[Anglican Communion News Service] The Diocese of Madurai-Ramnad in the Church of South India (CSI) has opened a new peace centre in Mandapasalai, on the border of the “ever sensitive” Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram districts. The diocese says that they are working for peace and reconciliation at a time when “the media, both print and visual media, sensationalises the news of conflict everywhere fanning further divisions among groups, communities and peoples.”
From the new centre, the diocese will run “an all-important and unique initiative of Peace” that covers 60 villages in the areas served by the eight pastorates in Mandapasalai and its neighbourhood – an area within a radius of 25 kilometers.
“The program will seek to understand the context of conflict and peace in the area of operation,” the CSI said in a statement. The new scheme will work with the Partners in Peace with Justice Program and provide training for those who want to “work together as citizens of one country.”
The Peace Centre was opened this week by the Bishop of Madurai-Ramnad, Dr Marialouis Joseph, and other diocesan officials. Afterwards, a number of community leaders from Mandapasalai attended a public meeting at which Bishop Joseph emphasised “the need of the hour for people of all communities to work together in peace and harmony.”
The centre has been opened to create “an increased consciousness on the need to focus on peace with justice rather than on conflict, violence and terror planted and constructed by external forces with vested interests,” the CSI said.