Pope’s Exhortation On Harvesting Souls

When Pope John Paul II visited India in 1999, he complained to Mother Teresa that the Church’s harvest of souls had been very poor. In New Delhi, he said:

… just as in the first millennium the cross was planted on the soil of Europe, and in the second on that of the Americas and Africa, we can pray that in the third Christian millennium a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent
It is indeed a mystery why the Savior of the world, born in Asia, has until now remained largely unknown to the people of the continent…
If the Church in Asia is to fulfill its providential destiny, evangelization as the joyful, patient and progressive preaching of the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ must be your absolute priority…
Asia is the earth’s largest continent and is home to nearly two-thirds of the world’s population, with China and India accounting for almost half the total population of the globe…
Asia is also the cradle of the world’s major religions — Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. It is the birthplace of many other spiritual traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, Jaimsm, Sikhism and Shintoism. Millions also espouse traditional or tribal religions, with varying degrees of structured ritual and formal religious teaching. The Church has the deepest respect for these traditions and seeks to engage in sincere dialogue with their followers. The religious values they teach await their fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

Read the last sentence carefully. It means that no matter how good or great a religion is, compared to Christianity, it is always imperfect. He summed up his intentions by saying:

Asia is thirsting for the living water that Jesus alone can give.

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