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    » 02/14/2012, 00.00


    Nepal: boom in Valentine's Day cards inspired by Pope's message of peace

    Kalpit Parajuli

    Valentine's Day becomes an opportunity to recall sentiment for loved ones and instill hope for the future. Manufacturers of gift cards stress the demand for gifts with phrases and slogans in praise of peace, dialogue and solidarity between people.
    Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Frightened by the climate of political and economic instability in the country, on St. Valentine’s day the Nepalese prefer postcards and greeting cards inspired by the Pope's message for the 45th World Day of Peace to the usual hearts and teddy bears.

    Amrit Tuladhar, a producer of giftware and director of online shopping site muncha.com says that unlike in the past, this year people of all ages have visited the site, chosing cards with phrases about peace, dialogue and harmony as gifts to friends and acquaintances, many of whom live abroad. "Following the many requests - he says - about 50% of products manufactured by the company contain slogans inspired by the message of the Pope

    Tuladhar believes the increase of migrant workers has increased the number of Internet users, by multiplying the sites, the types of online purchases, but also the emphasis on foreign countries. "For St. Valentine’s - he says - I had an average of 400 orders per day, mostly by and for people living abroad." He explains that in recent days several Nepalese employees in the Middle East have ordered postcards with slogans of peace and love for the Syrian people.

    Ramesh Shrestha, employed by Christian bookstore Ekta Book House, says that for years the best selling book during Valentine's Day is the Bible. "In my shop - he says - customers often choose the Bible as sign of affection and love for their loved one." Josh B. Niraula, former director of Caritas Nepal, notes that "Valentine's Day is for Christians and non Christians a moment to remember with gratitude the people you love," he says. He adds that despite the sentimentality, the festival is an occasion to renew our faith in love.

    In Nepal there are about 150 thousand Christians, with about 8 thousand Catholics. With the collapse of the Hindu monarchy in 2006 and the birth of a secular state, Christians have been granted greater freedom of worship. To promote tourism the government declared Christmas a national holiday, ensuring greater security around Christian religious buildings. This year, about 4 thousand people, of which at least half non-Christians, attended the midnight mass celebrated in the cathedral of Kathmandu.
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    See also

    02/06/2006 VATICAN
    Pope: purpose of mission is to spread

    In his message for the World Mission Day, Benedict XVI stresses that "if it is not guided by charity, if it does not spring, that is, from a profound act of divine love," mission, the primary task of the ecclesial community, "risks reducing itself to mere philanthropic and social activity."

    16/12/2010 PEACE 2011
    Fundamentalism and relativism, enemies of religious freedom and peace
    In his message for World Day of Peace 2011, Benedict XVI shows solidarity with the many persecuted Christians (Iraq, the Holy Land, ...), but also highlights that persecution does not only come from Islamic terrorism, but also secular Western society that stifles the religious dimension, eliminating an important element for human life and coexistence between peoples.

    11/12/2008 VATICAN – PEACE 2009
    Global solidarity to fight poverty and build peace, says Pope
    In his message for World Day of Peace, Benedict XVI looks at the “moral implications” of poverty and the false correlation between poverty and birthrate. Military spending takes resources from help to development. A global financial system that is limited to the short and very short term is dangerous for everyone. For the rich it is “foolish to build a luxury home in the midst of desert or decay.” Click on link at the end for full text.

    01/01/2006 VATICAN – WORLD PEACE DAY 2006
    Pope tells UN and governments that the world needs to switch on its courage to build peace
    Benedict XVI reiterates the link between peace, truth and faith in God on Wolrd Peace Day. Peace is a permanent mission for Christians.

    04/01/2012 PAKISTAN – PEACE 2012
    Faisalabad: Christians and Muslims back pope’s peace message
    For the 45th World Day of Peace, Christian associations organise demonstrations against extremism, discrimination, intolerance and terrorism in Pakistani society. Citing Benedict XVI peace message, one participant stresses the “education challenge” Pakistan faces.

    Editor's choices

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    John Mok Chit Wai

    A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

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