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)
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
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