Relief for Kerala Flooding
Kerala, also known as "God's own country" has been brought to its knees by the worst floods in close to a century. A resurgent monsoon has submerged cities and villages in flood waters as the circle of destruction continues to widen.
The death toll in Kerala has climbed to close to 70 as the state will continue to be battered by heavy rains for some more days, which will further worsen the situation. For the first time in history, the state has opened 35 of its 39 dams. Meanwhile, operations at the Cochin International Airport have been suspended till 2 pm on Saturday due to flooding in and around the airport. A red alert has been issued in all the 14 districts of the state.
As the sight of the floods have people grimacing, His Holiness the Catholicos of the East has issued an edict seeking the prayerful and generous support of all people for the support efforts. Our Diocesan Metropolitan, His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos also echoed the the call of His Holiness but issuing a memo to the clergy and faithful of the Diocese from Kerala:
"As each of you are well aware, Kerala is undergoing a severe flood crisis. There are no words to describe the chaos and destruction the flooding, and also mudslides have been causing. Already, close to 70 lives have been lost.
Our people in Kerala are in need of our prayerful assistance. We must continue to uphold them in our prayers, especially those who are providing relief efforts. Kerala is not a foreign land to us. This is the land of our ancestors, our grandparents, parents, the very land which raised us in the Orthodox Christian faith. It is important that we offer our unceasing prayers for our brothers and sisters during this calamity.
His Holiness has issued a Kalpana (click here to read) directing all parishes in the Malankara Church to offer our generous support in relief efforts. We direct all parishes to adhere to the heartfelt request of our Bava Thirumeni. All donations are to be sent directly to the Diocesan Chancery at the earliest.
This collected amount from all parishes of our Diocese, will be handed over to His Holiness the Catholicos of the East on Saturday, August 25th. This will ensure our collective efforts can be used for the relief efforts coordinated by the Malankara Church as soon as possible."
Kerala is considered to be the cradle of Orthodox Christianity in India, and the very land where Saint Thomas the Apostle evangelized. It is reported some monasteries and parishes have also been affected by the massive floods. The Church seeks to offer its full support in ensuring all people are safe and accounted for.
May the Lord God preserve and save our home state of Kerala, India!
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