Dhaka (AsiaNews) - MAGIS (Marching and Growing in Solidarity) Bangla, a Jesuit-run youth group, held a singing Christmas carols competition on 13 December in Dhaka with the purpose of teaching children and kids to stay away from all forms of addiction.
Some 13 groups took part in this year's edition, which was won by the Francis Xavier School for Girls in Luxmibazarm, an old district in the capital.
Recently, some Christians died, apparently from intoxication, after drinking local wine. In view of this, "We try to discourage young people from all forms of addiction," MAGIS Bangla co-coordinator Fr Pradeep Perez SJ told AsiaNews.
As part of this effort, "we set up the stage as if it were a bar in order to show the downside of addiction," Fr Perez explained.
This is the fifth time the group has organised the singing competition. "As times goes by, it becomes more and more popular," the priest added.
In addition, "We invite the students to write songs for Christmas, and many of them do."
Journalists, political activists, businessmen were among the main targets; the south-west was the worst hit zone. The government has set up special forces and launched operations against outlawed groups, but more needs to be done.
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.