PHILIPPINES - Migrant Filipino Catholics, witnesses of faith in Islamic nations [AN]

Lack of work each pushes 2 thousand people per day to abandon the country. Many of them emigrate to Muslim countries, where for years they must give up publicly professing the Catholic faith.

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Manila (AsiaNews) - "I am going to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to work as a nurse. I’m scared because for two years I may not receive the sacraments or attend mass”. This is what Radika Canlas tells AsiaNews, a young Filipino Catholic of 23, forced to seek work in the Arab country where there is the radical Islam, of Wahhabism. She adds that despite the inability to practice her religion she will try to “witness the faith” through her work.

“My Catholic faith is very important to me, but I have no choice because of economic difficulties. There are few job opportunities in my country”, says Radika, who while waiting to leave for Riyadh visited a church in Manila to confess and take part in her final mass. She says that during her work in Riydah " personal prayers, the daily recitation of the rosary and reading the word of God will be my only strength, and my only contact with Jesus".

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