Tag Archives: ayd-7

Yogyakarta governor officially opens AYD-7 with “othok-othok”

The sultan (R) plays the othok-othok to officially open the Asian Youth Day, 2 Aug 2017, Yogyakarta.

YOGYAKARTA – Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, governor of Yogyakarta, played the othok-othok – a Javanese traditional musical instrument – to officially open the 7th Asian Youth Day on 2 Aug 2017.

This image was embedded with all the meaning of the Asian Youth Day, an event organised by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences which, for a week [30 July-6 Aug 2017] brought together young Catholics from twenty-two Asian nations on the streets of Yogyakarta, a town on the Indonesian island of Java.

The Sultan, the civil and religious leader of the Yogyakarta Province, offered his support to the Catholic gathering by granting the use of a large conference centre hosting the various events of the week free of charge: meetings, seminars, catechesis, theatre and music performances, prayer and reflection experiences, all of them centred on the subject of multiculturalism and harmony between different cultures and religions.

The focus of what is known as the “Asian WYD” – World Youth Day is the source of inspiration – is “Living the Gospel together in a multicultural Asia,” and no better country than Indonesia to host an event where the Catholic Church promotes the paradigm for coexistence among the faithful of different religions starting from the younger generations while this most populous Islamic country in the world is shaken by the turmoil of radical Islam which challenges tolerance and social harmony.

The Archbishop of Jakarta and President of the Indonesian bishops, Ignazio Suharyo, clearly spelt this out to Vatican Insider.

“Indonesia is a pluralist and multicultural country by nature, with over three thousand ethnic groups and eleven thousand local languages. Through its young people, the country can teach pluralistic and peaceful coexistence among men and religions to other Asian countries. Our young people provide an example of unity, embodying the “unity in diversity” which is the nation’s motto. But it is an approach that can and should be exported to all Asian contexts and beyond,” he said.

Yogyakarta, in particular, is considered a “micro-Indonesia” for its innate religious and cultural pluralism; it hosts over sixty state and private universities, colleges and academies; it welcomes young people from all over the nation who populate streets, bars, libraries, squares, temples and markets, which make “Yogya” (as it is widely known) a multicoloured oasis.

The city is in itself a special one; Yogyakarta is, in fact, the only Indonesian province still governed by a pre-colonial sultan who has led a sort of mini-theocracy since his father, a half-century ago, contributed to the struggle for independence from the Dutch and then agreed to be part of the Indonesian Republic.

Today, the sultan is the illuminated leader of a cheerful, pluralistic, open, fertile city of ideas and transcultural initiatives where citizens of all religions appreciate his work and never question the institutional exception of a hereditary ruler. The city, strong in a collective consciousness and open to the most diverse contributions, hosted the Asian Youth Day, which brought over two thousand young people from 22 countries, 52 bishops (including six cardinals) and 158 priests to Yogya.

In this particular context, the Asian WYD is characterised by a deep interreligious meaning: in the most populous Muslim country in the world, young Muslims take part in the scheduled events and are even involved in the organising committee. The Indonesian Government also provided financial and political support through the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

President Joko Widodo also counts on Christians (about 10% of the 250 million inhabitants, including 7.5 million Catholics compared to 85% Muslim inhabitants) to counter, in the name of the concept of civic duty, the return of Islamic extremism that is creating widespread concern.

The basis of civic coexistence, strongly reiterated by Widodo, is the “Pancasila,” a charter with five principles governing the social life of such a multifaceted nation which strengthen the national identity to help prevent balkanisation of the country.

The Pancasila, by outlining a democratic state where religion has a weight but is not the basis of a theocracy, provides shelter from the sirens of the Islamic State.

The caliphate set in motion a massive propaganda operation in southeast Asia, finding fertile ground in some Indonesian radical groups such as the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, which, thanks to a recent measure approved by the executive, could be banned without going through the courts. – vaticaninsider

AYD-7 inaugurated with Mass in Yogyakarta

Flag procession before the Mass, 2 Aug 2017, Yogyakarta

The 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD7) kicked off with a colourful concelebrated Mass on 2 Aug 2017 ‎in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in a colourful and festive show of unity around Christ and his Gospel ‎amidst the continent’s diverse cultures and peoples.

After four days of the preliminary ‘Days in the Dioceses’ (DID) live-in programme in 11 Indonesian ‎dioceses, July 30- August 2, the over 2000 young Catholics from 21 countries converged in Yogyakarta, the cultural ‎and intellectual heartland of Indonesia.  The 7th Asian Youth Day on the theme “Joyful Asian Youth! ‎Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia,” will conclude on Aug 6. ‎

Youth participants had begun pouring in at Yogyakarta’s government facility, Jogja Expo Centre (JEC), ‎since early morning, August 2.  After lunch, the various national contingents began celebrating with ‎songs and performances and shared their DID experiences of living with local families in dioceses, in ‎preparation for the Eucharistic celebration.

The inaugural AYD7 Mass, that was streamed live by organisers, was presided over by Bangladeshi ‎Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka, chairman of the Office of Laity and Family of the Federation of ‎Asian Bishops’ Conferences, under which comes the Youth Desk that organises the AYD in ‎collaboration with the country’s bishops’ conference body and its youth commission.  Joining Card ‎D’Rozario at the altar were 52 bishops, including 6 cardinals and 158 priests.  Among the concelebrants ‎were AYD host Archbishop Robertus Rubiyatmoko of Semarang, Indonesian bishops’ president, ‎Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta and President of Indonesian bishops’ Youth Commission, ‎Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi of Ketapang. ‎

Card D’Rozario began his homily singing a few lines from the hymn, “Rejoice in the Lord always….” ‎setting the mood of his reflection on the theme of the AYD7– “Joyful Asian Youth! Living the Gospel ‎in Multicultural Asia.”  The young people, many in traditional dress and country t-shirts and holding their ‎country flags, joined in with rhythmic clapping accompanied by the piano.  The cardinal explained that ‎the reason for their joy was that Jesus loves them, despite their unworthiness and sinfulness.   He said ‎when they feel sad or without joy, it is then that Jesus loves them most.  Jesus loves them by calling ‎them, choosing them and sending them out to mission, to proclaim His love,  mercy, compassion and ‎healing to others.

Card D’Rozario compared the AYD gathering to the Pentecost where people of diverse cultures, ‎languages, ethnic groups and nations of Asia were one in the Holy Spirit who manifests Himself in a ‎variety of gifts.   The Holy Spirit was inviting them all to celebrate  their oneness of faith, life and ‎mission at the WYD.  ‎

After dinner, the AYD7 was officially launched with a variety programme in which the participating countries showcased their cultural richness. – vatican radio

Indonesian ambassador highlights AYD importance

VATICAN CITY –  The 7th Asian Youth Day(AYD) kicked off in Indonesia on 30 July 2017 with the preliminary event “Days in Dioceses,” where over 2000 Catholic youth from 21 Asian countries will be hosted in 11 Indonesian dioceses from  July 30 to Aug 2.  They will then converge in Yogyakarta city, in Semarang Archdiocese, for the main AYD event, August 2-6.

Each of the AYDs held since 1999 in intervals of 2, 3 or 5 years, in various cities of Asia, had a specific theme.   The theme this time –Joyful Asian Youth: Living the Gospel ‎in Multicultural Asia‎!‎ – intends to underscore the need for Asian youth to follow Christ amidst the immense variety of Asia’s cultural and natural diversity of which Indonesia is a prime model.

With some 17,000 islands dotting its vast expanse of some 1.9 million sq km., Indonesia is the ‎largest ‎archipelagic nation in the world.  It is home to over 300 ethnic groups and more than 700 languages. With more than 85 percent of its of 250 million population professing Islam, it is home to the world’s largest Muslim population and is the 4th most populous country.  Yet officially it is a secular state with the Indonesian Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion, although the state officially recognises only six ‎ religions (Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and ‎Confucianism).In an interview

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Indonesia’s ambassador to the Holy See, Antonius Agus Sriyono‎, noted that by hosting the 7th AYD, his country wanted to emphasise the need for young people of Asia and Indonesia to promote and respect unity amidst diversity.  Vatican Radio Stefano Lesczynski who interviewed Sriyono, first asked him about the expectations of the Catholic and Christian communities from the AYD in Indonesia.

Ambassador Sriyono said that young people are very important for Indonesia in the coming decade.  It is important for young Indonesian Catholics to promote and respect the ideal of Indonesia’s unity.   In all Asian countries too, he said, there is the need to maintain unity amidst their diversity and variety.  “Let us together respect diversity,” he said.

By hosting the 7th AYD, Sriyono continued,  Indonesia wanted to emphasise the first principle of the Pancasila, which is respect for other faiths; and the second principle – respect for differences based on humanity.

The Indonesian ambassador to the Holy See also spoke about the need for inter-faith dialogue in order to curb the growth of radicalism in his country.  He said inter-religious dialogue creates understanding amidst differences.  “Dialogue is important to bridging differences,” he said.   – Vatican Radio

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