbreak has overstretched the country’s healthcare system, which has an acute shortage of beds, oxygen and medical staff

The donation drive is in response to an appeal from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia (CBCM) to help India. The CBCM aims to send all donations to India by the end of May.

The deadly second wave of the pandemic caught India off guard. For nearly one month, the country has been recording more than 300,000 daily infections on average and in recent weeks about 4,000 deaths every day.

The unprecedented outbreak has overstretched the country’s healthcare system, which has an acute shortage of beds, oxygen and medical staff.

Crematoriums and funeral grounds are being overwhelmed by the number of bodies of Covid-19 victims. As the cost of funerals shot up, people in poor areas in various states including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have reportedly thrown bodies into the River Ganges, considered a sacred and holy river by Hindus.

At least 120 Catholic priests have died from the pandemic in the space of a month, or an average of four each day, in a country where priestly vocations are on the decline.

The nation of more than 1.3 billion has registered 24.7 million cases including some four million active cases and 270,000 deaths from Covid-19.

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