ASIA/BANGLADESH - Pope Bergoglio, apostle of love in a Muslim country

Monday, 4 December 2017 pope francis   pastoral visit   islam   dialogue   forgiveness   human dignity   human rights   evangelization  


Dhaka (Agenzia Fides) - "Without love we cannot do anything to this world: this value is lacking much in our world. In Bangladesh and also in Myanmar, Pope Francis showed here what love means, not only towards refugees, but to the entire Bangladeshi people": says to Agenzia Fides Fariduddin Mashud, an Islamic leader who is among the many Bangladeshi Muslim leaders who appreciated the Pope’s visit and presence. The Bangladeshi Hindu leader Shami Druveshanando points out to Fides that "Pope Francis was a bringer of peace in Bangladesh", while prof. Anisus Zaman, a Muslim, tells Fides: "We are happy to have received Pope Francis in our country. He came at the right time: where there is despair, he came to bring hope. He brought sympathy and empathy to the Rohingya refugees and launched an appeal for their dignity. Surely Pope Francis’ visit will open a window for our future, to create authentic fraternity".
Although some negative comments on the presence of the Pope by a few extremist exponents were reported by social media in Bangladesh, "we can say with certainty that the reception of the Bangladeshi population was excellent", notes to Agenzia Fides Fr. Lintu D'Costa, a priest of Dhaka. The small Church of Bangladesh, 0.2% in a country with a Muslim majority, carries "the blessing received from Pope Francis in its heart. We all appreciated his humility and simplicity, his being close to the young, the poor, the marginalized, just as Jesus did. His spirit and his authentic Gospel witness, in addition to his always incisive words, like 'forgiveness', 'dialogue', 'human dignity', struck everyone and will leave an indelible mark on our lives", concludes Fr. D'Costa. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 4/12/2017)