08/24/2007, 00.00
PHILIPPINES

Catholic and Muslim youths together for peace in Asia

Santosh Digal
Filipino Dominicans and major Muslim leaders have been working for months to set up a forum where young Catholics and Muslims from South-East Asia could meet. After the first such meetings, all other religions in the region will be invited to tear down barriers and build peace together.

Legazpi (AsiaNews) –Dominicans and major Muslim leaders in the Philippines have been working together to set up a forum where young Catholics and Muslims from around South-East Asia could meet and engage in dialogue. Their efforts are likely to be rewarded very soon.

For Fr Ramonclaro Mendoz, OP, president of the Dominican-run Aquinas University told AsiaNews, the “purpose of bringing together young Muslims and Christians is to foster a strong sense of solidarity and belonging in the region.”

Under the umbrella of the Church several initiatives have already been taken to bring Catholic youths together. This new venue is meant to enable them to share their life experiences, hopes and aspirations whatever their religion with the programme focusing on how youth can be agents of peace and solidarity.

At present the technical details of organising the initiative are under discussion but fund raising is already underway to ensure its success.

Once the first meeting is over, the next will extend to young people from all the religions of the region.

Father Mendoz concluded by saying that “young people want to co-operate and play a role in making sure the project is successful. It is crucial to tear down every barrier between religions if we want to achieve true peace and social harmony.”

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