Lay People as Champion for Justice & Peace
in the Society and the Church in Myanmar and Asia
Dr. Paul Hwang/ Director of ALL Forum
The “Moving school” for Youth in Yangon, Myanmar, will focus more on empowerment for them in the name of “solidarity” in order to ensure dialogue and collaboration among different religious traditions especially Christianity, Buddhism and other Indigenous Peoples’ religions. It also puts stresses on strengthening the young ones’ Christian identity among Church workers in Myanmar in relation to the process of creative intercultural and interreligious encounter. Without a doubt such interreligious dialogue and solidarity aims for peace-building & making in the country and Asia. Inwardly, solidarity should be made manifest with increased laity involvement in decision making at all levels of the Church in order to serve the poor and marginalized people in the country.
To achieve this goal, ALL Forum will promote various formation programs especially for young lay leaders. We employ the Catholic Social Teachings (CSTs) as main tool, as well as the spirit or principles of FABC like “Triple dialogue” and “Pastoral spiral” which are a dialectical methodology “from below”. As an effective spiritual formation, the Moving School as youth forum places much emphasis on the religious identity amid the allthings-mixed global world. Creative inter-cultural and interreligious encounter is indeed to strengthen the Christian identity of the young which is very urgent and relevant. It is because they need to be conscious of their role in peace-building and serving peoples deeply rooted in their cultures. Below are the purposes of Moving School in general:
- Providing “Asian Theologies and spirituality” based on the Context of Myanmar: The program is especially to encourage lay people to become good church workers and activists by reflecting their concrete lives in the light of the Bible, their concrete lives reflected in the dialogues with poor, diverse cultures and religions. Therefore, the theologies we mention should be localized and contextualized. It could be a momentum for lay workers to become “contemplative actors” armed with “praying in action”. It is so that the Church of Asia will be greatly helped in her mission. Church workers should work together with theologians, scholars on religions, experts on cultures and many others in various fields, to make Christian theology relevant to the concrete realities in Asia.
- Providing Spirit and Ways to Champion for Peace: Aware of the importance and urgency of bring peace to ethnic groups and human rights to live, young lay leaders are invited to learn and be a champion for their rights. But it should go together with “ecological justice” especially considering the Myanmar situation in which many conflicts have been accrued because of natural resources in the country. Therefore “integral ecology” should be based on just relationship between human and nature so that peace and harmony between ecology and human life should be pursued and achieved. Such connectivity reflects well that human world can’t be sustainable unless human concerns nature or ecology first.
- Providing a New Vision and Spirit for Lay leaders based on FABC & CSTs: This Forum will be based on “integral human development” often expressed in Joy of the Gospel and Laudato Si. On the other hand, it stresses the “spiritual dimension” in human development by placing more emphasis on local people’s spirituality, inter-subjectivities and inter-becoming in building their communities where the Spirit of God works. It has a close relationship with practicing interreligious dialogue and collaborations as “dialogue in daily life”, which must be “lay-centered” simply because they are the ones who live out actual lives with different religious followers or non-believers as their neighbors.
Main themes on the Forum: Lay People as Champion for Justice & Peace in the Society and the Church in Myanmar and Asia
Schedule: Feb. 11-16 (arrival and departure included)
Arrival/ Introduction (11th, Feb. Mon)
Day 1 (12th, Tue.): Opening Mass / Mutual Engagement (Filed Trip)
Day 2 (13th, Wed): Workshop 1 – Youth Equipped with the Wisdom of IPs as well as Catholic Social Teachings
Morning session – Socio-political and economic Analysis of Conflicts among Ethnic Groups and the Government in Myanmar and Asia (Local Speaker)
Afternoon session: Youth for human rights and Interreligious Dialogue for Peace among Ethnic Groups (Fr. Niphot)
Day 3 (14st, Feb. Thur.): Workshop 2 – Dialogue and Pluralism in Vatican II and Asian Churches & FABC for Young Lay Leaders
Morning Session Laity in Vatican II and Asian Churches Centering on “Triple Dialogue” and Spirituality on Diversity (Mr. Paul Hwang)
Afternoon session – : Lay People as Subject of Evangelizing Mission in Asia Today for Peace in Asia and the World (Mr. John Maung)
Day 4 (15nd, Fri): Workshop 3 – Interreligious Cooperation for Religious Reform and Participation in Democratization in Myanmar
Roundtable; Religious Reform and Social Transformation as Key Role of Religions in Myanmar (Local Buddhist, Moslem and Christian resource persons)
Afternoon Session- Free afternoon / Visitation/Cultural Exploration (Ms. Felicia Dian)
Evening – Cultural Night
Day 5 (16rd, Sat.): Departure