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Church leader calls for peace dialogue

Yangon Archbishop calls for political and religious consultations

Church leader calls for peace dialogue
Archbishop Charles Bo reporter, Yangon

February 18, 2011

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Myanmar prelate Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon has called on the country’s leadership to meet and consult with religious leaders for the development of the country and its people. “In building a country, religion plays a major role. If political and religious leaders work together, there can be more peace and prosperity,” the 63-year-old Salesian said. His call comes a few weeks after Myanmar’s new parliament convened for the first time following elections in November, which the country’s military rulers said was a step towards establishing a civilian government. However, the first election in two decades was denounced as a sham by much of the international community, which accuses the military of refusing to release its grip on power. Archbishop Bo, who is also secretary general and treasurer of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar, was speaking to 50,000 pilgrims from several denominations and religions at the recent National Marian Feast to Our Lady of Lourdes in Nyaunglebin. “Most people desire peace and happiness.” To obtain this a relationship is essential, Archbishop Bo said. “Among political parties, business people, families and at school, offices or in any given situation, relationships are very important,” he claimed. “A healthy dialogue between civil and religious institutions is fundamental for the integral development of the human person and social harmony,” he added. Catholics make up just one percent out of the 50 million people in the Buddhist majority country. MY13336.1641

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