Catholic Clergyman Cautions against Retaliation amid Alleged Xenophobic Attacks on Africans In China
Paynesville – In the wake of alleged xenophobic attacks meted against Africans living in China, the head of the St. Kizito Catholic Church, Father Ambrose Kroma has advised against any forms of retaliatory actions by Africans.
In recent weeks, there have been reports of xenophobic attacks against Africans in the People’s Republic of China in the wake of a so-called second wave of the Coronavirus outbreak emanating from infections outside of China.
Unpleasant videos depicting violent attacks against Africans in the streets and other places, with some claiming of being evicted from their dwelling places by Chinese landlords, as well as hotels have flooded the internet in recent weeks.
While the authorities in China have denied these incidents, there have been documented accounts of some forms of maltreatment meted against the African community in Guangzhou, Southern China.
“In the spirit of Easter that calls on us to truly forgive and renew our broken fences, I say to each of us, this is not the time to point fingers. This is not the time for accusations. This is not the time for retaliation.”– Father Ambrose Kroma, Head of St. Kizito Catholic Church
However, in one of his Homilies recently, Father Kroma, while calling on authorities of both countries to ensure the safety of everyone, cautioned against any form of retaliation.
He said our attitude should be based on the life of Jesus Christ who, despite the suffering meted out against him, was able to forgive and help his followers and early Christians to mend their broken fences.
Speaking further, the clergyman called on the world to “unite and defeat the coronavirus that is ravaging the world and changing our way of life.”
“In the spirit of Easter that calls on us to truly forgive and renew our broken fences, I say to each of us that this is not the time to point fingers. This is not the time for accusation and this is not the time for retaliation,” he urged.
“Rather, let us all as an Easter people, from North to South, East to West, unite in this great chain of prayer, believing in ourselves, beseeching the Throne of Grace, beseeching the Throne of Mercy, asking God to intervene and put an end to this Coronavirus that is ravaging our world.”
The threat of COVID-19 has disrupted almost every aspect of daily life globally, changing how people work, exercise, celebrate birthdays, conduct funerals, marriages and even practice their faith.
COVID-19 has also impacted religion in various ways, including the cancellation of the worship services of various faiths, the closure of Sunday schools, as well as the cancellation of pilgrimages surrounding observances and festivals.
Many churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples have offered worship through live stream amidst the pandemic.
Since the ban on mass gathering in Liberia, the St. Kizito Catholic Church, one of the largest parishes of the Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia has effectively used social media, especially Facebook to conduct services and to connect with its members.
Father Kroma, delivering his Sermon during the third Sunday of Easter, live from the pulpit in an empty Church said this is not the time for recriminations, but the time to unite as one people and fight the virus that has brought the world to its knees and changing the way of life.
“In the spirit of Easter that calls on us to truly forgive, and renew our broken fences, I say to each of us, this is not the time to point fingers. This is not the time for accusations. This is not the time for retaliation.”
He continued: “Rather, let us all as Easter people from North to South, East to West, let us all unite in this great chain of prayer, humbling ourselves, beseeching the throne of grace, beseeching the throne of mercy, asking God to intervene, and put an end to this coronavirus, that is ravaging our world, to put an end to this scourge that has brought our world to its knees, to put an end to this scourge that is changing our very way of life. Yet, to err is human but to forgive is divine.”
Father Kromah added that no matter the difficulty the world is facing due to the pandemic, we should pray for God’s grace that whatever “our pain may be, God in his mercy will wipe away our tears. Whatever our struggles may be, God in his mercy will give us the strength to persevere.”
He added, “Whatever difficulty we encounter, be it the economic meltdown of this current virus that is ravaging our world, may we find the grace and the strength to persevere. May God in his mercy give us that deeper faith, that deeper courage and that deeper love to always forgive and to mend our broken fences.”