Yogyakarta --- Two thousands of Asian Catholic Youths from various countries in Asia are now in Indonesia for the 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD). The event happens every three years and the previous hosts were Thailand, Taiwan, India, Hong Kong, Philippines, and South Korea. This year, AYD’s is held at Archdiocese of Semarang and “Joyful Asian Youth, Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia” as the theme. AYD is an initiative of the Catholic Youth’s Ministers and Federation of Asian Bishop Conference (FABC), Youth Desk.
“AYD aims to give an opportunity for young people to share their stories and hopes for the Catholic Church in Asia and to encourage their involvement in multicultural dialogue as witnesses of the joy of Gospel,” said Father Yohanes Dwi Harsanto Pr., Head of the AYD Steering Committee.
Series of pre-events have been held to prepare the AYD participants. It was started by welcoming AYD Cross into parishes at the Archdiocese of Semarang. While the youths in Asia joined the pre-event through social media. This Pre-Event is meant for all youths in Asia so they can feel the joy of AYD eventhough they cannot attend the main event in Yogyakarta.
The AYD participants have the opportunity to get to know more about Indonesia through Days in Diocese (DID) on July 30-August 2, 2017. Thousands of participants are divided into groups and live together with Indonesian families in 11 Dioceses. Through DID, youths are expected to build network and to experience multiculture in Indonesia and Asia.
Days in AYD’s Venue will be on August 2-6, 2017, with agenda that reflects the AYD theme related to the joyful youths in multicultural Asia. The participants will be involved in exposure – visiting some communities and places in Yogyakarta that reflects living in diversity. Furthermore, the participants will also join workshops with topics related to the youth, such as taking care the environment, tackling corruption and other social problems.
Moslem youths will also be involved in AYD as volunteers who are going to share a story about Islam in Indonesia.
“Through the encounter of the Catholic and the Moslem Youths, all of the participants will understand not only about Islam in Indonesia but also how to live in harmony as the young people in Asia,” Father Santo added.
AYD is an opportunity for the youths to learn values of the multicultural realities in Asia so that youths will be ready to share the good news across Asia.