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  • » 04/18/2009, 00.00

    BANGLADESH

    Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus: we need the pope's voice of truth

    William Gomes

    On the occasion of Benedict XVI's birthday, representatives of various religions in Bangladesh pledge their prayers "for his life and ministry." The venerable Dhirbangsha Bikkhu, a Buddhist monk: "we want to see the pope in our midst, his presence will bring peace and happiness to the nation."

    Dhaka (AsiaNews) - "We want to see the pope in our midst, we will be blessed to see him in Bangladesh, his presence will bring peace and happiness to the nation, I wish and pray his long life.” This is the wish that the venerable Dhirbangsha Bikkhu, a Buddhist monk of the international monastery in Dhaka, has sent to Benedict XVI on the occasion of his 82nd birthday.

    In Europe, the direct attacks on the pope continue, not least among them the official protest presented to the Holy See by the Belgian parliament, because of "the unacceptable stance taken by the pope on the occasion of his trip to Africa." But the messages coming from Bangladesh, which has an overwhelming Muslim majority population (more than 88% of the 144 million inhabitants), instead express respect and closeness to the pope.

    The venerable Dhirbangsha Bikkhu tells AsiaNews that "Benedict XVI is the father of peace, he works for peace and a religion of peace." Together with the wishes from the Buddhist monk, there are others from Muslims like Ubaidur Rahman Khan Nadwi, assistant editor of the newspaper Daily Inqilab: "We appreciate his firm work for interreligious peace and harmony. We especially appreciate his deep concern over states declaring war, propagating evil policies and oppressing the Muslims. We need his voice of truth and peace. We pray for his long life."

    Among the Hindus as well, there is no lack of those who have taken Benedict XVI's birthday as an opportunity to express their closeness to him. B K Sreekanto of the Brahma Kumari Institute in Daka recalls that "the pope is holy, and wherever he will go in the world he will bring success. He works for the well-being of the people. We pray for his long life and ministry."

    In addition to the various religions of Bangladesh, birthday greetings have also been expressed by a small Catholic community in the country, 1.1% of the population. Msgr. Kurian Matthew Vayalunkal of the Holy See embassy in Bangladesh explains that the faithful are preparing to celebrate the anniversary of Benedict XVI's election, which will be commemorated in the whole country on Sunday, May 19.

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    See also

    18/03/2009 INDIA
    Archbishop Machado: Interreligious dialogue and evangelization, a task for Christians in India
    Speaking to 650 bishops and priests of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, the archbishop of Nasik asserts: "God can never become a negotiable item." India's pluralist society offers Christians a great opportunity for enrichment.

    23/04/2009 JORDAN - VATICAN
    Amman prepares to receive a pope for the third time
    In the first Arab country to be visited by Benedict XVI, newspaper articles, a book, websites dedicated to the papal pilgrimage. Expectations of expressions of support for the presence of Christians, the peace process, and the opening of new paths of interreligious dialogue.

    17/12/2008 VATICAN - ISLAM
    Catholics and Muslims should increase mutual trust and educate young people to peace
    Conclusion of a meeting at the Vatican with the World Islamic Call Society. Preventing possible crises from degenerating into interreligious dialogue. The encouragement of Benedict XVI.

    28/02/2009 VIETNAM
    Cardinal Pham Dinh Tung, a model for all Vietnamese
    At least 30,000 people from all over Vietnam and from abroad attended his funeral. Many montagnards arrived the day before, sleeping in the open air or in makeshift shelters, to say goodbye to the man they call "our father" and "the pillar of Vietnam."

    18/01/2008 VATICAN - HOLY LAND
    Pope: May dialogue triumph in the Holy Land, and may there be true religious freedom everywhere
    Receiving the bishops of the CELRA, Benedict XVI highlights his closeness to the Christians of the land where Jesus lived, and asks for support for those who decide to remain there. Their coexistence with Jews and Muslims could foster mutual understanding, "necessary to encourage ever greater respect for human dignity, the equality of rights and duties of persons and a renewed attention to the needs of all".



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