Church of North India (CNI) hosts Archbishop of Canterbury, dedicates houses for persecuted believers

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Church of North India (CNI) hosted the Archbishop of Canterbury Most Rev Justin Welby’s trip in Kolkata earlier this year, where he was welcomed by CNI Moderator Dr Prem Chand Singh. At St Paul’s Cathedral, he visited its Friendship Centre, which reaches out to those in need from any faith or background.

The Archbishop said that the centre was an example of CNI’s commitment to those suffering from trauma and grief. “The centre offers that simple, precious and rare gift: a safe space to be listened to and prayed for,” he said. “The world needs more of these places.”

He also added that he was moved and inspired to see how the Churches of South and North India were a powerful force for good in wider society.


Last Christmas, believers from the Gadchiroli area were attacked and persecuted. Forced to abandon their houses, they went into the fields and built temporary huts for shelter. With the support of a few NGOs after a meeting with Bishop Gaikwad, Nagpur Diocese managed to build houses for them. This gesture of solidarity with these persecuted believers was part of the plan for their rehabilitation, after which Bishop visited them, prayed for them, dedicated and handed over the houses built for them.


Youths from the rural areas of Etapalli and Bhamragad Talukas of Gadchiroli district also attended a two-week exposure programme, which was organised in association with World Vision India. In the drought-prone, rural areas of Yavatmal district in Maharashtra state, the seven youths learnt from local farmers about issues such as acute water shortage, and gained awareness about caste discrimination, child marriage and malnutrition. A few days later, they attended a seminar on leadership skills and developing self-confidence at Karunya Institute at
Coimbatore, India.