Peaceful stir for release of priest

Peaceful stir for release of priest
Catholic community during the peaceful demonstration held at Kohima, head post office on November 17.
DIMAPUR | Publish Date: 11/17/2020 1:03:32 PM IST

A peaceful demonstration to protest the false implication and jailing of the 83-year old social activist and Jesuit priest Rev Fr Stan Swamy SJ was held near the Kohima head post office, Kohima on November 17.

A press release by Loyola Schook Jakhama, Joseph Coelho SJ stated that, president of Catholic Association of Nagaland (CAN) Johny Ruangmei spoke on Fr Stan Swamy’s contribution to the tribals in Jharkhand and his selfless work to win them their basic rights. He said that Fr Stan has dedicated decades fighting for Adivasi rights and the government was harassing him with false cases just to derail his work and keep the tribals subjugated and oppressed.

President of Angami Catholic Union (ACU) Lhousarovi Paul Rino highlighted the yeoman work done by Christian missionaries especially for the marginalized and downtrodden, one of the most well-known person being Mother Teresa. He also elaborated on the educational, medical, cultural and linguistic works of the Christian missionaries in India and the contribution of Christians to the economic progress of the country. He further spoke on the price many missionaries have to pay, where Fr Stan Swamy was one such person jailed simply because he worked for a just society. 

He made a public appeal to the state government of Nagaland, one of the few Christian states in India, to put pressure on the central government to get Fr Stan Swamy released immediately. President of the Catholic Union of Christ King Parish, Kohima, Keneingu Albert Rutsa spoke on the need to continue working for justice and truth while also praying for the persecutors. 

Earlier, demonstration began with a prayer by Rev Fr Richard Fernandes, parish priest of St Francis de Sales Parish, Kohima, and scripture by Mr Neizosie-o Jude Rhutsu, president of Southern Angami Catholic Youth Association.  Rev Fr Victor D’Mello SJ, parish priest of Mary Help of Christians Parish, Jakhama the speakers, the public administration for providing the required permissions, the police, other public organizations, and all well-wishers.

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