#ShortNews: In Bangladesh town, 5 new baptisms, with lives at risk

In the Archdiocese of Dhaka, Catholics welcomed into their community five converts who were baptised on Easter night at the church in Utholi (pictured), Manikganj district.”I am very happy, because from now I can pray to the true God, who died for us on the cross,” a 23-year-old woman said. Like the others who were baptised, she has had to overcome many obstacles to become a Christian and now risks being killed by radical Muslims.

Still, many dangers hang over converts in Utholi. “Last November, we baptised 12 former Muslims. Since then they have received death threats. Some of the parishioners come to church wearing a burqa, so as to confound Islamic fundamentalists.”

A young man who was baptised recently was the latest victim of violence. “Three masked individuals attacked him on his way home from the church. He was beaten and had to be hospitalised. Later he found shelter for a month in the parish building. He has put his life at risk by changing religion.”

The priest notes that the Catholic community has relations with local imams and Islamic leaders. However, some radical Muslim groups do not tolerate the presence of Christians. Father Thomas has called on everyone to pray for them.

Source: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Utholi:-five-new-baptisms,-with-lives-at-risk-46836.html

#ShortNews: In Bangladesh, Easter celebrated as national holiday for first time in 30 years

In Bangladesh, where Sunday is not a holiday, Easter will be celebrated as a holiday for the first time in 30 years.

This was largely the effort of Gloria Jharna Sarker, the first Catholic woman parliamentarian chosen in the last elections who fought to have the rights of the Christian community recognized at the national level, reports AsiaNews.

On Easter Sunday, April 21, all schools in the country will remain closed. Welcoming the good news, local Christians say it is a positive sign of good relations between religions.

A Dhaka merchant explained to AsiaNews that since independence gained in 1971, Sunday was a holiday, including Easter Sunday. However, Sunday ceased to be a holiday since the mid-1980s, when former president Hussain Muhammad Ershad introduced the Islamic tradition making Friday the weekly holiday. “In this way, the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ was excluded from the nationally recognized festivities ”.

It is not known whether this will happen in the years to come but this year Christians have welcomed it with joy.

Full article; https://www.vaticannews.va/en/world/news/2019-04/bangladesh-easter-holiday.html

#MoralStory: Jeremy’s Easter Egg

Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind and a chronic, terminal illness that had been slowly killing him all his young life. Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible and had sent him to St. Theresa’s Elementary School.

At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher. One day, she called his parents and asked them to come to St. Teresa’s for a consultation.

As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty classroom, Doris said to them, “Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn’t fair to him to be with younger children who don’t have learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students!”

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband spoke. “Miss Miller,” he said, “there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here.”

Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn’t fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read or write. Why waste any more time trying?Read More »

Join In The Dance

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Refrain
Join in the dance of the earth’s jubilation!
This is the feast of the love of God.
Shout from the heights to the ends of creation:
Jesus the Savior is risen from the grave!

1. Wake, O people; sleep no longer:
greet the breaking day!
Christ, Redeemer, Lamb and Lion,
turns the night away! (Refrain)

2. All creation, like a mother,
labors to give birth.
Soon the pain will be forgotten,
joy for all the earth! (Refrain)

3. Now our shame becomes our glory
on this holy tree.
Now the reign of death is ended;
now we are set free! (Refrain)

4. None on earth, no prince or power,
neither death nor life,
nothing now can ever part us
from the love of Christ! (Refrain)

5. Love’s triumphant day of vict’ry
heaven opens wide.
On the tree of hope and glory
death itself has died! (Refrain)

6. Christ forever, Lord of ages,
Love beyond our dreams:
Christ, our hope of heaven’s glory,
all that yet will be! (Refrain)

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#ShortNews: Pope Francis’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’ (To the City and the World)

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Easter!

Today the Church renews the proclamation made by the first disciples: “Jesus is risen!” And from mouth to mouth, from heart to heart, there resounds a call to praise: “Alleluia, Alleluia!” On this morning of Easter, the perennial youth of the Church and of humanity as a whole, I would like to address each of you in the opening words of my recent Apostolic Exhortation devoted especially to young people:

“Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world. Everything he touches becomes young, new, full of life. The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive! He is in you, he is with you and he never abandons you. However far you may wander, he is always there, the Risen One. He calls you and he waits for you to return to him and start over again. When you feel you are growing old out of sorrow, resentment or fear, doubt or failure, he will always be there to restore your strength and your hope” (Christus Vivit, 1-2).

Dear brothers and sisters, this message is also addressed to every person in the world. The resurrection of Christ is the principle of new life for every man and every woman, for true renewal always begins from the heart, from the conscience. Yet Easter is also the beginning of the new world, set free from the slavery of sin and death: the world open at last to the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of love, peace and fraternity…..

Read full article here; http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/urbi/documents/papa-francesco_20190421_urbi-et-orbi-pasqua.html

#ShortNews: Sri Lanka Easter Sunday attacks

More than 200 people were killed and at least 450 others were injured in eight coordinated attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. The death toll continues to rise, with at least 207 people dead, according to police.

The attacks marks some of the worst violence the country has seen since the end of its civil war a decade ago. Police have imposed a 12 hour curfew that began at 6 p.m. local time. Officials have said flights will continue through that curfew, albeit with extra security checks.

Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, released a statement condemning the “cowardly attacks on our people” and asked “all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong.”

Christians are a minority in Sri Lanka, with the majority of Christians in the country being Roman Catholic. As Easter is one of Christianity’s holiest days, many of Sri Lanka’s Christian population were worshipping at church when the attacks took place.

source: https://www.vox.com/2019/4/21/18509739/sri-lanka-easter-sunday-attacks-what-we-know

What we know so far;Read More »