The Church's contribution to the country, especially in education, was discussed. So was the government’s commitment to peaceful coexistence between the various religious communities and defence of minorities and refugees.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Bangladesh's commitment to peaceful coexistence between religions and to the defence of minorities, with "appreciation" for what the country does for Rohingya refugees, were at the centre of talks that Ms Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, had today in the Vatican.
A statement from the Holy See described the talks as “cordial”. The press release said that “good bilateral relations were evoked, and satisfaction was expressed for the Holy Father’s recent apostolic trip to Bangladesh and for the keen participation in the event on the part of the population, including many non-Catholics.”
"Attention then turned to the contribution of the Church in the country, especially in the field of education, and on the effort of the State in promoting the peaceful coexistence of the various religious communities and in the defence of minorities and refugees, expressing appreciation for the reception of the Rohingya and hope for a just and lasting solution to their ordeal."
After meeting with Pope Francis, the Bangladeshi prime minister met with Secretary of State Card Pietro Parolin together with Under Secretary for Relations with States Mgr Antoine Camilleri.
The party was held in the official residence of the prime minister, who is a Muslim. Some 700 Christian leaders attended the event. “By opening the borders to the Rohingya, you have become the mother of humanity,” Card D'Rozario told her.
Card D'Rozario met the prime minister in her office. The apostolic nuncio, Archbishop George Kocherry, was present at the meeting. "On behalf of the 600,000 members of the Christian community that I represent, I express my loyalty to the prime minister and the nation,” the cardinal said.
Greetings with a group of Rohingya refugees at the end of an inter-religious and ecumenical meeting for peace with five representatives of religious communities. It is "a particularly gratifying sign of our times that believers and all people of good will feel increasingly called to cooperate in shaping a culture of encounter, dialogue and cooperation in the service of our human family. This entails more than mere tolerance. It challenges us to reach out to others in mutual trust and understanding."
Pope Francis will travel to Bangladesh from 30 November to 2 December. The themes chosen for the trip are harmony and peace. Parishes receive directions to prepare the faithful. PIME Superior: "Christians are the hope of the country, our work is for the benefit of all."
The pontiff is scheduled to visit the memorial dedicated to the martyrs of the Liberation War against West Pakistan in 1971. Many of them were Christians, helped by nuns and priests. The pope will pay tribute to the country’s founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at the museum dedicated to him. He will visit the Apostolic Nunciature and the compound that includes the Holy Rosary Church, one of the country’s oldest.