The Archdiocese of Delhi will launch a prayer and fast campaign for India and its leaders as the country gets closer to general elections.  A letter from His Grace Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi addressed to all parish priests and religious institutions in the archdiocese asking the faithful to observe prayer and fasting for the nation since the days of elections are nearing. The letter dated May 8 is to be read during Masses throughout the archdiocese on Sunday, May 13.

As reported by, the letter read, “We are witnessing a turbulent political atmosphere which poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in our Constitution and the secular fabric of our nation. Praying for the country and its political leaders all the time has been a “hallowed practice” of the archdiocese. It is all the more necessary “when we approach the General Elections.” Further, the Archbishop appealed “As we look forward towards 2019 when we will have a new government let us begin a prayer campaign for our country from May 13, the anniversary of the Apparition of the Blessed Mother.”

The campaign comprises observing a day fast and conducting an hour of adoration on every Friday for a year. The letter urges the faithful to forgo one meal on Fridays and offer penance and sacrifices for “our spiritual renewal and that of our nation.” The archbishop has also prepared a prayer for the nation to be recited during the adoration. The prayer also seeks a livelihood for the poor and empowerment of Dalit, tribal and marginalized communities to enter mainstream nation building. The current coalition government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party will complete its five-year term in May 2019.