That His Young Church Is Like the Church of Apostolic Times
KOENIGSTEIN, Germany, JUNE 22, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Church in a diocese of the
northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh has grown 40% in the last three
and a half decades.
According to the local bishop, John Kattrukudiyil of Itangar, part
of the reason for such growth is the number of reports of supernatural
During a visit to the international headquarters of Catholic
charity Aid to the Church in Need in Koenigstein, Germany, the bishop described
the situation in his diocese saying: “Time and time again they tell me story
after story of healings that have happened in various places.
“What they tell me fills me with amazement.”
The bishop, whose region of India neighbours China, Bhutan and
Burma, added: “I have a lot of theological background in my studies and it’s
easy to become skeptical about all these kind of things, but the people are
absolutely convinced that they have received healing.”
He told of one healing incident involving a man who renounced a
past spent persecuting the Church and converted to marry a Catholic
Bishop Kattrukudiyil said: “After becoming a Catholic the man was
asked to go and pray over a paralysed man. He was unwilling but he still went
and prayed and the next day that man rose up and walked to the church.
“He was so shocked at this miraculous experience he began to go to
church and now today he is a very active member of the parish.”
He went on to describe how these experiences were deepening
people’s spiritual lives.
“This is the experience of a very young Church, experiencing the
same grace as that of the Church of Apostolic times," the bishop
reflected. “The fact that many people experienced healing by praying to Jesus
attracted many people to the Church in its early days – that and a kind of
spiritual peace that they got by belonging to the Church.”
Christian missionaries were not able to enter to work until the
1990s when strict entry permit laws were revoked. But in Arunachal Pradesh, the
faith spread through Catholic schools in neighboring Assam, who educated some
of the local students. These students sought baptism before returning to their
While in many places new Catholics faced beatings, house burnings,
the slaughter of domestic animals and expulsion from of jobs or schools,
gradually things improved, and no incidents of persecution or harassment have
been recorded in the past twenty years, ACN reported.
Bishop Kattrukudiyil said: “Today the church is not tolerated but
looked up to for her developmental works in education and health care.
“The politicians use every occasion to praise the Church for her
There are at least 20.9 million slaves in the world, according to the
International Labor Organization. This means that people are forced to
work against their will and aren't compensated for their services.
The Trafficking In Persons
report by the U.S. State Department includes a map of where forced
labor occurs. While the U.S. and Europe have more than a million slaves,
China and India have 11 million.