Saturday, April 24, 2010
"A Home is ..." - Myanmarese refugees tie the knot
"A home isn't a building or a locality but a place where relationships are nurtured and given an opportunity to grow ... a place where one learns to forgive, share, and make sacrifices," Rev. Fr. Michael Chua, the Parish Priest of the Church of Visitation, Seremban, reminded the couple, Manuel and Bee Nyar, who entered into the sacred bond of marriage this afternoon. This is the first wedding of refugees conducted in the Church of Visitation.
The occasion was truly a celebration of love and friendship as members of the parish migrant ministry and liturgical team took special effort to make it a memorable event for the couple. Fr. Chua also explained that although the couple and the Myanmarese refugees community were far from their homeland, they have, however, found a new home and a new family here in this parish.
Burmese migrants and refugees are often arrested by Malaysian authorities, whether or not they have registered with the UNHCR and have identification papers. While Malaysia accepts the presence of Burmese and others from outside of the country for the purpose of contributing to the work force, persons identified as refugees and asylum seekers on their way to a third country are viewed as threats to national security. They are also subjected to a whole range of discrimination and exploitation in terms of employment, education and housing.
The Catholic Church in Malaysia has been one of the few organisations which takes the defense of the rights of refugees and migrants seriously in its pastoral ministry. The Migrant Ministry of Visitation has been assisting migrants and refugees in terms of cash and food aid, English classes, integral human formation, health care, legal documentation,housing etc.
Those interested to join or support this ministry, please contact Mr. Alfred Selvam (016-2129404).