Power of the WORD Translated into Action

Indian Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati, a special invitee to the Synod of Bishops 2008 on the WORD OF GOD presenting the report on Asia, said that while Christianity was born on the continent, its declaration as the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century identified it so closely with the West that most Asians resisted its message. When Asians are drawn to Christianity, he said, they are attracted less by preaching than by the “‘word’ translated into action.” Offering health care and education, helping the unemployed and the oppressed, caring for people with AIDS or drug addictions, fighting the caste system and discrimination against women, Catholics have shown Asians the true meaning of the Gospel, the archbishop said. “Even where the Gospel is resisted most, the evangelical witness of socially relevant works finds welcome,” he said. “Silent but sincere service has an eloquence of its own.”

The Salesian archbishop referring directly to fundamentalist Hindu attacks on Christians in India recently, as well as other situations of pressure or outright persecution, Bishop Menamparampil said, “the patience manifested by the community, the restraint shown, the moderation in response, the spirit of forgiveness — all these have an evangelizing power.”

 

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