Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace of the Rajshahi in Bangladesh celebrated international prayer and awareness day in partnership with the Talitha Kum International Network to offer pastoral care to victims of human trafficking.
On February 8, 2022, Catholic priests, nuns, and Church leaders in the diocese joined together in the observance of the International Day of prayer and awareness against Human Trafficking at Christo Jyoti Pastoral Centre, Rajshahi, which focused not only on prayers but on building awareness about the major issue.
At the beginning of the event, prayers were organized by the Justice and Peace Commission for the trafficked men, women and children of the world.
Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi Diocese said, "This is our Christian responsibility to all the faithful to take a prophetic role and reflect on the scripture and the words of Pope Francis who called for the protection and the promotion of the rights of victims of human trafficking."
"In this present world we see, our human dignity is violated by human trafficking and our prayers are needed for the welfare of the victims are essential," the prelate said.
The issue of human trafficking in today's world comes to the fore in the light of the first life of St. Josephine Bakhita who was a young Sudanese girl into slavery and trafficked.
Father Liton Hubert Gomes, CSC, executive secretary of the justice and peace commission, told RVA News.
"As a Catholic church, we have almost reached to 1000 faith leaders, youth-students and women; besides that, Caritas reached out to 3000. We need to continue women empowerment like livelihood projects, education to all marginalized, CORR (the jute works initiatives), natural family planning, nursing education and trade education. Also just economy, credit union, livelihood farming. We need to create more awareness against human trafficking," Father Gomes said.
Dipok Ekka, the Secretary of Justice and Peace Commission in Rajshahi diocese and Caritas Rajshahi official, shared on human trafficking in the context of Bangladesh.
During the occasion, Bishop Gervas Rozario strongly encouraged the nuns to start a 'Talitha Kum International Network' movement in the diocese of Rajshahi.
The two nuns represented in this program are from educational institutions.
"The issues we discussed are very important awareness in the prevention of human trafficking, and assured to create the same awareness among the students in the educational institution,” one nun said.
The event was attended by Bishop Gervas Rozario, The Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the bishops' conference of Bangladesh, Msgr. Marcellus Philip Topno, Father Sagor Corraya, convener of the Justice and Peace Commission of diocese of Rajshahi, Priests, Nuns, teachers and Christian Church leaders from Rajshahi city-centric Church.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.