08/21/2004, 00.00
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The Holy Family of Nazareth: a role model for refugees and the poor

Seoul (AsiaNews/Ucan) – The Holy Family of Nazareth is a tangible example of the difficulties many Asian families experience in our times, this according to some Asian bishops attending the 8th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) which is taking place in Daejeon (180 km south of Seoul).

Stephen Fumio Cardinal Hamao, President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, compared Asian migrants and their families to Jesus and the Holy Family.

"Jesus was a refugee and Saint Joseph, an undocumented illegal immigrant. For this reason, the Church in Asia," Card. Hamao said, "must be particularly concerned about the pastoral care of migrants, including those of other religions. This concern," he added, "is part of the new evangelisation."

In their response to the preparatory document of the Assembly the bishops of Pakistan also stressed the role model the family of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary plays "for the poor families of Asia". Like today's migrants, "the Holy family was forced into exile and experienced the many problems that come from living in a foreign land."

For them, migration is a situation many Asian families face today, "forced to flee their own country to find elsewhere the necessary safety and security to practice their own religion."

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