Catholic churches in southern India have decided to cancel their Christmas celebrations and instead focus their efforts on aiding victims of severe flooding.
According to Christian Today, churches in Tamil Nadu are using the funds that would have gone toward their Christmas celebrations to help those who have been affected by the region’s worst flooding in over a century.
More than 270 people are reported to have been killed and thousands more left homeless by the torrential rains and subsequent flooding. On December 1, 12 inches of rain fell on Tamil Nadu and it is now under eight feet of water.
While government officials in India are attributing the flooding to climate change, churches are responding to the need for aid.
The Catholic Church in Chennai has cancelled its Christmas festivities and is calling on churches nationwide to do the same.
Cardinal Baselios mar Cleemis, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, stated: "The need of the hour calls us to express solidarity with the flood affected suffering families and communities and to contribute our mite for their relief and rehabilitation."
The conditions in Chennai are severe since the flooding has submerged the airport, so it is difficult for aid to reach the flood victims.
“Normally, this is the time for carols. But this year, all our parishes are busy with relief work. The suffering of the people is immense," Father S J Antonysamy, vicar general of Madras (Chennai) said.
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Publication date: December 10, 2015