Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mumbai

Mar Greevarghese Coorilos.
Metropolitan of Mumbai,
President, Maharashtra council of Churches

The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church,
Orthodox Church Centre, sector 10 A,
Dr.Mar Theophilus Marg, Vashi,
Navi Mumbai-400 703, India,
28/11/2008.

Dearly beloved in Christ,

All of us are aware of the gruesome happenings in Mumbai. While the identity
and motives of the perpetrators remain unclear, human lives are lost,
innocents are being injured and everybody is shocked.

This is a time when we the members of the Church should condemn acts of
violence in the name of ideology and religion. We the church should unite in
payer and for lives lost, injured and the families broken due to this
heinous act.

While remaining united in payer, it is also our responsibility to spread the
message of love, truth and peace as our Lord Jesus Christ has instructed us
to do. The Church is the living embodiment of Christ and hence cannot be
immune to the happenings around us. The Church and its members, especially
the priests are to be instruments of change in our society. The Church
cannot be mere spectators when human lives are being targeted in such brutal
fashion; we condemn these acts in the strongest manner possible.

We the citizens of India should be instrumental in maintaining the
harmonious religious and social fabric that is the tradition of this great
country of ours. The priest community should be more actively involved in
developing the social conscience of our Church. It is the prime duty of our
clergy to sensitize and organize people to raise their voice against acts of
cowardice from extremist groups who always look to targeting innocent lives.

We are also grieved in losing one of our young church members, Mr. Varghese
Thomas from St. Mary's Orthodox Church, Dadar, in this attack. He was the
Supervisor of Food and Beverages at Hotel Taj, which was the venue of the
attack. We offer condolences to the family and pray that his soul finds
solace in the bosom of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Once again, we exhort all our priests and Church members to unite in prayer
for the lives that are lost and to bring comfort and solace to the people
who are in grief. The Church also expresses its deep solidarity with the
victims of violence not only in Mumbai but also around the world.

Kindly arrange special prayer session during the Holy Liturgy and prayer
meetings.

Your Shepherd in Christ,

Geevarghese Mar Coorilos

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