21 February 2018

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01/03/2017 NEPAL

For the Apostolic vicar to Nepal, 2017 will be dedicated to strengthening the family

The apostolic vicar proposes to focus on family spirituality, making families "active in the Gospel." The Himalayan nation has many mixed couples and hundreds of conversions to Christianity. The 2016 Plenary of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences also focused on the family.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Mgr Paul Simick, apostolic vicar of Nepal, has announced that 2017 will be a year dedicated to the family and to stronger spirituality among Catholics.

For the prelate, the aim is to make families "active in the Gospel" and highlight the need for greater spirituality among Nepali families. "When the family is strong in faith,” he said, “we are stronger in announcing the Good News."

According to Mgr Simick, "in Nepal we have to take care of families in a special way because many Catholics have different experiences."

For instance, "dozens of Catholics are born into Hindu families,” which leads to the “sharing of cultures.”

Indeed, “Hundreds have converted to Christianity from other religions and many have a spouse from a different faith."

Given the large number of mixed marriages, "We have decided that 2017 will be the year of the family, during which we will help them rediscover God’s presence among family members."

The apostolic vicar noted that that the topic of the family is a key issue for all Asian Bishops' Conferences. In 2016 at the Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Bishops (in Sri Lanka), the bishops dealt with the challenges that the modern world poses to family ties.

Speaking to the faithful gathered in Kathmandu's Assumption Cathedral, Mgr Simick said, "May you experience the loving presence of Jesus in the joy and sorrows of your life."

Robin, a Catholic man married to a Hindu woman, was thrilled by the apostolic vicar’s appeal. Even though his wife practices a different religion, every day she goes along with him to the prayers. "Sometimes I feel God's grace upon me," she told AsiaNews.

Angel Tamang is in the reverse situation. She is Catholic and her husband is Hindu. For her, "To create the Kingdom of God, we must first create God’s family”.

“Mgr Simick’s initiative will be really useful,” she noted. “In my family, my two children were imbued with a love for Jesus. Despite his different faith, my husband is happy that our children are Catholic and he helps me raise them as children of God."

See also

22/06/2015 INDONESIA
Indonesian Constitutional Court denies recognition of mixed marriages
The judges rejected the appeal filed by a group of law students. The amendment was aimed at recognition of marriages between spouses of different faiths. Only the religious rite common to both spouses gives civil value to act. The battle of the Catholic Church for the recognition of civil rights.

07/10/2014 NEPAL
Dashain Festival, a moment of solidarity and harmony for all the religions of Nepal
Christians, newly converted Catholics, Buddhists and Muslims have participated in the most important Hindu festival in the country, dedicated to the goddess Durga. In Nepal mixed families are becoming more numerous and often honor together the various religious celebrations. A Hindu speaks of his newly converted son: "We have not interfered with his faith, we are happy he is Catholic."

07/05/2014 MYANMAR
Burmese activists: law against mixed marriages "targets women and religious harmony "
A movement made up of 97 multi-ethnic and multi- confessional groups rejects the reform proposal desired by Buddhist extremists and supported by the President. It limits the freedom of women and is written for reasons of "political interest". Give priority to Constitutional reform and the peace process.

18/01/2014 MYANMAR
Burmese Buddhist Monks demand limits to mixed marriages and Rohingya civil rights
Popular norm to be presented in Parliament gains support and signatures. It places constraints on unions between Buddhist women and men of other religions, which must have approval. Added to this the intention to deny the Muslim minority the right to vote and to form a political party.

27/06/2015 INDONESIA - ISLAM
Bowing to ulema, Constitutional Court approves "forced" marriages with minors
Civil society outraged by supreme court decision, already criticized for the ruling on mixed faith couples. The Court legalized marriages of minors under 16, considering them adult ready for marriage. MUI pressure instrumental. Indonesian activist: a dangerous precedent.

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