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Myanmar archbishop urges reconciliation, peace for Easter

April 14, 2014 - A prominent Catholic Church leader in Myanmar is calling religious leaders of the country to greater religious tolerance saying “unity in diversity” and “peace and prosperity” are the destiny of Myanmar. In this task, it is the duty of Christians to help “remove barriers and break down the walls," says Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon in his message for Easter. He says that the promotion of "greater tolerance among religions" is first of all the duty of "religious leaders " who have to emphasize what "is holy and good" in their faith, and not "attack the other" as has been between Buddhists and Muslims. In the text of the message sent to AsiaNews, the Salesian Archbishop speaks about a nation formerly battered by "wars and refugees " and one which, even today, is facing new challenges and difficulties. In this context, he reminds Christians of their duty to “remove the barriers, break down the walls" according to the principle of "reconciliation" among themselves, their neighbours and creation. "In Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself and He gave us the gift of the Sacrament of Confession," the archbishop reminded Catholics. For the prelate, the message of Easter is a symbol of "hope" and "life" which is in Christ, who said , "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life ."
Archbishop Bo equates Myanmar’s 50 years of brutal military dictatorship to the Way of the Cross – a cross with five nails, namely: dictatorship , war , displaced persons, poverty and oppression and brutality inflicted by men who, in fact, were “emissaries of darkness.” The Church leader urges prayers that the revival that characterized the recent history of Myanmar may not be "false" and "an illusory dawn". He warns that that even today the five "nails" can throw darkness on the new Myanmar with forced evictions, religious hatred fomented by fascist groups, economic neo-liberalism, the continuing conflicts in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities and refugees, fiscal policies that favour only the rich. The Archbishop of Yangon also hopes that every believer can experience "reconciliation" within families, between the different communities of the country - still marked by conflict and suffering, such as the war between the Burmese army and rebel militias in Kachin State, or violence against the Rohingya Muslims in the western state of Rakhine - and a " reconciliation with creation itself," which implies the protection of the territory and of the goods it contains. "There can be no true reconciliation - warns the archbishop - without a sincere forgiveness". (Source: AsiaNews)


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