Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Hundreds of people gathered this morning at the Church
of the Assumption in Kathmandu to remember the terrible attack that took place on
23 May 2009 that claimed the lives of two people and injured 13.
"We are not afraid to continue our service in the name of God," said
Fr Robin Rai, parish priest at the Cathedral, which today was packed not only with
Catholics, but also with Hindus and Muslims.
"Extremist threats, he added, "do not scare us. We
shall pursue our mission even more." The priest pointed out that
"Catholics are not for revenge, but always for the good of man and
society, in solidarity with all other religious faiths."
The families of the victims and survivors of the
attack took part in the ceremony. Shyam Rai, who was seriously injured by the blast
caused by a bomb placed by Hindu extremists, told AsiaNews that his dramatic experience "increased his faith in
God. Now I am ready to face any adversity in his name."
Kathmandu's small Catholic community prayed together with
Muslim and Hindu representatives, who in recent years have shown on more than
one occasion their solidarity with Christians.
"The attack has nothing to do with our religion.
No believer has the right to take such action using the pretext of faith," said
Damodar Gautam, a senior Hindu leader with the Interfaith Dialogue Council. "Unfortunately,"
he added, "Hinduism has been used by extremists to commit violence in the name
In recent years, several murders and attacks against
religious minorities have occurred in Nepal, usually at the hands of Hindu
The Nepal Defence Army (NDA), the group responsible
for the bombing of the Cathedral of the Assumption in Kathmandu, is also
responsible for the attack on the Birantnagar mosque in 2010 and the death of
Fr John Prakash in 2008. Many of its leaders are currently in jail.
Despite threats and attacks, Nepal's Catholic
community has grown in recent years. Today it has more than 7,000 members,
representing approximately 0.45 per cent of the population.
Its activities, especially in the field of education, are
known and respected throughout the country.
In 2011, the government declared Christmas a national
holiday, allowing Christian processions and events in which hundreds
of people of other faiths participate each year.