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Pope starts 2018 praying for those who can’t practice their faith freely

Aleteia - published on 01/05/18

The Pope Video with his monthly intention brings us to Asia, to see the situation of minorities there

Just as in 2016 and 2017, Pope Francis began 2018 sharing his monthly intentions through The PopeVideo. In this first edition of the year, Francis urges the respect for and protection of Christians and other religious minorities in Asia. As well, he emphasizes the importance of guaranteeing that these religious groups can live their faith with total freedom in all of the nations of the continent.

“Let us pray for all of them, so that Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practice their faith in full freedom,” the pope invites. “We place ourselves on the side of the men and women who fight to avoid renouncing their religious identity.”

With more than 16.6 million square miles, Asia is the globe’s biggest continent and contains a countless number of religious minorities. In addition to Christianity, in various countries there are Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, and followers of Shamanism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, and others. Many of these peoples coexist peacefully, but in certain regions, there are conflicts and religious persecution.

“In the vastly diversified cultural world of Asia, the Church faces multiple challenges. Her task is made more difficult by the fact of her being a minority,” the pope points out in the video. “These challenges are shared with other minority religious traditions, with whom we share a desire for wisdom, truth and holiness.”

“Just a few weeks ago, the Pope visited Asia—specifically, Myanmar and Bangladesh—and while there, he emphasized how important it was that different religious creeds be able to live in peace and harmony,” said Jesuit Father Frédéric Fornos, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement. “Asia is a very important continent for the proclamation of the Gospel: a continent in which people of widely diverse cultures and beliefs live together, including many religious minorities. I think that’s why Francis decided to dedicate this month to pray for the religious freedom of all.”

The prayer intentions are entrusted each month to the Pope‘s Worldwide Prayer Network. Since The PopeVideo was launched in January 2016, it has received more than 20 million views on its own networks.


The PopeVideo is possible thanks to the support of many people. You can make a donation at this link.

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Pope Francis
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