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» 04/18/2009
BANGLADESH
Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus: we need the pope's voice of truth
by 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
03/18/2009 INDIA
Archbishop Machado: Interreligious dialogue and evangelization, a task for Christians in India
by Nirmala Carvalho
04/23/2009 JORDAN - VATICAN
Amman prepares to receive a pope for the third time
by Samar Messayeh
12/17/2008 VATICAN - ISLAM
Catholics and Muslims should increase mutual trust and educate young people to peace
02/28/2009 VIETNAM
Cardinal Pham Dinh Tung, a model for all Vietnamese
by J.B. Vu
12/09/2008 VATICAN
Pope: dignity of the person, peace, development topics for interfaith dialogue

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Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
ASIA
Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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