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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
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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