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  • » 12/22/2010, 00.00

    NEPAL

    “My first Christmas as a Christian”

    Kalpit Parajuli

    Bishal Shercha, born in a Hindu family, has been following catechism for the past year. This will be his first Christmas. The absence of threats from extremists is allowing Nepali Catholics to show everyone the values of Christianity. Many young people are involved in preparing Christmas celebrations in the country’s various parishes.

    Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – In Nepal, Christmas is an opportunity for Christians and non-Christians to meet the Catholic faith and pray that the country’s difficult political and economic crisis may be overcome. 

    Bishal Shercha was born in a Hindu family but for the past year he has been taking catechism lessons and this year is celebrating Christmas for the first time.

    "Earlier I was impressed with the Catholic service and I started visiting a church. Here, everyone is helpful and their love for me encouraged me to join Catholicism. Thus, I am taking regular catechumen classes,” he said.

    “Before I didn't know about Christmas but this year I have invited my family to Christmas mass and I will buy photographs of Jesus Christ to give to my wife to put on the wall of my room. I hope this Christmas will not only make me stronger in Christianity but also bring my family and my son to Catholicism,” he added.

    For Fr Robin Rai, from Assumption Cathedral, this year the atmosphere is different for Christians than in the past. They now can show the value of Christmas.

    “Despite the country’s serious economic crisis, there have been no threats from Hindu extremists this year,” he said. “Perhaps, people have come to understand and have changed their view towards the Catholic Church in Nepal.”

    The clergyman noted that Catholics have usually refrained from celebrating Christmas very ostentatiously. Instead, they have focused on their own spiritual growth as guidance to their lives.

    “Political instability and other problems that touch the heart remain external to them,” Fr Rai said.

    However, for the priest, praying for the country and the coming of Christ and his vision for the earth are important for everyone. They should help solve Nepal’s political and economic problems.

    In Nepal’s Catholic parishes, the prevailing atmosphere of calm has pushed many young Catholics to prepare decorations and Christmas carols for Midnight Mass.

    “Many young people get involved in Christmas preparations,” said Prakash Khadka, national president of International Movement of Catholic Student. In fact, many students are taking advantage of the holidays to devote time for Christmas carols and church decoration.

    “All these activities encourage us to serve God and strengthen our faith,” he explained

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    See also

    20/10/2011 NEPAL
    Nepalese Catholics grow. A challenge to the anti-conversion laws
    In 5 years the number has increased by 4 thousand. Boom in enrollments for catechism. Number of Hindus and Buddhists attending the Saturday mass equals the number of Catholics.

    25/09/2008 NEPAL
    Maoist government closing all night clubs
    Nightlife establishments will have to close by 11 pm. Home Affairs minister claims measure will help smash crime. Businesses and workers protest, go on strike.

    29/12/2010 NEPAL
    Nepal government protecting Christmas to counter economic crisis
    The initiative lets Catholics and Protestants celebrate Christmas without fear from Hindu extremists. “Christian activities that do not harm the country are welcome in Nepal,” Foreign minister says.

    27/12/2012 NEPAL
    Jesus' birth celebrated by Nepali Christians, Hindus and Buddhists
    Thousands participate in Midnight Mass in Kathmandu's cathedral, including hundreds of Hindus and Buddhists. In many villages, local authorities join public processions, provide security and musical bands.

    24/03/2006 THAILAND
    250 catechumens to be baptized at Easter

    The reasons prompting them to embrace Catholicism differ. "Being Catholic has changed my life," said one. "The teaching of the Church has taught me how to love."





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