Moving The Church Towards the Reign of God

A Youth training called, MOVING SCHOOL IN PAKISTAN 2018, was held at TIL (Theological institute for laity) from 11-15 August 2018, with theme “Moving The Church Towards the Reign of God”. There were 5 facilitators for the program, Dr.Paul Hwang from South Korea, Ms.Felicia Dian from Indonesia, Fr.Antoine Sondag from France, Mr. Hameed Henry from Karachi and Ms.Naureen Akhter from Lahore, Pakistan.

The program was hosted by Maktaba-e-anaveem Pakistan. We were 35 participants, attended this training and discusses different topics, which new for some of us and we learned many different teachings. Some major points on this training includes Catholic sSocial Teachings, which based on two main commandments that “Love your God and Love your neighbour”, and reflected in our methodology SEE-JUDGE-ACT. We learned basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) such as dignity of human person; universal destination of goods; common good; charity, love and solidarity; also Mercy and Subsidiarity. We also got to know that CST is result of interaction between Bible, Church Tradition, and context, such as Evangelli Gaudium and Laudato Si which talk about genuine human development and ecological sustainability.

Through the program, we learn about Vatican Council II and reality of Asian churches. Asians constitute 54% of the world’s population, but catholic population is only around 3%. This is a failure of the Asian church in communicating the Christian faith with local cultures. Aside from Asian Churches, we also learn about youth as advocate for women human rights. Pope Francis himself condemns domestic violence against women while stating that “there are many forms of slavery, the commercialization and mutilation of the bodies of women, call out us to be committed to defeat these type of degradation, that reduce them to more object that are bought and sold”. In Pakistan, youth are 60% of population, therefore the youth has potential to change their communities. Young people of today are leaders for tomorrow. They need to be empowered with education about human rights, gender equality, social justice and empowerment. They need to learning skills and techniques of communication and problem solving, so they could do make their own advocacy, even through communication devices that familiar to them, such as social media,texting and video clips.

Another things that we learned also in this program, were about dialogue between Christian and Muslim in Pakistan, from a Christian perspective also genuine development and ecological sustainability, which emphasized more on connection between Laudato Si’ and SDGs. We have seen and learned that dialogue, as one of the crucial areas for relationship between Christians and Muslim, are more effective in the midst of life together in community, rather than in academic discussion. Despite all challenges caused by bitter historical experiences , current socio political also economic situation, there is a need to initiate a sort of action and issue-oriented Christian-Muslim dialogue, because dialogue means positive and constructive relationship for mutual understanding and enrichment. Dialogue is not merely mutual understanding but mutual action to raise quality of life.

Written by:

Ms. Sadaf Pervez Khokhar from Kotri, Hyderabad (Sindh)