KOCHI: The faithful would like to believe that a prayer can move even mountains. And Pala, the home diocese of Finance Minister K M Mani, has decided to give it a try, hoping for an increase in the price of natural rubber, the cardinal source of income in the area.
As the rubber price has taken a nosedive breaking the backbone of their economy, the faithful have decided to start a week-long prayer meet on Friday.
“We’d like to call it prayer warfare against economic depression and recession. We will pray for an increase in the rubber price and an end to the crisis. This as an opportunity to come closer to God by reforming ourselves and keeping away from sins,” Fr Kurian Mattam, one of those who will lead the prayer, told Express.
Pala Bishop Mar Joseph Kallaragatt will inaugurate the meeting at 5.30 pm at Arunapuram St Thomas Church. From Saturday, there will be 12 hours of uninterrupted prayer from 9 am with a gospel preaching at 7.15 pm.
On December 5, Auxiliary Bishop Mar Jacob Murickan will deliver the concluding address and lead the procession of the Eucharist.
Priests, nuns, and laity from various parishes of the diocese will participate in the prayer meeting. “We expect around 500 people at a time as they come in batches,” Fr Kurian added.
However, not everyone is amused. “It has many political and religious dimensions. This is a diversionary tactic to divert the people’s ire against the local chieftains who are responsible for the present crisis. The price of natural rubber will increase only with a policy change. However, these meetings will only result in creating a false consciousness. If they really want a change in the policy, they must come out with an agitation,” said CPI(ML) politburo member P J James.
The price of natural rubber had dipped almost 50 pc in the last three years from `242 in 2011 to less than `120, creating panic in the state’s rubber belt which has its nucleus in the Meenachil and Kanjirappally taluks of Kottayam district.