By Fr. Brendan Curran, O.P. (North American Dominican Co-Promoter of Justice, Peace and Care of Creation)
The Annual Dominican Month for Peace in 2019 is focused on India. In 2017, we showed our solidarity with Dominicans promoting the national peace accord in Colombia; and in 2018, we supported our brothers and sisters struggling for democracy and peace through credible elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now we turn to another region, India and the plight of indigenous peoples, women’s rights, and enslaved children.
As we remember the Dominican Month for peace in India in Advent . . .
Let us remember:
- Dominicans have a long history of presence in the country. The history of Indian Dominicans is almost as old as the Order. In 1291 a spirited Dominican from the Roman Province named Nicholas of Pistoia reached India and preached the gospel in Mylapore, Tamil Nadu for over a year. Today there are 159 friars, 452 sisters, 5 nuns, 143 Lay Dominicans and 109 Dominican Youth.
- India‘s 2019 population is estimated at 1.37 billion based on the most recent UN data. 1 of every 6 people on the planet live in India, and between the 2001 and 2011 censuses, the country grew by 17.7%, adding 181.5 million people.
- The people of India represent a wide diversity of people with English, Hindi and Tamil as the most popular languages. Over 75% of the population is Hindu, nearly 15% is Muslim and 2.3% is Christian. The tribal population is 8.6 % of the total population and nearly 90% live in rural areas and in oppression.
- This month we will focus on Dominicans serving children, women and tribal peoples. Link to Dominicans in India: https://dominicans.in/about-us/our-province/province-history/
Let us pray:
Today we hear from the Letter to the Romans, “Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep” (Rom 13: 11).
Let us awake during this Dominican Month of Peace for the plight of the people of India, that our voices across the world may unite us in solidarity for dignity of the women, children and tribal people of India.