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» 04/18/2009 15:40
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

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope announces a 'festival of forgiveness' for 28-29 March in St Peter's Basilica and churches around the worldPope Francis made the announcement after today's Angelus. "We must celebrate the forgiveness the Lord gives us as did the father in the parable of the prodigal son, who, when the latter returned, organised a party, putting out of his mind all the things the son had done." When Jesus met the woman of Samaria, he "tore through the biased mind-set against women." The pontiff also called on the pilgrims to say, "Every encounter with Jesus changes one's life; every encounter with Jesus fills us with joy." He also sent his greetings to a Japanese school.
CHINA-VATICAN
Msgr. Fan Zhongliang's funeral attended by 5,000 priests and faithful from the official and underground Churches
by Jian MeiMsgr. Ma Daqin, who is under house arrest, was absent. In the liturgy the priests referred to him as "our Bishop Ma Daqin". During the celebration and prayers, Msgr Fan was also referred to as a "bishop", although the government prohibits the use of this term for a non recognized prelate. During the service, red vestments were used, "a sign of martyrdom". Hope for the unity of the Church in China is growing.
VATICAN - CHINA
Bishop Fan Zhongliang: Better broken jade than intact tile
by Msgr Savio Hon TaifaiThe Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples publishes a eulogy for the Bishop of Shanghai who died on March 16, on AsiaNews. A witness faithful to the Pope and the Chinese nation. As a sign of reconciliation and harmony, his funeral should be celebrated by Msgr. Ma Daqin, currently under house arrest.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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