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Church \ Church in Asia

Young Asian Catholics find new ways to become evangelizers

File photo of Young people at the 6th Asian Youth Day in, South Korea,  August 2014. - EPA

File photo of Young people at the 6th Asian Youth Day in, South Korea, August 2014. - EPA

13/08/2015 16:04

Bringing the good news to "the cloud" is one of the challenges identified by some 100 young Asian ‎Catholics who gathered in the Philippine capital Manila to mark the United Nations International Youth ‎Day.  "Our young people are called to be evangelizers of a new continent — the Internet continent," ‎said Father Eduardo Apungan, director for apostolate of the Claretian congregation, which organized ‎the event on Tuesday, the eve of the Aug. 12 International Youth Day.  "Young people in Asia have a ‎lot of things to share with the world," the priest said, adding that the youth are the "multipliers of ‎evangelization."  Father Leo Dalmao, the Claretian provincial superior in the Philippines, said the ‎gathering in Manila is an attempt to consolidate young people in Asia to become "evangelizers in other ‎parts of the world."  "We in Asia, especially the young, play a very important role in terms of ‎evangelization," said Fr Dalmao, adding that the activity in Manila is "our response to the challenge to ‎use new media in evangelization."‎

The activities during the weeklong event include multimedia productions and discussions about the use ‎of social media as tools "to evangelize the youth in the context of information technology."  "That's ‎why the theme is 'Meeting Christ in the Cloud,'" Fr Dalmao said.   But young Catholics in Asia also are ‎facing a lot of challenges, especially in non-Christian countries. In Japan, for example, "there are many ‎young people who do not know or do not believe in God," said Shimizu Ayaka, 21, from Osaka, Japan.‎

‎"It is very challenging to be a Christian in my country," she said. "There are a lot of challenges in ‎spreading the good news."‎

Gemma Doromal, a member of the Kaulo tribe in the southern Philippines, said the entry of modern ‎technology to the hinterlands has "brought problems, immorality, and vices."  "We lost some of our ‎young tribal leaders who were lured to the cities," the girl said in her local language.  Doromal said she ‎joined the gathering in Manila to learn how to deepen their experience with other young people.  ‎

On Aug. 11, other youth groups marked the International Youth Day in Manila with calls on young ‎people "to go beyond the comforts of their homes, classrooms and the Internet and engage in social ‎issues."  The theme of this year’s U.N. International Youth Day, was "Youth Civic Engagement."‎

13/08/2015 16:04