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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
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

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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