In some states in India, churches are starting to reopen following an extended period of quarantine. AsiaNews reports that starting June 1, government officials in the city of Kolkata and in northern India have allowed for the reopening of Christian worship sites. For now, full liturgical services are still prohibited. Only personal prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament are allowed. The decision came following a decree from Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. He announced the end of the lockdown, but gave each Indian state the authority to make its own decisions for gradual reopening until June 30.
Archbishop of Kolkata, Thomas D’Souza, said the reopening of churches was a gift from the municipal government. He expressed his gratitude toward chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who he said understood people’s need for prayer and adoration.
Then the archbishop talked about the emotion of the people, who began going to the cathedral early June 1 for adoration. After 9 weeks of churches being closed, the reopenings have reawakened, in the hearts of many, a new desire to encounter Christ.