» 03/30/2012, 00.00
Parish priest of Kabul: small seed of Christian witnesses of the resurrection of Christ
Few faithful attend Easter Mass because of the danger of attacks. Prayer and help the poor only way to communicate the Gospel in a 99% Muslim country
Kabul (AsiaNews) - "We are a small seed in
a country hostile to any religion other than Islam. But we are still a reality
willed by God and at the service of God. Our mission in Afghanistan is primarily a personal testimony of our faith and the
resurrection of Jesus", Fr. Giuseppe
Moretti, parish priest of the church in Afghanistan, the chapel inside the
Italian Embassy in Kabul tells AsiaNews.
Easter, the Barnabite priest speaks of the work of the small Catholic community
and the important presence of the Church in a place where it is forbidden to
show themselves as Christians.
a catacomb church - said Fr. Moretti - we live Lent and Easter in a discreet
manner, but with great faith and trust in our work here in Afghanistan. However, our community
is affected by the climate of tension and violence that the country is going
through ". The
priest confesses that the turnout at Sunday Mass is much diminished. "Over
the past few months- he continues - only 15 people have participated, compared
to over 50 last year. The danger of attacks, the checkpoints and the security
measures imposed on the diplomatic staff hinder the participation of the
priest, however, specifies that all the celebrations of Holy Week will take
place in a solemn manner as required by the Catholic tradition. "To
see such few people in church is depressing - he says - but this also makes our
mission in this country even more important".
parish of Kabul
is composed of a few dozen people, mostly staff of foreign embassies. P. Moretti
says "that in recent years there has been a shift away from religion,
fewer people participate in the Mass, except for Christmas. Even on Easter
Sunday is considered by many an ordinary day. No one explains the few Afghans
who work in embassies
of the importance of this feast. This diminishes the sense of the parish of Kabul, which despite its
simplicity does a great job of testimony and charity among the people. "
Including Fr. Moretti, there
are 15 religious operating in Afghanistan.
most established presence in the country is that of the Little Sisters of Jesus
who are also respected by the Taliban, these sisters (four in all) have worked for
50 years in Kabul.
fall of the Taliban in 2001, allowed the entry of the Sisters of Mother Teresa,
who since 2006 have worked with the sick and poor. Another
reality that is recognized and respected estimated population is pro-Kabul
Children Association which assists orphans and disabled.
- says the priest - has risen for all, especially for the people of this
country, that is 99% Muslim, battered by war and suffering. Communicating the
values of peace, love and nonviolence, through diplomacy and small charities is
a way to make known to the Afghans, through a different approach, the life and
a way to let Jesus into their hearts. " (SC)
Shafi Behelim, a Muslim, will be baptized at the Easter Vigil
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