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Thanks on the Threes

Father Abraham and Gandhian peace work

On Saturday afternoon, November 14, ten persons from around the Diocese of Bethlehem came together at St. John's, Palmerton, to listen to Father Abraham Valiath tell the story of his very active involvement in Gandhian peace work in his home country of India. Gandhi, who based much of his thought on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, embraced the concept of ahimsa or nonviolence which, Father Abraham pointed out, is a spiritual and moral force Gandhi applied to affect social change.

Father Abraham's early work involved publishing literature opposing the actions of the government and social institutions that violated people's civil and social rights, particularly the poor. Later he affected significant land reform, arranging for poor people to finally be granted ownership of land they had been working for generations

His inspiration and effectiveness through all this has been his Christian faith and his life of active prayer. “Peace comes first from within –– in the silence and quietness –– and from developing our inner [person] by exercising that discipline everyday in everything we do,” he said. And this is not just a personal venture, but rather “peace is the responsibility of all Christian people.”

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