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Feast of Christ the King in Odisha

The Christians of the Kandhamal district in India have had a very difficult time. In 2008, the country was the scene of many massacres committed by fanatical Hindu extremists who carried out an “ethnic cleansing” against Christians. This resulted in 100 deaths and 56,000 people who were displaced.

These days, a moving profession of faith is taking place. About 5,000 faithful gathered to celebrate the feast of Christ the King and the foundation Jubilee of Our Lady of Charity parish in Raikia, the desert of Kandhamal. They also welcomed Archbishop John Barwa, head of the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar diocese, for a Mass of Thanksgiving. “Faith is growing, the number of Christians is increasing, vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life are flourishing in Kandhamal,” says Father Cassian Parichha, an 82-year-old retired priest and former pastor of Our Lady of Charity Church.

Currently, the parish has 1,200 Catholic families who lived the jubilee feast in celebration and prayer. They also organized a Eucharistic adoration and carried lighted candles in procession to witness to the light of Christ that gives peace to the whole country. The Hindu faithful also joined in the celebration.

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