Bangalore (Fides Service) - More than one thousand youth delegates from various dioceses in many Asian countries will attend Asian Youth Day in Bangalore India, 9-16 August 2003 at the invitation of the Indian Bishops’ Conference in collaboration with the Indian Catholic Youth Movement and the Federation of Asia Bishops’ Conferences.
The theme chosen for this year’s Youth Day is “Young Asians for Peace”. Reflection will focus on how young people in Asia can promote reconciliation in their respective countries, disrupted by war, ethnic and civil conflict, social disorder and build an authentic culture of peace at local and global level. The organisers say that as well as Catholics, participants will include young people of other religions, in order to extend reflection on peace involving young Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and other followers of traditional religions.
Study sessions will focus on the four pillars of peace indicated in Pacem in Terris encyclical: Truth, Justice, Love and Freedom considered at the different levels: individual, community, nation and universal.
Discussion will also focus on matters which affect the world of youth: globalisation, war on terrorism, AIDS, drug abuse, alcoholism, ecological unbalance, unemployment, fundamentalism. Consumerism, crisis of values.
The organisers plan to distribute more than one million candles in schools and collages throughout the country, to involve all young people in the celebration of the Youth Day Prayer Vigil on 14 August. Young peopel are preparing a banner 2,500 meters long on which anyone, young delegates and all peopel of good will can write their own thoughts on peace.
As for the World Youth day events, a large Youth Day Cross is being carried through the dioceses of Indian gathering young people in prayer in preparation for the Day. The Cross has already been through other countries in Asia. In Bangalore, the young people will stay with local families, as is the custom with World Youth Day events. PA (Fides Service 13/6/2003 EM lines 30 Words: 312)