ASIA/BANGLADESH - “People in one of the world’s poorest countries are praying for the Holy Father, Muslims too voice sympathy and solidarity”, head of Caritas Bangladesh tells Fides

Saturday, 5 March 2005

Dacca (Fides Service) - With 70% of its people living below the poverty line Bangladesh is one of the world’s poorest countries: but the poor, the lowly, people living on less than a dollar a day and only a handful of rice to eat, are very close to the Pope in hospital, Mr Bitu D’Costa, head of Caritas Bangladesh told Fides. In Bangladesh the Catholic aid organisation runs programmes of assistance and development in many parts of the country.
“All the poor people we serve have the Pope in their hearts. They are praying for him, asking God to let him lead the Church for some time to come”, said D’Costa adding that also Muslims are concerned for the Pope. Bangladesh is a mainly Muslim country: “Our workers encounter few Catholics but all those they meet say they love the Pope dearly and pray for him always. However many local Muslims express sympathy and solidarity for John Paul II”. Caritas Bangladesh provides rescue and emergency aid when necessary, as in the serious floods in September last year in which thousands were made homeless. It also runs development programmes in the fields of agriculture, trade and crafts to create jobs and help the poor have a hand in their progress.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 7/3/2005 righe 22 parole 231)