22 February 2018
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  • » 02/02/2018, 14.42

    BANGLADESH

    New parish inaugurated in Khonjanpur, Rajshahi, to spread the Gospel among tribal people

    Sumon Corraya

    The ceremony took place on Wednesday in the presence of Mgr Gervas Rozario. In addition to the church, the parish includes a school and a youth centre. For the new parish priest, "The school is for everyone". Catechist noted that "Many tribal people want to be baptised”.

    Joypurhat (AsiaNews) – The diocese of Rajshahi, in northwestern Bangladesh, has a new parish church in Khonjanpur, Joypurhat. The new parish priest is Fr Pawel, a Polish missionary with the Salesians of Don Bosco.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Fr Pawel noted that "where once stood a large space, we built the new church, the school building and the youth centre. Thousands of people will benefit from our service."

    The inauguration ceremony took place on Wednesday in the presence of hundreds of Catholics and Mgr Gervas Rozario, the local bishop.

    The prelate expressed "joy at having a new parish. We opened another one in the diocese last month. Our episcopal circumscription is getting bigger and bigger and we hope that another one can be born in the future."

    According to the bishop, "the new church offers the opportunity to preach God’s message. In the future many non-Christians will be able to welcome Jesus Christ."

    The parish priest explained that "the area is inhabited mostly by tribal people, in a place where we want to spread Christian teachings. We thank the Lord for our parish."

    The parish school opened its doors on 1st January, Fr Pawel noted. "The school is for everyone because we work with all religions. With our good work we put into practice the values ​​of Jesus Christ."

    Local Catholics enthusiastically welcomed the opening of the church. One of them, Babu Ram, is a tribal Santal who has worked locally as a catechist for four years.

    "On Wednesday, we listened to the words of our bishop and priests during the Mass,” he said. “We felt blessed by God. We hope to receive deeper spiritual care from our priests."

    Speaking about his work as a catechist, he went on to say, "I spend time in the villages with Catholics and I teach them their religion.” But ““We also go among non-Christians”.

    Among the latter, “we know that many of them have expressed a desire to be baptised. I believe that in the future we will have many new faithful and increase the number of Catholics in the parish."

    Bangladesh is a predominantly Muslim country. Christians represent less than 0.3 per cent of the population, or about 600,000. Of these, 380,000 are Catholics, out of a population of almost 163 million.

    Tribal communities offer more opportunities to preach the Gospel. More than 50 ethnic groups live in the same territory. The missionaries work among them to win their hearts for Christ.

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    See also

    25/09/2017 14:45:00 BANGLADESH
    The Church of Rohanpur celebrates 100 years of 'seeds of the Gospel' planted by PIME(Photo)

    The parish was founded by Msgr. Giovanni Battista Anselmo in 1922. Only the tribal Santorum and Hindus lived in the area, who had never heard the Word of God. The church created three more parishes; runs a primary school and a hostel for boys and girls.



    23/07/2016 10:27:00 BANGLADESH
    Mymensingh, a tribal Catholic elected to Parliament

    Jewel Areng is the youngest member of Parliament and is also the only Catholic. He has won in the constituency left vacant after the death of his father. His parent was Minister for Social Welfare and was well respected among Muslims. The local Church hopes the new deputy will follow his father's footsteps and work for the good of the population.



    24/02/2010 BANGLADESH
    Bearing witness among the tribal peoples of Bangladesh
    Italian-born Fr Paolo Ciceri, from PIME, has been involved in this kind of work since 1973. Today, he lives in contact with tribal Oraos, pursuing the missionary experience he initiated with members of the Santal tribe. Announcing Christ gives people an opportunity to grow in human, cultural and spiritual terms.

    19/10/2007 BANGLADESH – PIME
    Fr Alessandro Giacomelli, missionary among the Santal, dies
    The PIME missionary died aged 68 on Thursday. For more than 40 years he lived among the Santal, working hard for their development and evangelisation. The regional superior for Bangladesh and a fellow missionary, Fr Enzo Corba, remember him.

    20/08/2015 BANGLADESH
    Police arrest six Catholics in Rajshahi in connection with the death of a “possessed” tribal woman
    Fulmoni Murmu came to St John Vianney Catholic Church in Mundumala seeking treatment. Fr Corraya said that she mumbled gibberish. Charmers hit her with sticks. Now the priest is the object of threats and pressures.



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