ASIA/INDONESIA - Asian Youth Day 2017: celebrating diversity in a multicultural society

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 youth   dialogue   pastoral   pluralism   culture   environment  

Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) - To encourage and accompany young people in Asia to live and promote a "culture of solidarity and encounter with the other, in the multicultural and multireligious societies of Asia", and increase the awareness of the contribution to give to the Church and society: this is the intent of the seventh Asia Youth Day, which in 2017 will be held in Yogyakarta in central Java, from July 30 to August 9, 2017. The theme chosen for the event which will bring over 3,000 young Catholics from 29 Asian countries to Indonesia is "Joyful Asian Youth! Living The Gospel In Multicultural Asia".
Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo presented the content and objectives of the Day who, as Fides learns, during the conference presentation said: "It is an honor for Indonesia to host Asian Youth Day 2017. We expect all the Catholic youth in Indonesia and other Asian countries to participate and get involved in the spirit of the central theme: understand and experience the importance of unity among differences".
The head of the Episcopal Commission for Youth, Mgr. Pius Riana Prapdi, remarked: "We want to accompany young people and help them in being sensitive towards the challenges that the peoples of Asia live today, such as poverty, degraded environment, human rights abuses, drugs, intolerance and injustice". He added, "Through the meeting, one hopes that young Catholics from different countries can share experiences, reflections and insights of faith, so as to boost their confidence for a better future".
As Fides learns, Asian Youth Day will be divided into three phases: a phase in the dioceses; a few days in the city’s headquarters; and the meeting of the leaders of the youth ministry will follow. In the first phase, participants will be spread across 11 dioceses in Indonesia, where they will live a special sharing of experiences. Then everybody will move to Yogyakarta and live moments of catechesis, liturgy, sharing their stories, according to the different origins, finding the common element of faith in Christ. The meeting of the Youth Ministry animators then is a special occasion for those who accompany young Catholics: they must be able to guide and encourage the young people entrusted to them.
Father Antonio Haryanto, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Youth, as president and chief executive of the organizing committee of the Asian Youth Day, told Fides: "To directly see and listen to other cultures and languages gives the figure of the complexity of living in a pluralistic society. It also increases mutual tolerance and a sense of brotherhood and solidarity, in the commitment to create a better global future".
In order to involve the inhabitants of Indonesia, Asia Youth Day 2017 will be preceded by a marathon, sporting event to be held in Jakarta on May 7, 2017 with approximately 5,000 participants. "Here, young people from Jakarta and its surroundings will be able to feel and infect people with the spirit of Asian Youth Day", notes Fr. Haryanto.
The event features an advanced online platform and social networks: one can access on the web site:; via Facebook: asianyouthday; on Twitter: AYD2017; Instagram: asianyouthday2017. (PA-PP) (Agenzia Fides, 14/03/2017)