Two Indian nuns of Mother Teresa vow to stay with Ukrainians

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Two Missionaries of Charity, from the northeast Indian state of Mizoram, say they have decided to continue serving the suffering Ukrainian people despite the danger.

March 06, 2022

Missionaries of Charity Sisters Rosela Nuthangi (L) and Ann Frida.

Two Missionaries of Charity (MC) from India, nuns of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, have decided to stay in Ukraine to serve the people amid the large-scale military invasion by Russia which began on February 24.

Hailing from Mizoram state in northeastern India, sisters Rosela Nuthangi and Ann Frida expressed their decision to stay in Ukraine, risking their lives to serve the wounded and those fleeing war.

The Superior General of the MC of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Sister Prema, contacted the two nuns on March 2, asking them to move to a safer place by road. But the two preferred to stay where they are to help people in any way they can. The sisters informed their loved ones of their safety despite the great danger.

Mizo Missionaries Charity
Mizoram takes its name from the indigenous Mizo inhabitants of the region who speak the Mizo language as their main dialect. Mizoram’s estimated population of just over one million is 87% Christian, consisting mainly of Protestants and several other Christian groups.

Sister Rosela Nuthangi is the second MC sister among the Mizo people. She made her first religious profession in 1984 and was sent to the former Soviet Union (USSR) as a missionary. She worked in Moscow for 10 years.

Having mastered the Russian language, she also worked in Latvia and Estonia. She moved to Ukraine in 2017 where she is a missionary.

Sister Ann Frida is from Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram. She made her first religious profession in 1998. After working in India for a few years, she was sent to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and has been serving there for 10 years.

Models of missionary spirit
“I am proud of them,” said Bishop John Moolachira, president of the North Eastern Regional Council of Bishops (NERBC), expressing his admiration for the two missionaries. “I am not surprised that two Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity nuns working in war-torn Ukraine are not leaving the country despite the great danger to their lives and the interest of the Indian government to evacuate all its citizens. .”

Noting that the two nuns are just a small example of what the Church truly stands for, he said, “Each consecrated person cares more for the life and comfort of his fellow men than for his own.” “They would consider it cowardly and unworthy of their noble calling to flee when those in their care need their help, prayers and support the most.”

Father Robert Faustin, a Salesian priest from Mizoram, said the anxious relatives of these two Mizo nuns have been in constant contact with them for the past few days. “We hope for the safety of these two heroic nuns and also pray that peace and normality will return to Ukraine, Russia and the rest of the world,” Fr Faustin said.

Discrimination against third country nationals
According to the BBC, some 76,000 foreign students study in Ukraine, with Indians alone numbering more than 20,000. Others come from Africa, with the largest numbers coming from Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt. They are among thousands of Ukrainians and third-country nationals scrambling to flee the beleaguered country mainly through Poland to the west from where they will return home.

The United Nations has strongly denounced the reported cases of discrimination and racism faced mainly by non-Europeans, as they attempt to flee and cross borders.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, reacted to the reports by saying: “At this critical stage, there can be no discrimination against any person or group”, Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians, Europeans and non-Europeans, all of whom are now forced to escape the violence.

The head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was also alarmed by credible and verified reports of discrimination, violence and xenophobia against third-country nationals.

“Let’s be clear, discrimination based on race, ethnicity, nationality or migration status is unacceptable,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino. He stressed that neighboring countries must allow all people fleeing Ukraine access to their territory, while assistance and protection must be provided in a non-discriminatory and culturally appropriate manner.


The opening of Mizoram to refugees from Myanmar
Meanwhile, Mizoram state, which is wedged between Myanmar to the east and south and Bangladesh to the west, is providing shelter for Myanmar refugees fleeing the military junta following its coup in February 2, 2021.

Mizoram’s chief minister said on Tuesday that more than 24,200 refugees from across the border with Myanmar were being hosted in the state. They receive food, shelter and other forms of assistance for humanitarian reasons from the state government, NGOs, churches, student associations and village authorities. He said the state government was making efforts to ensure that the displaced people do not have any problems. (Source: contributions from Miao Diocese)/Vatican News

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