Bangladeshi Church, Other Faith Leaders Prepare to Welcome Pope Francis

Published 13 October 2017  |  
Archdiocese of Dhaka.
Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario, the Archbishop of Dhaka, speaks to "well-wishers" in Bangladesh about the upcoming visit by Pope Francis on Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

The Catholic Church in Bangladesh has been preparing for Pope Francis' visit to the country at the end of November.

In a Muslim majority country with only 0.2 percent of Catholics, the church has been working with leaders from other faith communities, including Christians from other denominations, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists to help greet Francis's visit to the country from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.

According to Crux, 45 leaders from various faith communities have come together last month during a meeting of "Well-wishers" to the Christian community as part of the preparation for the visit.

"The Church in Bangladesh is united, cooperates and collaborates with other denominations and faiths, and interfaith gatherings regularly take place in the dioceses of Bangladesh," said Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario, the Archbishop of Dhaka.

"The Well-wishers of the Christian community are enthusiastic and involved in Pope Francis's pilgrimage to Bangladesh. They have given suggestions that the digital world and social media [be utilized so that] every person should know about Pope Francis's visit and follow the pope in Bangladesh," he added.

The motto for the pope's visit to Bangladesh is "Harmony and Peace."

The motto is a call to harmony among "religions, cultures, peoples, society, history, heritage and traditions" in the country, while peace follows harmony, "as well as a future aspiration with a vision of integrated human and spiritual development in Bangladesh."

Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi of Mymensingh, Bangladesh, said Francis's visit will be "witness of our harmony and peace and it will greatly strengthen our faith and give great impetus and encouragement to our country and all peoples."

Last month, when hundreds of thousands of the Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar, Bangladeshi prime minister opened the borders and invited NGOs to come to the aid of the Rohingya.

"I am sure the Holy Father will appreciate the steps taken by the Bangladeshi prime minister...," said D'Rozario.

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