Doha (AsiaNews/Agencies) –The Christian community of Qatar is celebrating the opening of a new Church. The ceremony of consecration took place June 11th last and was presided over by Metropolitan Joseph Mar Thoma, leader of the Marthoma church. Vice Metropolitan Zacharias Mar Theophilos, five pastors and more than one thousand faithful also took part in the ceremony.
The place of worship is the latest addition to the Inter-Denominational Church Complex, (Idcc) in Mesaimeer, in the southern suburbs of Doha. Marthoma Church belongs to a Christian Protestant denomination, based in Kerala, India, and in communion with the Anglican and Independent Syro-Malabar Churches. 2500 faithful attended the ceremony.
Thanking the Qatari authorities for having “concede the space” for the place of worship, metropolitan Joseph Mar Thoma noted that the Arab emirate is the “is the fifth country in the Gulf to have this community’s church, after Kuwait, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman and the UAE”. He also invited the faithful to “to remember the contributions and sacrifices of those who worked hard to make the worship place a reality”.
On May 22 a Syro-Malabar Church was consecrated in Doha. The inauguration of St Thomas’ Church was attended by Card. Varkey Vithayathil and Msgr. Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Arabia, who is based in Abu Dhabi, capital of ten United Arab Emirates and who has jurisdiction over all resident Catholics in the Arabian peninsula.
The 32nd Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) opened yesterday in Bangalore. Some 180 bishops from the country’s three Catholic rites are meeting to discuss ‘The Response of the Church in India to Present Day Challenges’. CBCI President Card Baselios Cleemis noted that most Hindus are secular. Mgr Mepamparampil agrees, “but there is certainly an aggressive minority among them” who want to obtain “dominant positions in the country.” Hence, “We should invite a vigorous debate among intellectuals about the danger of surrendering the future of the country to the aggressive elements in society.”
The Syro-Malabar Synod of Bishops issued a note for the clergy, saying that yoga is beneficial for the body and the mind, but should not to be confused with spirituality. The practice is compulsory in Indian schools, but is often used to promote “a Hindu lifestyle."