Nepal joins global Church media body
Assembly endorses membership during three-day pan-Asian event
Nepal became the first predominantly Hindu nation to join the Church’s global communications body SIGNIS during a gathering of the group’s Asian assembly in the capital this week.
The assembly unanimously endorsed Nepal’s membership following a meeting that saw representatives from 19 Asian countries and six delegates from Nepal gather from October 16-22.
Chirendra Satyal, an organizer for the event, said membership for the country was an important step in the evolution of the country’s media and communications sectors.
“This means Nepal can directly network with members of other countries and our young people can get better access to Catholic institutions in other countries, which offer training in social communications.”
Satyal, also a journalist and secretary of the country’s Catholic media commission, said Christian media faces significant challenges in the country.
“When we talk of Christian media on a nationwide scale, it is usually understood as non-Catholic media.”
Though Protestants operate FM radio stations and produce films and video, and even run small communications centers, it remains difficult for them to enter the largely secular mainstream with professional productions, Satyal said.
He added that the Catholic Church “is still struggling even in the field of print media and is challenged to start a national communication center and train committed Catholics in the field.”
Satyal said a Nepalese priest is currently receiving training in social communications at the Salesian University in Rome.
About four percent of Nepal’s majority Hindu population is Christian, and only about 9,000 are Catholic.
The SIGNIS Asia assembly has passed resolutions to introduce a film festival and media awards, along with a branding plan to introduce SIGNIS in delegates’ respective countries.
Delegates have also agreed to start a social media education workshop to help young people learn about media usage.