A Car for the Only Bishop in Nepal
Bishop Paul Simick, who is from India, needs to do a good deal of traveling in order to visit the isolated Catholic communities and strengthen and encourage them. Can you help him fund a car to do his wonderful work?
For over 240 years, until it became a republic in the year 2008, Nepal was the one and only Hindu monarchy in the world. While since 2006 Hinduism has no longer been the official state religion, the country is still strongly characterized by Hinduism. Hindus make up the overwhelming majority at over 80% of the population. The second largest group, at a little over 9%, are the Buddhists, while Christians account for just 1.4% of the population – and Catholics are a minority among them. Numbering just 8,000 or so, the Catholic faithful make up no more than a tiny minority of 0.1%.
The situation in Nepal is very delicate. In 2015, the country adopted a new constitution, and in the very same year it was struck by two severe earthquakes. In May 2017, the first local elections for 20 years were held; they are expected to be followed by Parliamentary elections in January 2018.
In April 2017, there was an arson attack on the parish house of the Catholic cathedral in Kathmandu. By the grace of God, nobody was injured in the attack. The perpetrators and their motives are as yet unknown, but it is not the first time that the tiny Catholic community in Nepal has been the target of such attacks. In May of 2009, a bomb exploded in the cathedral, and now many Catholics are afraid.
The Vicar General, Father Silas Bogati acknowledges: “From time to time we Catholics here are discriminated against, and although we are Nepalese citizens, we are treated like foreigners, simply because we are Christians. Unfortunately, in some sectors of society there are hostile attitudes towards the Christian communities.”
The Apostolic Vicariate of Nepal covers the entire country, and Bishop Paul Simick, who is from India, needs to do a good deal of traveling in order to visit the isolated Catholic communities and strengthen and encourage them. But his car is already 12 years old and has suffered a great deal of wear and tear during this time.
Now that spare parts are no longer obtainable, the bishop must purchase a new vehicle. Nepal is an overwhelmingly rural country and a great part of it lies within the Himalayan mountain range. The great majority of the population live outside the towns, so the pastoral journeys the bishop has to make are long and arduous and make heavy demands on any vehicle.
Since all vehicles in Nepal are extremely expensive, the bishop has turned to ACN for help – and we have gladly promised him $44,800.
Will you give to help the only bishop in Nepal so that he can more easily reach his small and threatened Catholic community?
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