28 April 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  •    - Afghanistan
  •    - Bangladesh
  •    - Bhutan
  •    - India
  •    - Nepal
  •    - Pakistan
  •    - Sri Lanka
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 03/03/2016, 13.49

    PAKISTAN – VATICAN

    Islamabad: Pope Francis accepts invitation to visit Pakistan

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    During a meeting with the pontiff in Rome, two Pakistani cabinet ministers extended the invitation. “We welcome the Catholic spiritual leader,” said Kumar Vankwani, a Pakistani MP. “We have not received any written information from Rome", said the bishop of Faisalabad. In his view, the visit is not likely to take place this year, but "If he comes, it will be a great encouragement and show of solidarity for Pakistan where people have been facing terrorism for years."

    Islamabad (AsiaNews) – The Pakistani government has invited Pope Francis to visit the country and the pope has accepted, this according to a government press release that also noted that the pontiff prayed for “Pakistan and the victims of terrorism”.

    Some Pakistani political leaders spoke to AsiaNews confirming the report, but the bishop of Faisalabad warned that it is not likely to happen this year.

    Pakistan's Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Yusuf and the Minister of Ports and Shipping Kamran Michael passed on the invitation during a meeting with the pope in Rome. On that occasion, Francis offered special prayers for Pakistan and its people. Pakistani media welcomed the visit.

    Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a Member of the National Assembly and head of the Pakistan Hindu Council, confirmed the news with AsiaNews.

    "We welcome the Catholic spiritual leader,” he said. “This is a good omen for our country. The pope himself has mentioned the news about his visit. The security situation is now favourable”.

    Still, Bishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad believes that it is hard to say whether Pakistan’s Christian minority will see the Holy Father in person this year.

    "Usually a team from the Vatican starts visiting the destination country a year ahead,” said the Bishop Arshad who served for 14 years in the diplomatic service of the Holy See.

    “There are lots of arrangements before the arrival of the pontiff.  We have not received any written information from Rome", he added.

    Still, "If he comes, it will be a great encouragement and show of solidarity to Pakistan where people have been facing terrorism for years."

    According to Fr Morris Jalal, founder of a Catholic TV station in Lahore archdiocese, the pope’s acceptance of the invitation by the Pakistani prime minister is part of diplomatic negotiations.

    "Local media aired the news yesterday night,” he said, “but the country's security situation is not favourable at the moment. Still, the security agencies have the capacity to provide protection to Pope Francis. Local Christians need their spiritual leader to boost their image."

    The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has a population of about 200 million. Of these, 97 per cent are Muslim (80 per cent Sunni and 20 per cent Shia). Christians number about 3 million; Catholics are little more than a million. The Hindu community has about 3 million members, whilst Sikhs are about 20,000.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    15/06/2004 china
    An ancient church becomes home to two Protestant communities.


    01/08/2005 IRAQ
    In Mosul 81 children meet the challenge of their First Communion


    21/07/2005 CHINA
    Shanghai church draws Korean pilgrims
    Church building was torn down and rebuilt as part of Pudong district's redevelopment plans. Koreans visit the site to see relic of Saint Andrew Kim, the first Korean martyr.

    14/07/2009 CHINA - VATICAN
    Cardinal Zen: The Church in China two years after the Pope's Letter
    Misinterpretations of the Letter have led to confusion and distress in the underground community. The official bishops must have more courage in their faithfulness to the pope, refusing structures that are contrary to the Catholic faith. The Chinese government continues its usual policy: total control of the Church.

    02/11/2010 CHINA
    New bishop of Nanchang (Jiangxi) ordained, underground Catholics also present
    The new bishop, Mgr. John Baptist Li Suguang, tells AsiaNews of his desire to work for unity between the two communities, underground and official living in the diocese. So far this year, nine bishops have been ordained in China.



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN-EGYPT
    Pope Francis in a video message: Dear people of Egypt ...

    Papa Francesco

    To mark his upcoming visit to the country (28-29 April), Pope Francis today sent a video message to the Egyptian people. " Our world, torn by blind violence, which has also afflicted the heart of your dear land – needs peace, love and mercy; it needs workers for peace. "


    ISLAM
    The roots of violent Islamism are in Islam, the words of a Muslim

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    After every terrorist attack, there is the tendency to say, "This is not Islam." Yet those criminal acts are justified and inspired by texts that are the reference point for Muslims and Islamic institutions worldwide. There is an urgent need to reform Islam from within, by the Muslims themselves. Coexistence with other religions is the way to remove Islam from sclerosis and stagnation.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®