ASIA/INDONESIA - Young Asian Catholics: “We will face the challenges of the millennium to spread the Gospel”

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Yogyakarta (Agenzia Fides)- “We face problems and challenges in living our Catholic faith and live in a globalized era that impacts our life. Rapid technological advances give rise to consumerism, addictions, and loss of our own identity because of the fading culture.” This was affirmed in the Final Statement of the 7th Asian Youth Day, held at Dirgantara Air Force Academy, Yogyakarta in Indonesia from 31 July to 6 August (see Fides 5/8/2017).
“We cannot avoid modernisation – we read in the statement titled “Joyful Asian Youth: Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia” - “some of us may lack confidence in living our own faith. Due to pressures arising from intolerance and feeling left behind, we lack intimacy with God and His creation. We feel like we do not have enough support from different sectors of society. Therefore, as the Catholic youth of Asia, we need the chance and space to be heard and noticed.”
The statement continues that the 7th AYD members have capabilities to overcome challenges . “These qualities play an important part for the continuity of the Catholic faith. As youth we are empowered by the Holy Spirit which gives us the energy and fire to spread the Gospel in this multicultural world. We are the front liners. We are armored by our talents, bravery, compassion and determination. These qualities are the assets that are needed by society to respond to the challenges that the world is facing . ”
Recalling time spent with young more than 100 young Muslims during the event, the young Catholic participants said “These multicultural encounters helped us to see our faith in a new light. It fanned the flame of our passion. We hope that through the Holy Spirit we will be able to set the world ablaze.”
However, they added, that same fire if not guided can become uncontrollable and harm others. “Thus, it is important to receive help in perfecting our skills and putting them to good use.” They also implore the help of their pastors and animators to be good role models “and bring us to realize that our passions can be useful.” They implore therefore the help of their pastors and animators “be good role models”.
“Jesus taught us to love unconditionally. We want to bear witness to the same Spirit of Love that he showed us. This includes caring for our common home according to the challenge of Laudato Sii. We will take the steps to communicate with others by going out to meet them where they are, and seeking to understand more deeply about their cultures. We will act as the facilitators and animators of unity, creating a bridge to love and respect those of different cultures,” the statement affirms and concludes: “Additionally, since technology and social media has become such an integral part of our lives as young people, we will use these tools responsibly to spread positivity and goodness rather than negativity and hate, share the word of God and inspire others. ” (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 8/8/2017)