Tag Archives: myanmar

Vatican releases papal schedule for visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican released on 10 Oct 2017 the schedule of Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh.   The two-nation papal visit was announced earlier by the Vatican on August 28.  ‎After visiting Myanmar, Nov 27 to 30, he will proceed to neighbouring Bangladesh,  Nov 30 to Dec 2.

He is scheduled to land in Yangon, Myanmar in the afternoon on Nov 27, where he will be given an official welcome.  The following afternoon (Nov 28) he will fly to the capital Nay Pyi Taw, where after meeting the president, government officials and the diplomatic corps, he will fly back to Yangon at night.

On Nov 29 the Holy Father will celebrate his first public Mass, meet the Buddhist supreme council and Myanmar’s bishops.  Pope Francis will wrap up his Myanmar with a Mass for young people on Nov 30 and fly to neighbouring Bangladesh in the afternoon.

After a welcome ceremony at Dhaka airport, the Pope will pay homage to Bangladesh’s martyrs and father of the nation.  He will then pay a courtesy visit to the president and address the diplomatic corps.  On Dec 1, the Pope will celebrate a public Mass with priestly ordination, meet the prime minister, the country’s bishops and representatives of various religions and Christian Churches.  On the last day, Dec 2,  the Pope will visit a home run by the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa, address priests, religious seminarians and novices.  Before flying back to Rome in the evening, he will meet the young people. – vatican radio

Pope Francis to visit Myanmar, Bangladesh in November

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to Myanmar from 27 -30 November 2017 and to Bangladesh from 30 November to 2 December 2017.

Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office, made the official announcement in a statement on Monday, 28 Aug 2017,  also revealing the logos for the trip.

He said the Pope had welcomed “the invitation of the respective heads of state and bishops.”

Whilst in Myanmar (also known as Burma), Pope Francis will visit the cities of Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw. In Bangladesh, the Pope will visit Dhaka.

The logo for his visit to Myanmar depicts Pope Francis releasing a white dove from within a heart drawn in the colours of Myanmar’s flag: yellow, green, and red.

An outline of Myanmar’s landmass sits beside the Pope within the heart, while the motto for his journey is shown above: “Love & Peace.”

The logo for Pope Francis’ visit to Bangladesh has coloured streamers in the shape of a dove, with a cross raised over a water lily (Bangladesh’s national flower) within it.

Above, the official motto for the Apostolic Journey, “Harmony and Peace”, is written in red. – Vatican Radio


Crux reports on the suffering church in Myanmar

People leaving at the end of Mass at a Catholic church at Htaykho village in the Kayah state, Myanmar, in 2015. (Credit: Reuters.)

In recent years, organisations of Buddhist radical monks, such as one called “Ma Ba Tha”, have increased their campaigns against religious minorities and successfully helped introduce four laws for the “Protection of Race and Religion,” building almost insurmountable hurdles to conversions and religiously mixed marriages, the Crux reported on 7 Feb 2017.

Christians in Myanmar often suffer a double whammy. First, because they tend to be concentrated among ethnic minorities, especially the Kachin, they’re targeted for racial reasons. Second, because Christians are often (mis)identified with the West, they’re also seen by radical Buddhist groups as the cultural and political “other.”

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom recently issued a report on Christian persecution in Myanmar, concluding that Christians face discrimination in employment, forced conversions, violence and desecration of churches and Christian communities.

“Senior leaders in Burma’s government need to publicly acknowledge and remedy the fact that the elevation of Buddhism as the de facto state religion and resulting policies and practices have violated the rights of Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities,” the report concluded.

More than 60 Christian churches have been destroyed in Myanmar’s Kachin state, where the country’s Christian population is concentrated, since a long-standing cease-fire broke down in 2011, according to the British-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

Thousands of civilians, many of them Christian, have fled into China, prompting the Chinese authorities at one stage to deploy its military along the border, leaving 2,000 people trapped and 10,000 more to take refuge in Manhai, Myanmar, a border town, according to aid workers.

Christians in Myanmar, in other words, are suffering and sometimes dying in basic anonymity, and short-term forecasts suggest things are likely to get worse before they get better.

The nation of 56.9 million is 88% Buddhist, 6% Christian, and 4% Muslim.

It’s a fact that a suffering church is getting its teeth kicked in along with other minorities, such as the embattled Rohingya Muslims, and they need help. – Crux

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