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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

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

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