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» 03/26/2013
NEPAL
In the footsteps of Pope Francis, young Nepali Catholics are ready for mission
by Kalpit Parajuli
Nearly a thousand people took part in Palm Sunday Mass at Kathmandu Cathedral. Most were young, many non-Christians. The Catholic Church has a mission in a country hit by a crisis that touches politics, economics and values.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Young Nepali Catholics say they are ready to get involved in the Church's mission in their country "thanks to the witness of Francis Pope, Catholic bishops and priests in Nepal."

A thousand people, mostly students, teenagers and children, attended Palm Sunday Mass on 24 March at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Kathmandu.

Like every year, the service many non-Christians were present. Alongside Catholics, they prayed for the new pope and the Church's mission in the world.

"We will carry the cross to deal with the problems of our society," Kishor, a local youth leader, told AsiaNews as he announced that young Nepalis will meet at the same time as World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) 23-28 July.

Rev Anthoni Sharma, bishop of Kathmandu, called on worshippers at the Mass to pray "for the pope, but also for the dramatic situation of the country."

In June, the country will elect a new constituent assembly that is likely to adopt a secular constitution after having Hinduism as the state religion for centuries.

After Christians began enjoying greater religious freedom following the fall of the Hindu monarchy in 2006, many Catholics stopped hiding their faith in public.

Tired of political instability and cosy ties between politicians and Hindu religious leaders, this year many young non-Christians started to take part in the initiatives of the Catholic Church.

On Christmas Day 2012, hundreds of students joined events organised in the various parishes across the country.

For Catholics, the presence of hundreds of young people at the Palm Sunday Mass is evidence of this new atmosphere of true respect and openness for the Christian religion and its message.


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See also
03/25/2013 THAILAND - VATICAN
Bangkok, prayers for Pope Francis and Benedict XVI on Palm Sunday
by Weena Kowitwanij
04/13/2014 VATICAN
Pope asks, Am I like Pilate? When the situation gets tough, do I wash my hands?
03/24/2013 VATICAN
Pope Francis on Palm Sunday: Joy, Cross, Youth, waiting for Rio de Janeiro
04/02/2007 LEBANON
Crisis shadows Palm Sunday celebrations
by Youssef Hourany
03/21/2005 LEBANON
Palm Sunday, when hope lies with the young

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

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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