Showing posts with label Oriental Christianity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oriental Christianity. Show all posts

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Christian Syria: Love in the Ruins

Marriage in Ruined Church in Homs
(Damascus) destruction and new beginnings are close together for the Christians in the Syrian city of Homs, as the images of a Christian wedding in the ruined Church of St. George show.
The attempt to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad and his Alawites has laid Homs  in ruins. The third largest city in Syria to the west of the country, near the border with Lebanon, it is located in the fertile valley of the Orontes, as the river was called in ancient times. Today it is called the Nahr al-Asi.
In 2011 the Sunni made Homs a stronghold of anti-Assad protest. In 2012, however, it became apparent that hiding under the blanket of allegedly "pro-Western" and "democratic" rebels, were Islamist groups. In April 2012 it was announced that the Farouq Brigade of the Christians of Homs had to exact the Muslim jizya poll tax. In May 2014. Homs was recaptured by government troops.

Christian community alive even after almost 2000 years

Homs wedding in the ruined Church of St. George
The images of a Christian wedding in the ruins of the Church of St. George show the horrifying extent of the destruction. It is at the same time also an expression of a new beginning and to show that the Christian community of the city is alive even after almost 2000 years.
The ancient Emesa, this is the name Homs had in the time of Jesus, was one of the first Christian communities and was a bishop's seat after the second century seat. From the Diocletian persecution 303-305, the first bishop is also known by name. In 609 the Persians conquered Homs and destroyed the churches. In 628  the Christian reconstruction started. Weakened by the Persians, Byzantine Syria fell prey to the Muslims in 637. In 1785 Muslims and Greek, Syrian and Armenian Christians were still balanced in Homs. In 1907  a third of the population was Christian. Before the outbreak of war, Homs counted,  with its suburbs, around one million inhabitants. Of these, 60 percent  were Sunni, 20 percent Alawite and 15 percent Christian. In some districts like Fairouzeh and Zaidal  Christians represented a majority with  60 percent and more. Not far from Homs, several Christian villages are among Maalula, where almost all the inhabitants are Christians and where even Aramaic, the language of Jesus, is spoken. 
Trans: Tancred

The Martyrium of Oriental Christians and Europe's Loss of Identity

In the Midst of the Old City in Jerusalem is a
Memorial to Christians Murdered by Muslims

(Jerusalem) While little is seen and read in the Western mainstream media   about the fate of the persecuted and murdered Christians in the Middle East and North Africa,  the Coptic Orthodox Church has set an example in the middle of Jerusalem. At the 6th Station of the Via Dolorosa, the way of the Passion of Jesus Christ to Golgotha, there is  a big banner which laments the murder of Coptic Christians by the Islamic State of (IS).
Europe wants to help, offering a rather helpless and naive image. An irresponsible "welcoming culture" appeals to a  voluntary solution for the serious problems of the country. The attacks in Madrid, London, Brussels, Paris and Graz speak for themselves. The reason is that Europe through the progressive de-Christianization of its own identity is no longer clear. It has never been clearer than in the case of boundless immigration, that there is no longer a Europe without Christianity.  A de-christianized Europe is like a shapeless toy ball without identity  at the mercy of ideologies and non-European forces. The ideological upheavals of the 20th century were the forerunners of this truth. At that time they paid a psychic price, now physical.
In contrast to the externally colorful,  but internally, increasingly colorless Europeans, the Christians of Egypt and the Middle East know who they are, what history they have, and they are aware of their position. The Christians of Europe could learn a lot from them in terms of Islam and its relationship to Islam. In Europe, the Christians of the Levant are largely ignored, to maintain an equally wrong as much as romanticized, embossed in the German-speaking world with a  Karl May image. In this misconception,  the Arab world is only Muslim. At best, there is still room for Yazidis and of course since 1948 for the Jews of Israel.
Whether the Western view of the Middle East is now appreciated the Islamic or has the Jewish-Muslim conflict in focus, the Oriental Christians play hardly any role for Europe.  A form of haughty self-denial, as is also expressed in the indiscriminate opening of borders, while identifying  illegal mass immigration as a "humanitarian emergency" of "refugees."
Veneto's President Luca Zaia said just a few days ago, that at least two thirds of the "refugees" who are pushing daily into Europe are not refugees. At the same time the Italian police arrested several Muslims, sometimes living many years  in the country, who are accused of having recruited Islamists for jihad and recruiting new terrorists. This is a reality as it manifests itself in all European countries. The difference in the best case, is with what emphasis the opinion-forming media downplays or hides this reality.
That the persecuted Christians in the Middle East do not belong to the precious immigrants of the "welcome cultures" and that they are the same key media who report little about the fate of Christians in the Middle East, completing the vicious circle.
Text: Andreas Becker
Trans: Tancred

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Jihadists Destroy Armenian Cathedral of Aleppo

The Cathedral of the 40 Martyrs, Destroyed
on April 28th, 2015 
(Beirut) "Just in time" for the 100th anniversary of the genocide of the Armenians, jihadists destroyed the Armenian Cathedral of Aleppo. Ignatius Joseph III. Younan, Patriarch of the  Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch in union with Rome, speaks of a "tragedy in Aleppo", the second largest city of Syria. On April 28, the city was bombarded by Islamist militias. Here also, the Cathedral of the Forty Martyrs  of the Armenian Apostolic Church was destroyed.
The cathedral in the Christian district Jdeydeh is dedicated to the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. It was built in 1429 in front of a smaller predecessor. In its present form, it was enlarged 1499/1500. She is one of the oldest churches in the Armenian diaspora and the old city of Aleppo.
The patriarch spoke of his visitations in twelve Syrian parishes. In all he had found a precarious situation, but above all the desire of Christians and Muslims, "that the slaughter come to an end as soon as possible".

"West Does not Want to Understand Real Problem"

The bell tower of the cathedral from destruction
The bell tower of the cathedral before destruction
In Syria there is an incumbent, internationally recognized government, "which can not be put on the same footing as the rebels," said the Patriarch to the daily newspaper Avvenire. "But the West, particularly the United States, France and Great Britain, do not want to understand the real problem: that the Sunni majority does not accept the various minorities."
The West must seriously ask themselves whether or not to put an end to this tragedy, said the Patriarch. "If we really want, then the flow of arms must stop. In addition, the borders must be controlled so that the jihadists who come even from Indonesia and Nigeria can not just to enter the country. Unfortunately, the West also gets its advantage from the war, because some thought to be able to resolve the crisis at least in part, by selling weapons to the fighters. "
Of the Islamic State, the Patriarch said: "I can not discuss the Islamic state. The problem of IS would be solved within a short time if it were not militarily  supported by some countries in the region such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with the tacit approval of the West."

Turkey and Genocide: "Why the Patriarch of Antioch Can Not Reside in This City?"

Magnificent Christian reliefs of Armenian religious art were lost
Magnificent Reliefs of Armenian Religious Art Were Lost
Regarding the Turkish reactions to Pope Francis, who spoke about the genocide of the Armenians, Ignatius Joseph III .Younan said: "Last Sunday we commemorated the tragedy of our Armenian brothers with a Holy Mass who also included  both Catholics and Orthodox Syrians. The genocide took place. If the Turks do not want to acknowledge this, that's their problem. But that's the truth. We need not be afraid of their reaction. We should rather ask: Why is there, in the area of ​​present-day Turkey, where Christianity was represented historically since ancient times, only a population of 50,000 Christians out of 80 million?  Why did none of the five patriarchs of Antioch, three Catholic and two Orthodox headquarter in this city? I myself am the son of refugees. My mother and my father had to leave Turkey when I was a kid. Given certain attitudes we must firmly and decisively remain here."

EU could make great contribution to the solution of the Middle East conflict

Considering the EU the Patriarch added, "I think of the European Union in a particular way. If the EU is united, their cultural identity rediscovered and  not be determined by the United States: Where does that leave Turkey? Unfortunately, the West is often a prisoner of a certain cowardice, which is reflected in a politically correct mentality. In reality, the EU could make a major contribution to solving the Middle East problem."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: ora pro Siria
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Earthquake at Pontifical Oriental Institute --- Dismissals, Depature and a Murder

(Rome) There is an earthquake in the Pontifical Oriental Institute (Pontifical Institutum Studiorum Orientalium) in Rome, which is run by the Jesuit Order.  Jesuit General Adolfo Nicolas deposed the Rector, the Vice Rector and the two Deans, effectively the entire leadership. The new Provisional  rector was the renowned Islamic scholar and orientalist Samir Khalil Samir, who is also a member of the Jesuit Order.

The Death of Lanfranco Rossi

Last week  the Pontifical Oriental Institute (PIO) mourned the death of Lanfranco Rossi, who was a visiting professor on Oriental  Spirituality. The 60 year-old priest, who  also taught at the Pontifical Gregorian University, was found dead in a field not far from Rome, close to a nearby religious community whose spiritual director he was. According to media reports, the investigators are certain after the autopsy that the priest was murdered. The corpse has stab wounds to the head and strangulation marks on the neck. Rossi had been strangled and left dying by his perpetrators. The Superior of the religious Community "I ricostruttori nella preghiera", however, emphasized in the official press statements that Rossi had died a natural death.  [!] Investigations have been entrusted to a special squad of the Carabinieri.
In the room of the deceased, three skulls were found. The investigators concluded a satanic motive from this. The skulls  had been, according to the Order, "relics". Critics speak of controversial prayer practices of non-Christian traditions. Murder in the course of a robbery  is expressly excluded as a motive in this case.  The community, to which Rossi belonged, lives in absolute poverty.

The Community of "Rebuilding in Prayer"

Rossi, a priest of the Diocese of La Spezia, belonged to the community of "Ricostruttori nella preghiera"  ( Rebuilding in Prayer). The community was founded in the early 80s by the Jesuit Gian Vittorio Cappelletto (1928-2009), who was inspired in the 70s by an encounter with an Indian guru about eastern forms of life. Cappelletto wanted to lead people who had turned away from the faith,  back to prayer. Community members sleep on the floor, eat only vegetarian, shave neither beard nor hair and pray at night in cemeteries.
The mixture of oriental spiritual forms from alien religious "masters" and Christian spirituality is not without controversy. The Community has been accused of having "syncretic" and "neo-Gnostic"  elements. In the meditation courses with a five-point "knowledge extension" are elements of yoga and include the Ananda Marga doctrine. Father Cappelletto was sponsored by the Society of Jesus and they asked him to make the convent's facilities available for its new forms of meditation, the so-called "deep meditation."
The community, which consists of men and women living in common, was canonically approved by the Bishop of La Spezia. In 1989, the first two priests were ordained. Today, it has 27 priests, seminarians and twelve postulants, about 100 devotees and a wider group of several hundred laymen.

Jesuit General Dismisses the Entire Management  of the Oriental Institute 

Quite apart from the murder case, far larger earthquakes shattered the meditative peace of the Pontifical Oriental Institute. In fact, the entire senior management of the Institute was dismissed by the Superior General of the Jesuits.
The dismissal decree, signed by General Adolfo Nicolás Pachón Provost, Vice Chancellor of the Institute, was only posted for a day on the bulletin board of the Institute.
Since Tuesday, April 14, Rector James McCann, Vice Rector Massimo Pampaloni and the Deans of the two faculties of Oriental Studies and Oriental Church Canon Law, Philippe Luisier and Michael Kuchera, all members of the Jesuit Order, are relieved of their duties.

Samir Khalil Samir New Interim  Rector of the Institute

For the time being of the 77-year-old Orientalist and scholar of Islam Sami Khalil Samir Father is an interim lead the institute with the rank of pro-rector. Originally from Egypt, the Jesuit enjoys worldwide reputation. He has taught at the Saint Joseph University of Beirut and many universities in Europe and the United States.
The two faculties are being provisionally conducted with the rank of pro-deans by Father Edward Farrugia and Father Sunny Thomas Kokkaravalayil. Farrugia is Professor of Oriental and Patristic Dogmatics. Kokkaravalayil is an associate professor of legal doctrine and legal methodology, legal theology, Malabarite law and Chaldean law.
The dismissal decree entered into force with immediate effect before the start of the new academic year forthcoming in the fall. In a letter accompanying the decree, the Superior General blamed the "loveless" Spirit which had demoralized the faculty with serious consequences for the mission of the institution.

"Loveless" Climate or Incompetence?

The Pontifical Oriental Institute founded in 1917 by Pope Benedict XV. together with the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. The Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation is the Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Grand Chancellor of the Institute.
In 1922 Pope Pius XI. made it an Institute of the Jesuit Order. The appointment of the director is subject to the Pope on a proposal from the Jesuit General, after consultation with the Jesuit faculty.
In recent months, some of the deans and professors had called for the dismissal of the rector. A native of the US, Jesuit McCann was accused of inability to conduct an academic operation. Jesuit General Nicolas sent an inspector with Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda. Father Ghirlanda is a former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University and canon law expert.  The result of this inspection was the removal of the entire senior management of the Institute.
"That Father McCann enjoyed no special appreciation in the Vatican, one could imagine already on 19 February 2014 when Pope Francis, appointed Vice-Rector Pampaloni and deans Luisier and Kuchera to consult the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, but not him, the incumbent Rector: an all the more pressing humiliation as the secretary of the Congregation was and is his brother in the Jesuit order, the Slovak Archbishop of the Greek rite, Archbishop Cyril Vasil."

Decline of the Institute?

That something was amiss at the Institute  was at least publicly known since  the retirement of the American liturgist, Father Robert Taft, on 15 December 2011. The Laudatio for Father Taft was held by Stefano Parenti, Professor of Oriental liturgies at the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum and students of Taft. Parenti is currently working with Taft in the publication of a monumental history of the Byzantine Liturgy in several volumes.
The Laudatio was published in the journal Studi sull'Oriente Cristiano. Parenti said at the time: "Unlike today, the Pontifical Oriental Institute was until the end of the 80s of the 20th century a superb place for the study of Oriental liturgies, especially the Byzantine liturgy. Who undertake the burden  in the future to write the history of the Institute, will know who is responsible for that  which led to such a spectacular debacle in a massacre that outsiders observed from a distance,  and revealed a desolate arena without winners and losers."
And further:
"We find ourselves in what is described in politics as  a 'systematic error', which has long been known, but was ignored by those who were supposed to be vigilant. Added to this is the uncertainty of many contracts and singular recruitment and promotion procedures for doctorates, which is why there are full professors who had remained only assistants in good state European or American universities in the best of cases until retirement. "

Harried Eastern Christians - Bangert Institute

In fact, "a glance at the list of the faculty," said   Sandro Magister, there can be seen the precarious situation of fixed-term contracts to teaching assignments. Many teachers teach at other universities and are only briefly committed by the Institute to complete a program with the students within a few weeks, for which at other universities an entire semester is scheduled.
"Above all, however, it is striking that the Institute, particularly in a time in which the Oriental Christianity located in the Middle East, North Africa, but also in Ukraine is in an acutely deep crisis and  hard pressed, has  very little to say. Its expert advice, in-depth specialist studies and reports would not only be of special importance "for the local Christian communities, but also for the Holy See," says Magister.

Vice Rector Converted to the Russian Orthodox Church

Last year, the Institute was rocked by a spectacular departure. Former Vice-Rector (until 2013), the American Jesuit of Ukrainian-Hungarian descent, Father Constantin Simon, a specialist in Russian Christianity, turned his back on  the Jesuit Order and the Catholic Church. On June 7, 2014 he was officially incorporated as a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church. The initiation liturgy was led by Archimandrite Amwrosi of Peterhof, the Russian Orthodox Auxiliary Bishop of St. Petersburg, and Rector of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy of the Moscow Patriarchate.
"Some see in the earthquake of these days only the prelude to a temporary closure of the Institute for the purposes of a radical restructuring," said Sandro Magister.
Text: Settimo Cielo / Giuseppe Nardi
Photo: PIO
Trans: Tancred

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chinese Defend Church Against 500 Police -- "Ready for Martyrdom"

(Beijing) In China, the state is moving with force against churches and especially against "too visible" crosses. Christians have defended the cross of their church. 500 police officers took violent action against them. The bloody police action occurred last Monday at 3 O'clock in the morning in the district of Pingyang (Prefecture Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province). The number of injuries, including serious injuries, is considerable. However, the police had to withdraw.

"We are ready to go to prison and die for our faith," say the Chinese Christians and these are not empty words, as evidenced by the images of the defense of Shui Tou Church of Pingyang. Christians have formed a living shield to protect their church from destruction by the state. Many of them were beaten by the police and went to hospital for treatment. Some lives are in danger.

Wave of destruction against churches and crosses

The Protestant Church in Shui Tou is one of the officially recognized churches. Nevertheless, it is to be demolished because the communist regime for several months has engaged in a major campaign against Christianity. In some provinces of the People's Republic of China, Christianity is spreading rapidly. "Too quickly," according to the opinion of the dictatorial ruling Communist Party. For this reason, churches, crosses and other symbols that are "too large" and "visible" and other are to be removed. The Church of Shui Tou has also gone straight to the attention of authorities because of the large cross, which dominates it.

Therefore, Christians have guarded their church for 33 days around the clock. In the early morning hours of July 21st, it was time. At 3 clock in the morning, a large contingent of 500 police with a demolition squad prior drew around the believers. With batons, truncheons, fists and kicks, the police tried to disperse the Christians and to clear a path to the church. The attack lasted an hour. In the end the police had to withdraw. But there remained numerous injured Christians, many of whom had to be rushed to hospitals.

"In anticipation of martyrdom"

The pastor of the church left in protest, from the Protestant organization, loyal to the regime and began a hunger strike "in anticipation of martyrdom." In an open letter he writes: "My heart bleeds at the sight of hundreds of crosses, which are removed one after another in Zhejiang Province. Given the fierce attacks [the police], we are not sure that we can protect the church from destruction. I pray to God that he gives me the strength to be a martyr. "

"The growth of Christianity in recent years is excessive and disorderly," according to the Communist Party. The party is threatened by the increase of the Christians and their influence. The Wenzhou prefecture was an important Christian center of China before the Communist takeover. Before 1949, there were 115,000 Christians, almost one in ten of all Chinese Christians. Today the number of baptized Christians is, despite government persecution and oppression, estimated at 15 percent of the more than nine million inhabitants. It's a fast growing trend. Text: Giuseppe Nardi Bild: International Christian Concern AMGD

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Church and School Are Shelled: 9 Children Killed and 27 Wounded

(Damascus) Islamist rebels have fired two shells into the predominantly Christian district of Al-Qassaa of Damascus. The Christians' Holy Cross Church and St. John's School were struck. Nine children have died, 27 were injured.

As the news agency Sana reported, the children were in a school bus that had just arrived from school in order to bring them to class. The nearby school and the church were also struck.

According to witnesses, the shells fell in the Holy Cross Church and the St. John School. Already on the 7th of October, the Islamists had shelled the church and next to a Christian school. Samaan, a Christian from Al-Qassaa reports that the Islamists "always work this way. They fire shells, then wait a month and then shoot it again."

In kindergarten, there were no casualties in October, because the attack took place on a Sunday. It was apparently the church and potential church visitors. The attack on the school was on a work day this time and caused a bloodbath.

There is still fighting around the Syrian capital, although Assad made a concession to the rebels in order to include all sides in the Geneva II Peace Conference. In Qudsaya is not being fought over presently. The city is located west of Damascus. It is in rebel hands, but is surrounded by government troops. The concession by President Assad to stop the fighting, freed the trapped people from a hopeless situation. The agreement includes that trucks with food such as flour, wheat, water and milk powder may be brought into the city.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
 Image: Tempi
Link to katholisches...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Christians in Maalula Are Fleeing Muslims -- Jihadists Tear Crosses from Domes

Edit: what would have inspired men from all over Europe to take up the sword in one hand and a cross in another, today inspires Leftist politicos to join in on the looting and the day of  reckoning for Christians living in the Middle East.

(Damascus) The Christians of Maalula are on the run. From the only village in the world in which Aramaic, the language of Jesus, is spoken, the vast majority of Christians have fled. The town was devastated by the attack of Islamists. The jihadists began the systematic destruction of the building on behalf of the Free Syrian Army, which wants to move the U.S. President Barack Obama to bring the U.S. into the war. Of the 3,000 inhabitants only a few hundred have returned to the place of the attack to protect the homes from looters. The majority of Christians remain hidden. For great is the fear of the Islamist militias.

A priest of Maalula is quoted by Asianews quoted as saying: "This morning, the terrorists have torn the crosses from the domes of the St Sergius Monastery. This is an open declaration of war against the Christians. By the removal of the crosses they want to send an unmistakable message: Now you Christians get your turn, now anything can happen."

The priest reported that the Islamists wanted to penetrate some quarters on Thursday evening, but then withdrew again. "Our youth have defended the monasteries, churches and our homes. But they are not warriors, they are not trained, these are contrary to peace. That left only the flight. All flee Maalula, because there is no life here with Islamists. "

The priest criticized the Free Syrian Army. While these have always denied links to Al-Qaeda and even released on videos on Youtube that allegedly show their fighters in the defense of Christian churches. "These videos are just propaganda," said the priest. The only "free" in this army is the word in the name. "In reality, they threaten us Christians. You have always told us that your hour comes, we'll take care of you. And now they say your hour has come."

Maalula is a World Heritage Site according to Unesco. The town is located some 40 kilometers north of Damascus. The monasteries of the place are the destination of numerous pilgrims.

Text: Paix Liturgique / Giuseppe Nardi Image: Una Fides

Link to katholisches...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Kidnapped Bishops: Three Months and No Word

Edit: just a word from Notes on Orthodoxy:

by Claire Lesegretain

In the absence of proof of their death, it is not possible to confirm that they were killed by their kidnappers.

But we can wonder why international authorities, who are in contact with the Syrian rebels, are not demanding proof that they are alive or evidence that negotiations are ongoing.

This past Monday, July 22, made three months that we are without any news of Bishop Paul Yazigi, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo, and Bishop John Ibrahim, Syriac Orthodox bishop of the same city. “We have no information,” confirms Mgr Pascal Gollnisch, director of Œuvre d’Orient, who emphasizes the urgency and seriousness of this question. “Since seizing bishops demonstrates that priests and faithful are no longer safe in Syria, it threatens all the Christians of this country,” he says.

Notes on Arab Orthodoxy: The Kidnapped Bishops: Three Months and No Word

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Religious Leaders Demand the Release of Syrian Bishops

Edit: earlier it was reported from many different sources that two Bishops who were kidnapped in Syria were to be released.  It turns out that they are still in captivity, and increasingly, the reports of this tragedy have aroused even the major news media.

[charismanews] Religious leaders from around the world have stepped up their pleas for the safe return of two Syrian bishops who were kidnapped April 22 by armed men as they were driving near the war-torn city of Aleppo.

The kidnappers, who have not been identified, abducted Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan Youhanna Ibrahim, both of Aleppo, while they were undertaking a “humanitarian mission” to help Syria’s Christian minority, according to Syrian Christian expatriates in the U.S.

The bishops’ Syrian Orthodox driver was killed in the attack.
Since 2011, more than 70,000 Syrians have died in fighting in the bloody civil war between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels seeking to oust Assad’s strong-arm regime.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Are Nepal's Religion Statistics Falsified? -- 10 Percent instead of 1.4 Percent are Christinan

(Kathmandu) The Christians in the Himalayan State of Nepal are objecting to the government's published religion statistics.  According to the published data of the official census of 2011 given a few days ago by the mountainous Hindu country, which was a Kingdom until 2008, there are 300,000 Christians.  This consists of 1.4 % of the population.  The Federation of National Christians Nepal, FNCN, has objected to these figures, as reported by the news agency Fides. According to FNCN there are more than 2.5 million Christians living in the upper mountainous country.  One in every ten Nepalese is baptized.

The central statistics office has "arbitrarily underestimated the number of Christians, because 300,000 Christians live in the valley of Kathmandu alone", says C.B. Gahatraj, the General Secretary of the FNCN.  The Federation is prepared at any time, to offer the proof for the number of Christians which is eight times higher than what is maintained by the Statistics Office of the government.

The Federation demands that the government correct the numbers.  At the same time it is demanding that the government reinstates the six point agreement between the government and the Christian communities.

Bikash Bista, the acting Director of the State Statistical Offices explained that the citizens had entered their religious affiliation in the census questionnaire. If this entry hasn't been used by many, the blame isn't on the part of the authorities.  The published numbers are the result of the numbers arrived at in the data, says Bista.

Text: Radio Vatikan/Giuseppe Nardi
Bild: Radio Vatikan

Link to katholisches...