We, the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Coordinators of the SVD ASPAC Zone met in South Asia from September 3 – 9, 2017. We shared our activities, concerns, challenges and hopes that we experienced in the past 4 years. Our commitments vary, such as migrants and refugees, human trafficking, indigenous, environment, disaster relief, poverty, HIV/AIDS, land grabbing and other issues.
Kenya goes to the polls on 8 August 2017. The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited their faithful and all people of good will, to join in praying for the country. After the 2007 general election, Kenya experienced its worst politically triggered ethnic violence since independence. The violence was caused by a dispute between the two main presidential candidates Raila Odinga and the former President Mwai Kibaki, who was defending his seat on a Party of National Unity ticket.
Arnoldians’ Meet 2017 of the Divine Word Missionaries in India, Mumbai (INM) was held at Divine Word Seminary, Pune from 20th to 22nd of April 2017, which was organised by the province Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) committee. The Meet was inaugurated by Fr. Tony Menezes SVD, Director, Ishwani Kendra, on 20th April in Britto hall at 9.30 am. This year too, the theme of the Arnoldians’ Meet was ‘Celebrating Plurality’. There were thirty nine children from four schools and three social centres/missions of SVD INM province who participated in the meet apart from teachers/staff.
On the second anniversary of the encyclical letter “Laudato si’ of Pope Francis on care for our common home, the new leaders of the Provinces, Regions and Missions of the Divine Word Missionaries, gathered in Nemi (Rome), show once more support for the message of the Holy Father expressed in the Encyclical letter. Likewise, they commit themselves to promote the invitation expressed in the encyclical in their respective countries and work together in building our common home.
The Catholic community have been in existence, in the region of Chita, from the early nineteenth century. This community was predominantly Polish by origin and the members of this community worked in the Nerchinsk mining plants since 1939. In 1859, after the departure of the exiles from the Nerchinsk Factory, there were only seven Catholics in this area, so the priest suggested that, "it would be useful to build a Catholic Church in one of the cities where there are most Catholics". In Chita, Kyahte or Verkhneudinsk there were about eighty Catholics. In 1861 the decision was made to build a Catholic Church in the city of Chita. By mid-1878 the Church was finally built, and on September 10, 1878, it was consecrated under the patronage of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.
This year, Madagascar experienced drought which retarded cultivation of food crops and planting in general. The fear is that the country may experience famine in the long run. According to the analyses made, we believe that, this might have been caused by the global climate change which is being caused by the behavior of man vis-à-vis creation. Normally, the rains set in, in late November. Nevertheless, they arrived in March. Very soon, the winter season will begin and many crops will not survive if no divine miracle is performed.
One of the major Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) activities in Zambia Mission is about Integrity of Creation. Apart from tree plantation project, Zambia Mission implements “energy saving” project. In Zambia, it is normal that people cut trees, burn it to make charcoal, put them into sacks and bring them to market to sell.
Sometimes people are so convinced that animals are more important than their fellow human beings. Some intentionally and convincingly turn to treat the latter with no love and respect whatsoever. In addition, they do not respect their human dignity. In some religions of the world, adepts will injure and kill their fellow human being should he or she kill or treat their totem accidentally or in self-defense. An example is the Hindu Religion, where cows are highly defended and treated as lesser gods.
International Day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking.