For Burmese cardinal, the Church in Asia is a source of peace and reconciliation among nations


The archbishop of Yangon spoke at a conference in Bangkok that drew 43 delegates from 14 nations. Race, religion and politics are among the "many challenges" the continent faces. Calling for mutual respect and unity in diversity to end decades of conflict, he stressed the importance of education and religious freedom as the foundations of coexistence.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) – The “Church’s mission” in Asia is “to be reconcilers and peace-builders in our world today,” said Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar) at a conference titled ‘Reconciliation and Peace in the Context of Asia’.

The event, which concluded on April 11at the Camillian Pastoral Care Centre in Bangkok (Thailand), drew 43 delegates, from 14 countries.

In his address, the archbishop noted that Asia is home to 60 per cent of the world population (4.5 billion people), a place where we can see “the beauty of diversity, the dynamism of economic development, the vibrancy of our different cultures, [. . .] a continent where religion matters – and where all the world’s religions have a place. Where Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Christianity meet each other.”

In his Easter message, Cardinal Bo had stressed peace and reconciliation, as well as solidarity with the persecuted Christians in the Middle East, issue that he reiterated at the conference in Thailand.

For the archbishop of Yangon, Asia is pluralistic, from the Korean Peninsula to Pakistan, from India to Bangladesh, from China to Vietnam through Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia and many other countries still. Hence, the concept of "mutual respect and unity in diversity" is important.

In recognizing this, for Catholics, the task of being “reconcilers and peace-builders” is a priority.

Source: Francis Khoo Thwe (