10/31/2013, 00.00
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Bangladesh Catholic Church launches its first online weekly

by Sumon Corraya
Pratibeshi is the digital version of the first Catholic paper in Bengali (Bangla). The initiative is designed to spread the Gospel message and the Church's teachings via new media.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - The Christian Communication Centre in cooperation with Catholic Bishops Conference of Bangladesh has just opened its first online paper. Launched on 27 October the website is named Pratibeshi (Neighbours), after the oldest Bengali language Catholic weekly. Founded in 1940, the paper is currently distributed in 30 countries.

For Pratibeshi editor Fr Joyanto Gomes, the online edition "allows many users to read our news even on the internet." In fact, "As the world changes, we must upgrade," he explained. Hence, "We are going down this path to have a direct contact with our readers."

The magazine's new version will publish news about the Catholic Church, but also foreign news as well as articles on cultural topics important for the Church of Bangladesh.

Pratibeshi's main goal is threefold: to present and promote Christ's message and the Church's teachings through the new media; stimulate, develop and raise spiritual, social, civil and economic awareness by telling ordinary people's everyday experiences; and push Church personnel to use the new forms of communication.

The weekly is a member of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication.

The online site has already received its first feedback. "I am happy to know that Pratibeshi is also available online," said Anthony Gomes Pius, a Catholic man from Dhaka. For him, "the transition to a digital version offers the opportunity to reach more people."

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