Catholics – and people of all faiths – in Myanmar and Bangladesh are preparing to welcome Pope Francis on his upcoming journey, November 27-30, 2017, in Myanmar; and November 30-December 2, 2017, in Bangladesh.
“I am very happy, excited and full of expectations for the Pope’s visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh. We need attention and encouragement,” Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, told news agency SIR. “Among other things, I will speak of the situation of the Rohingya, very sad and complex, but there are also other serious humanitarian crises.”
Myanmar has 659,000 Catholics. The Pope also will meet with leaders of the majority Buddhist religion and other faith groups.
“I think that his visit will help heal many wounds,” Cardinal Bo said.
Anticipation of the Pope’s visit also is growing in Bangladesh, which has a Catholic population of 375,000 – a small percentage of the population in the world’s fourth-largest Muslim nation.
In an interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario, Archbishop of Dhaka, said the Holy Father’s visit will be a “celebration of harmony.” He said the visit will provide Pope Francis with an opportunity to listen to the voice of the country’s poor and take it to the whole world, especially regarding issues such as climate change, human rights, and Rohingya refugees.