© Fides

Church in Pakistan Looks to 2020 as 'Year of Youth'

Education Essential in Search for Peace

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«2020 will be the Year of Youth»,» said Archbishop Joseph Arshad, of Islamabad and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, to Fides News Agency. The Church in Pakistan, responding to the challenges launched by the Synod on Youth held in the Vatican, believes that the new generations «can promote the Gospel of peace through friendship and communion among young people belonging to various religions, ethnic groups, and cultures». Young people are «active citizens called to work for the promotion of unity and harmony: they are responsible for change in society and can play a vital role in the nation.» Starting from these considerations, the Pakistani Bishops believe that «the key factor for the life of young people is education», to which all must have access, especially those that come from minority religious communities. Education is essential «to bring peace to society and fight against injustice and corruption.»
The Year of Youth aims to «give and spread the evangelical values of love, hope, unity, peace, and mutual respect, so that young people can easily cultivate unity, peace, and harmony in our society, offering an example of coexistence among people of different faiths».»
In this framework, Caritas Pakistan, together with other associations such as «Jesus Youth Pakistan», launched the «Youth for Peace» project, sending young people to be authentic peacebuilders
The message, starting from young Christians, aims to reach young Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs, in order to reach politics and society: «We are the future of the country, we want to build a future made of peace, justice, tolerance, respect for the inalienable dignity of every human being, without distinction of race, religion, social class», say the young Pakistanis.
As the «Justice and Peace» Commission explained within the Bishops’ Conference, «we work to create in everyone the awareness that harmony and peace are a common good and a priority for the entire nation. It is essential to start this work of awareness-raising in schools and in the educational path of young people. The future of Pakistan is played by letting values like peace and justice penetrate the formation of the new generations.»

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