The Holy Father, in the first The Pope Video this year prepared by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, calls for respect for religious minorities in Asia. He also calls for true religious freedom on that continent.
(Vatican City, January 5th, 2018) — Just as in 2016 and 2017, Pope Francis begins 2018 sharing his monthly intentions through The Pope Video. 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 Taoists, and followers of Sikhism, Jainism, 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 intentions are entrusted each month to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and The Pope Video is produced by La Machi Communication for Good Causes with the support of the Society of Jesus, IndigoMusic, GettyImagesLatam, Doppler Email Marketing and the collaboration of Vatican Media. It also has Aleteia as a media partner. Since its launch in January of 2016, it has had more than 20 million views on its networks.
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About The Pope Video
The Pope Video is a global initiative developed by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer) to disseminate the monthly intentions of the Holy Father concerning the challenges facing humanity. The videos seek to unite people in praying with Pope Francis for those challenges. The Project has the support of Vatican Media, sole owner of the rights. For more information: https://www.thepopevideo.org.
About the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer)
For over a century, the Apostleship of Prayer has been publishing to the world the prayer intentions entrusted to them by popes. Now, in its process of recreation, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network emphasizes its role of communicating the prayer intentions and leveraging new media and tools. Its mission is to unite people in prayer and service in response to the challenges facing humanity which the Holy Father expresses in his monthly intentions. Those who participate in this network are encouraged to become apostles in daily life through a spiritual path called “Way of the Heart,” transforming those who take that path in the service of the mission of Jesus Christ. Founded in 1844 and present in over 98 countries, the Apostleship of Prayer unites more than 35 million people in its network, including its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement. For more information: http://www.popesprayer.net/.
About La Machi
The Pope Video is an idea of La Machi, a creative boutique specializing in communication to advance good causes founded in 2012, with offices in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and Rome. Its mission is to help companies, NGOs, and religious institutions communicate their philanthropic purposes. It specializes in strategic communication, creative advertising, digital development, and fundraising. La Machi has been recognized as a “Friend of Project Red” (RIIAL) and won the 2015 & the 2016 Mercury Prize for Best International SME of Marketing, awarded by the Argentinian Association of Marketing. For more information: http://www.lamachi.com/en.
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