ASIA/BANGLADESH - Formation and interreligious dialogue: the priorities of the diocese of Khulna  

Thursday, 16 January 2020 dialogue   evangelization   local churches   climate changes   formation  

Khulna (Agenzia Fides) - The ongoing formation of the Catholic faithful and interreligious dialogue are the priorities of the pastoral plan of the diocese of Khulna for 2020. "Our people need human development and promotion, for a social and economic improvement of conditions of life, but is enthusiastic about growing in faith", says Bishop James Romen Boiragi to Agenzia Fides, who is at the head of the ecclesial community in Khulna. "In general - the Bishop noted - there is a certain shyness among the faithful in testifying their faith or announcing the Gospel", he said. In this context, the diocese of Khulna has undertaken several ongoing formation programs in the parishes aimed at the baptized "so that people can strengthen their faith to face the challenges of life", says Mgr. Boiragi.
One aspect on which pastoral care focuses, he also notes is that of "engaging in dialogue and living in harmony with people of other faiths, in a country with a Muslim majority", says the Bishop.
"Most of the services offered by Catholic structures and institutes, such as educational, health and social development programs are designed and addressed indiscriminately to all, without any discrimination of faith or ethnicity. Through this commitment to society and for the well-being of the population, we promote peaceful and mutual coexistence with people of other religions", he reports.
It should be noted that Bangladesh is a country subject to natural disasters such as floods, typhoons and cyclones, the effects of climate change. The strongest impact of these phenomena is found above all on the life of already poor or vulnerable sections of the population, who find themselves below the survival threshold. The various Bengali Catholic dioceses, including that of Khulna, organize and participate, alongside government and civil society groups, in awareness-raising and prevention programs aimed at the population living in areas at risk.
The diocese of Khulna was created in 1952 and today has over 35,000 Catholics scattered in 10 parishes administered by 42 priests and over 80 nuns, out of a total population of about 15 million inhabitants, mostly Muslims. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 16/1/2019)