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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Asian Youth! Wake Up! The Glory of the Martyrs Shines on You. - Part 1

DS / st

SOUTH KOREA : Asian Youth Day (AYD), a week long event, hosted by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference (FABC) brought together Catholic youths from all over Asia to celebrate and deepen their faith. The sixth AYD, themed "Asian Youth! Wake Up! The Glory of the Martyrs Shines on You" was held in the Diocese of Daejon, South Korea from 10th to 17th August 2014. 

During the first three days, delegates spend their "Days in the Diocese" at the dioceses assigned to them. Delegates moved to the National Youth Center of Korea for the next five days where activities were held. It was a special and meaningful gathering as we all came from all over Asia and gathered in a land watered by the blood of hundreds of martyrs.  

The main objectives for the sixth AYD were :-
  1. To remember the roots of our faith.
  2. To re-discover the faith that we may have lost.
  3. To walk along with Jesus and the Martyrs as witnesses in today's world.
Around 2000 delegates, 200 religious brothers and sisters and 20 Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals from 20 Asian countries joined Pope Francis for the sixth AYD. Participating countries included  Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, East Timor, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Taiwan, Mongolia, South Korea and Sri Lanka. However, half of the delegates from China were not able to join AYD because of the decisions made by their civil authorities. 

Let us express our solidarity to our brothers and sisters who took risk for being in AYD and we send our love and remember those brothers and sisters who could not join AYD. 
Delegates from the Diocese of Sandakan 
L-R : Esther Albert, Anna Teresa, Sharon Tan, Schoffal Charles, Felsa May and Freddy Graman (squatting)
There were 51 delegates representing Malaysia including five priests and three religious sisters. There were six participants from the Diocese of Sandakan, eight from the Diocese of Keningau, seven from the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, six from the Archidiocese of Kuching, four from the Diocese of Sibu, two from the Diocese of Miri, eight from the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, three from the Diocese of Penang, six from the Diocese of Melaka-Johor and one Malaysian student from Penampang, Sabah currently studying in Korea.
Incheon Diocese
Busan Diocese
'Days in the Diocese' was where young people from other Asian country come and experience the Korean culture. Malaysian delegates were divided into two teams, one at the Incheon Diocese where they were exposed to Korean traditional games and visited a few places of interest. They also visited the Peace Observatory in Ganghwa Island to be briefed on the history of South and North Korea. 

As for the second team, they were assigned to the Busan Diocese where they visited the Oryundae Martyrs Museum and experienced how to play Korean traditional musical instrument. It was a beneficial exposures, as they did not only experienced Korean cultures but also stayed with Korean foster families.

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