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Kerala church calls for ‘cyber fast’

T K Devasia
Filed on March 3, 2015

The church head has urged the faithful to shut all communication devices on that day as part of the Lent that Christians observe prior to Easter.

Trivandrum  -The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, one of the oldest churches in the Christendom, has called for a cyber fast on Good Friday that commemorates crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

The church head has urged the faithful to shut all communication devices on that day as part of the Lent that Christians observe prior to Easter, replicating Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and most sorts of festivities, including marriages.

Christians in most parts of the world, including India, observe Lent for 50 days prior to celebration of Easter as a mark of penance, repentance, and self-denial. The faithful normally observe Lent by skipping non-vegetarian food, alcohol and other luxuries.

The church headquartered in Kerala has incorporated the communication tools among the Lent sacrifices as people have become addicted to them, said E C Elias, a church spokesman. They include television, computer, Internet, mobile phone, and social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and LinkedIn for a day and turn themselves to God.

Elias said that it was intended to create awareness among the people about the dangers lurking in the cyber world. He said that the church had also launched a programme to protect its members from the negative influence of the media, especially the social networking sites.

Under the year-long programme called ‘Nervazhi’, (right path), the message will be spread through family meets and seminars in all 1600 parishes the Church has in Kerala and outside. Fifty resource persons will be selected from each of the 30 dioceses and trained to carry forward the programme.

The spokesman said that the church had no intention to extend the cyber fast beyond Good Friday as the modern communication tools have lot of positive uses. In fact, the church has been making use of mobile and social networking sites for spreading its spiritual and social services.


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