The YWCA of India in Solidarity with the Palestinian Cause
The YWCA of India took part in a candle light vigil that was held on April 17th, 2011, in New Delhi, India, in support and solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for peace and justice. The gathering, where participants lit candles and wore peace dove badges, was organised jointly by the India Solidarity Ecumenical Network (ISEN) and Kairos Palestine. Also participating in the ceremony were members and friends of various churches and faith-based organisations, and His Excellency Adli Sadeq, the Ambassador of the State of Palestine.
The vigil began with an opening prayer by the Archbishop of Delhi, Archbishop Vincent Concessa, who called on all people to pray for sustained peace and reconciliation, especially during Holy Week when Christians are called to reflect on the message of sacrifice, love, faith and hope. Leila Passah, General Secretary of the YWCA of India, spoke on the response from Indian churches and ecumenical movements that support the Palestinian cause. She shared with the participants how ecumenical movements and churches have been involved in initiating advocacy and action programmes where concerned citizens and peace activists from all over the world can participate in the ecumenical accompaniment programme, the pilgrimage visits designed for people to have an encounter with the local Palestinian communities, the YMCA-YWCA Olive Tree Campaign, the world week of peace, and how they can continue to create awareness and sensitise people on the current situation in Palestine.
The participants also heard a speech from Reverend Dr. Dominic Emmanuel, a social activist, and His Excellency Adli Sadeq, the Ambassador of the State of Palestine. Rev. Dr. Dominic shared heroic stories of people who gave their lives for the Palestinian cause, and said that "work in such areas often calls for courage and uncompromising positions." Based on his own personal work experiences in Palestine, he called for peace to prevail, and said that "there can be no peace without justice." His Excellency Adli Sadeq, on his part, said that he was "very encouraged and grateful that ISEN has initiated a concrete process of solidarity." He also commended on the work of the Christian leadership in the region who have fought for an end to the occupation and strive for an independent and secular State of Palestine.
The moving ceremony was closed with a prayer for action, a vote of thanks and a closing song in Hindi – “Hum honge kaamiyaab,” which translates into “We shall overcome!”