Sunday, 25 September 2016

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, Kunkuri - second largest in Asia

the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary,english.pradesh18.com
A tribal run church in Kunkuri town, Jashpur district, Chhattisgarh state, North India
which is situated in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jashpur district is not only India’s largest in terms of seating capacity but also Asia's second largest place of Christian worship. Officially 
it is called  the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, it  can accommodate at least 8,000 worshipers at a time. It is believed that it took roughly  15 years to  complete the construction work (in 1968).  It was founded in 1962 in the period of Late Rev.Bishop Stanislas Tigga and was inaugurated on 27th October 1979. In this region the Jashpur diocese attracts the  largest  number of Catholics in Chhattisgarh state. Since Kunkuri has a large catholic community, for their convenience  in Jashpur, the bishop’s house and the cathedral are located at Kunkuri.

The area once experienced a  sharp political rift between the Christian tribal, predominantly Roman Catholics, and the non-Christian tribal,  mainly  the Hindu tribal  backed by certain communal organizations as the  conversion of Hindu tribal to Christianity became a serious issue. Conversion work, it was complained, by offering largess to the poor tribes by certain Christian organization was on the increase.  Hinduism does not believe in conversion of other faiths to it's  fold and vice versa. Unfortunately, in the last two decades or so  only certain christian organizations and also organizations of other faiths  with funds from abroad have indulged in the conversion of the tribal community whose traditions and conventions are deep-rooted. There are many tribal community who follow nature  worship. At stake are their tribal tradition in the name of modernity. rumors were afoot, such organizations were abusing the foreign funds, using conversion work as a front to gobble up money. Thus such organizations spoil the name of sincere  and dedicated missionary works done by numerous genuine groups.

The interesting fact about this  church is  its activities are taken care of and  maintained by local tribal community.  Characteristic of seven arcade in a shape of an arch and seven sacraments symbols made of angle Iron, the church  has a  beautiful shrine just in front of this cathedral building is also inviting the visitor to pray before the mother marry (Mercy of Mother).

Yet another feature is the local people belonging to other faith visit this church for prayer and blessings in the belief that Christ would help them get through their difficult period and relieve them of  various problems they face daily.  
Ref:
http://english.pradesh18.com/news/bihar/run-by-tribals-cathedral-of-our-lady-of-the-rosary-is-indias-largest-catholic-church-657283.