Sixty Catechumens to be Baptized in Nepal During Easter Vigil

More Religious Freedom Allowing Nepalese Catholics to Give "Public Witness" at Easter

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) | 1098 hits

"For our small Catholic community this is the biggest feast, and this year about 60 people will be baptized during the Easter Vigil," said Father Pius Perumana, pro-Vicar Apostolic of Nepal in an interview this week with Fides' News Agency.

"We are preparing ourselves to live an atmosphere of great joy to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord," he said.

Since 2008, Nepal has enjoyed greater religious freedom when the southwest Asian country became a republic after the abolition of the Hindu monarchy.

About 8,000 Catholics live in Nepal, while Christians constitute roughly 7% of its population of about 30 million inhabitants, according to the apostolic vicariate.

Turning to the anticipation of the catechumens, Fr. Perumana added they "have lived a time of great expectations for the day in which they will become full members of the Church."

A university student to be baptized this Easter, Sirjana Khadka, said "God chose me to spread His word.

"I am proud to call myself a Catholic, proud to pass on my faith to friends and neighbours," she told AsiaNews.

The catechumans have prepared for Easter, Father Perumana said, with "strong moments of repentance, fasting and prayer during Lent.

He noted three examples of how parishes in the area of Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, participated in an "intense Lenten journey: moments of spiritual retreat, initiatives of solidarity, and helping the poor."

"Easter in Nepal is a time of great joy and also of 'public witness:' Christian communities celebrate Easter, all over the country, not only with the celebrations in churches," he said.

The pro-vicar also said it celebrated "with parades and public events of joy to announce the beauty of faith, Christ's victory over death and the certainty of eternal life." (D.C.L.)