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  • » 02/15/2011, 00.00

    NEPAL

    Nepali Christians celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day helping the poor and handing out Bibles

    Kalpit Parajuli

    The unplanned action provided an opportunity to show non-Christians God’s love. It brought together Protestants and Catholics from various Kathmandu’s parishes, and was appreciated by Hindus. For Komal Oli, a Hindu singer, “When you have faith in God, he teaches you to love the whole of humanity and this is present in all religions”.

    Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Thousands of Nepali Christians celebrated Saint Valentine’s Day by helping the needy and handing out Bibles. The initiative by Kathmandu Christians, especially young people, was unplanned.

    Selestina Gurung, a 19-year-old Catholic woman from Pokhara (220 kilometres from Kathmandu), came to the capital to buy Bibles to give to her friends. “For me, this Valentine’s Day is a day to spread God’s love to all men. Once I’m home, I am going to give these Bibles to people who care about me.”

    Hindus also showed their appreciation for this different way of celebrating the festivity. “I like that Christians chose to celebrate God’s love on Saint Valentine’s day,” said Komal Oli, a popular Hindu singer. “When you have faith in God, he teaches you to love the whole of humanity and this is present in all religions: Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.”

    Nepal is home to some 150,000 Christians, about 8,000 Catholics. Since the collapse of the Hindu monarchy in 2006 and the establishment of a secular state, Christians have come to enjoy greater freedom of worship.

    Despite persistent discrimination by Hindus, conversions are rising. According to Kathmandu’s catholic community, about 200 non-Catholics attend mass in the cathedral each Sunday.

    The number of clergymen is also up. Last Saturday, Mgr Anthony Sharma, archbishop of Kathmandu, ordained three new priests of Indian origin in Maheshpur, 600 kilometres east of Kathmandu.

    Since he was appointed apostolic vicar to Nepal in 2007, the prelate has ordained seven priests.

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    See also

    29/06/2013 NEPAL
    Drug addiction reaches crisis levels in Nepal with Hindus the most affected
    Almost a third of young people is taking drugs; an increase of 3 per cent compared to ten years ago. According to psychologists, weak educational institutions and unstable families are some of the causes of the problem.

    30/09/2009 NEPAL
    A Protestant church collapses: 25 dead. Catholics and Hindus in aid of victims
    The roof collapsed overnight while people slept in the building. Over 100 injured. Isu Jung Karki, president of the Nepal Christian Forum: "Our first concern is to rescue the wounded and treat them. Discussions on the causes of the incident will follow”.

    07/10/2013 NEPAL
    Young Nepali Hindus becoming Catholic to stop discrimination
    More and more children and teenagers are converting to Catholicism "tired" of inequality and abuses by Hindus on the lower castes and the poor. Twenty young people attend catechism at Kathmandu's Assumption Cathedral. "I want to become Catholic to spread the message of God's equality," said 12-year-old Diko.

    04/01/2008 MALAYSIA
    Taoist statue deemed “offensive” to Islam raises new controversy over religious freedom
    After local authorities approved Mazu statue two years ago, state government halts construction of the goddess of the sea. In July state mufti declared the statue was “offensive” because too close to a mosque. Political opposition and Chinese community protest. The incident is the latest in a string of cases that threaten inter-faith harmony.

    14/12/2016 10:11:00 NEPAL
    Nepal, eight Christians accused of proselytizing among the earthquake victims acquitted and freed

    They were accused of having forced conversions to Christianity in schools. The judge ruled that there is insufficient evidence against them. Released pastor: "We were happy to be jailed for their faith."

     





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