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Rome Reports

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Most important biblical contest in Europe presented at the Vatican

Bringing Sacred Scripture to children is not only limited to the Mass, catechesis and classes. They can also learn more about the Bible by competing.

The Christian Federation of Catalonia in eastern Spain had this thought more than 30 years ago. Since then, more than 1,200,000 children and adolescents have participated in a Bible competition to learn about the book on which Christianity is based.

MSGR. JOSÉ íNGEL SíIZ MENESES 

Bishop of Tarrasa (Spain)

"It was born in 1986, and that year 380 papers were presented. We celebrated 30 years of competing in 2015 and in that same year 69,850 papers were presented. That is we moved from only 300 in the first year to almost 70,000, and we think we will surpass that number too. There are many elementary schools and high schools which are not yet involved, and many parishes that do not participate.�

Younger children compete in drawing and basic questionnaire categories, while teens can participate in written and computer categories, reflecting on a particular passages of the Bible.

The contest is widespread throughout this region, with 25 percent of public and private schools participating and the 10 dioceses of Catalonia supporting.

ANTONI COMAS

President, Christian Federation of Catalonia

"It is a successful experience because during the current times there is a need to strengthen the virtues, to strengthen the knowledge of our art. It's not possible to understand our art in Spain, Catalonia or even Europe without biblical knowledge, nor can you know the culture of the country."

An exhibition in Rome commemorates the 30 year anniversary of the competition. It's a celebration that had its greatest moment when the Federation gave the Pope a book that reviews the experiences of the competition in the past 30 years.

In the midst of some parts of Catalonia wanting their independence from Spain, the Christian Federation has also come to Rome to give Pope Francis a book containing the magisterium of the Popes Pius XI to Benedict XVI on the concepts of nation and nationalism.

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