ASIA/INDONESIA - Young Indonesians, salt and light in a world without boundaries

Wednesday, 12 October 2016 youth   dialogue   world youth day   peace   islam   religious minorities  


Manado (Agenzia Fides) - "The Day of Indonesian youth was a typical expression of Indonesia's diversity: we know that Indonesia is a plural country, cradle of the diversity of cultures, languages and faiths; the Church is one of these components that lives diversity in harmony, as stated in the official motto of Indonesia, which is unity in diversity": this is what Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi, President of the Youth Commission of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference, says to Agenzia Fides with regards to the event held in Manado in early October, which gathered 2,500 young Catholics from Indonesian and some from Malaysia, on the theme "The joy of the Gospel in a plural society".
"Young Catholics from 37 Indonesian dioceses experienced a special time and are back in their homes steadfast in their identities, with the commitment to be 100% Catholic and 100% Indonesian", remarked the Bishop. The participants shared their experience in Manado with Catholic families, Protestants and even Muslim families, as proof of this harmony perceived and experienced.
In the final message of the Day, sent to Agenzia Fides, the young people say: "We feel called to be salt and light of the world. Through God's mercy, we are asked to live an evangelical life based on respect for human dignity, on the protection of environment, on the option for the young, the poor, the weak, the marginalized". In the text the young declare themselves "aware that new technologies have made the world an area without borders. We know that the call is to fulfil the values of goodness, truth and beauty for ourselves, for our families, for the whole world". Rejecting acts of violence and intolerance, human trafficking, abuse and addictions that destroy the young generation, young Indonesians say they "experienced the joy of giving the Gospel in Indonesia's pluralistic society" and of wanting to be "joyful announcers, to build the spirit of tolerance and harmony, with the testimony of the Gospel of Christ".
Participants in the Day commit themselves now "to be promoters of socio-political change at all levels, to build a more just and humane world order", in terms of dialogue with others, "without any discrimination and with a true spirit of love".
Among the religious present, Sr. Evelin Tivit of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, who comes from neighboring Malaysia – said that she shares the Bahasha language with Indonesia –told Fides the beneficial effects for interreligious dialogue and Muslim-Christian relations: "Christians and Muslims were moved. I learned the unity in diversity, in an event that was a gift for everyone, not only for Catholics". (PA-PP) (Agenzia Fides 12/10/2016)