News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
World News

Pope urges Catholics to 'communicate faith' in Buddhist-majority Thailand

by Press Association

Thousands of Thais welcomed Francis as he travelled to St Peter's Parish, a Catholic community outside Bangkok, to pray at the sanctuary of Thailand's first martyred priest.

There, he told a few hundred priests and nuns that he read "with some pain" that for many Thais, Christianity is "a religion for foreigners".

He said: "This should spur us to find ways to talk about the faith in dialect, like a mother who sings lullabies to her child.

"With that same intimacy, let us give faith a Thai face and flesh, which involves much more than making translations."

Children dressed as monks and nuns, as well as real-life religious and ordinary Catholics, cheered him as he passed through the crowd outside the church in his Popemobile and later on foot.

It is the first time in a generation that Thais have seen a Pope up close, after John Paul II became the first pontiff to visit Thailand in 1984.

Pornnutcha Kruprasert, a 14-year-old training to be a nun from southern Prachuap Khiri Khan province, said she was "excited and delighted" to see the Pope.

"The Pope always has good thoughts for all youths," she said cheerfully. "We can bring his teachings into real life."

AP Photo/Wason Wanickakom

After meeting with clergy and nuns, Francis met with members of his own Jesuit order and bishops from across Asia to encourage them to spread the faith as their missionary predecessors did.

On Friday afternoon, he attended an interfaith encounter to highlight care for the poor and the environment as areas where Catholics can co-operate with Buddhists, Muslims and members of other Christian denominations.

"All of us are called not only to heed the voice of the poor in our midst: the disenfranchised, the downtrodden, the indigenous peoples and religious minorities, but also to be unafraid to create opportunities... to work hand in hand," he said.

"For our part, we are asked to embrace the moral imperative of upholding human dignity and respecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom."

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.