Monday, August 28, 2017

Vatican Announces Papal Visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh

The coming papal visit logos for Myanmar (left) and Bangladesh (right)
Image courtesy: Radio Vaticana

The Vatican on August 28 announced Pope Francis' official apostolic visit to Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh from November 27 to December 2, reports the Catholic News Agency (CNA).

The Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke, read out a statement that the pope will make the visit to the cities of Yangoon (former Rangoon) and Nay Pyi Taw of Myanmar on November 27 - 30. The pope then will be in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on November 30 - December 2.

In Myanmar, according to the 2014 census, there are roughly 5.1 million people, of whom 88% are Buddhists, 6.2% Christians (among whom 700,000 are Roman Catholics), and 4.3% Muslims and .5% Hindus.

In last May, the Vatican and Myanmar officially established diplomatic relations with the provision of having each other's ambassadors. In 2015, Charles Maung Bo, the archbishop of Yangoon, was elevated to the cardinalate.

The neighbouring Bangladesh, on the other hand, has a population of about 163 million and, according to the 2011 census, 90.39% are Muslims, 8.54% Hindus, 0.60% Buddhists, 0.37% Christians (of whom, about 300,000 are Catholics) and 0.14% others (Sikhs, animists, and atheists) . Patrick D'Rozario, the archbishop of Dhaka, became a cardinal in the papal consistory in the Vatican on November 19, 2016. 

It is noteworthy that Pope Francis' visit to Bangladesh will be the third visit of a pope. On November 27, 1970, Pope Paul VI, on his way to Manila, the Philippines, made a short stopover in Dhaka (then in East Pakistan, which later became Bangladesh), and expressed his love and sympathy for the victims of the deadly November 12 cyclone that had devastated a large portion of the coastal areas and killed more than 300,000 people.   Pope John Paul II, made an apostolic visit to Dhaka, Bangladesh, on November 19 - 20, 1986.   

To know more on the coming papal visit, plead read the following:

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