Christian Leaders Urge Interfaith Counseling Mechanism for Seafarers

November 14, 2005

Source: New Kerala News

Wire Service: IANS

On November 14, 2005 the Indo-Asian News Service reported, "Two prominent Christian leaders Monday called for an 'interfaith counselling mechanism' to be set up for the mental and moral welfare of seafarers. A.M. Chinnappa, archbishop of the archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore and Joshua Mar Ignatius, auxillary bishop of Trivandrum, were addressing the four-day International Committee for Seafarers' Welfare meet and seminar which began here Monday. India contributes 40,000 officers and 70,000 ratings to the shipping industry worldwide. The church has placed chaplains to counsel seafarers at 12 ports in India and one port each in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 'However, it is not only Indian seafarers who need someone to talk to after months at sea,' pointed out Ignatius. Every seafarer who touches a port in this region needed some access to the outside world, he said. 'The seafarers who touch the ports in this region are not necessarily Christians. They are Hindus, Muslims, Jews and can be of any other faith,' Chinnappa said."