By Matters India Reporter
Yangon: More than 300,000 people are expected to attend the Mass presided over by Pope Francis in Yangon on Nov 29 at a local Kyaikasan sports ground, said Cardinal Charles Maug Bo on Oct 15.
This Mass is open to all as long as one officially registers ahead of the event.
Myanmar is excited to have the presence of the Holy Father, who is scheduled to visit the Buddhist majority country from Nov 27 to 30, from where he will proceed to neighboring country Bangladesh.
“A few days ago, we had series of meetings with all the bishops and others from 16 dioceses in Yangon in finalizing and working on the details of Papal visit,” said Cardinal Bo, Archbishop of Yangon.
Other engagements of the Pope is to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor (a position akin to a Prime Minister), diplomatic cops and other government officials. He will address top ranking Buddhist monks and leads of other religions, besides meeting country’s Catholic bishops, priests, religious and people in a series of hectic programmes.
During this stay in Myanmar, Cardinal Bo will accompany the Holy Father in the country.
Several committees are being formed for better preparation and hosting the historic visit of the Holy Father to this South Asia country.
The Archbishop’s House, where the Pope will stay three nights is already whitewashed and given a grand face-lift for the important event. Pope is also scheduled to celebrate Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, next to the Archbishop’s House.
According to the government and UN data – 2016, Myanmar has 88.9% Buddhists, 6.3% Christians, 2.3% Muslims, 0.5% Hindus, 0.8% Animists, 0.2% others (Sikhs, Confucians, Bahá’í Faith, and Zoroastrians) and 0.11% no religion. Over 70 percent of the population have smart phones.
Myanmar’s population of more than 51 million is predominantly Buddhist. It has about 700,000 Catholics in 16 Catholic dioceses.