The conference aims to be a contribution to the Synod on young people taking place in the Vatican. Testimonies from Iraq, China, Cambodia, Brazil, Hong Kong. Direct experiences of missionaries who "put themselves alongside" the sufferings, difficulties and joys of the new generations, not content with merely studying them.
Rome (AsiaNews) – Analysis, studies and statistics on the life and habits of young people today are not enough, "there is need of a missionary experience, of witnesses". It is with this sentiment that the AsiaNews Symposium on "Youth who resist" took place yesterday in Rome, organized by Fr. Bernardo Cervellera, PIME missionary and editor-in-chief. Together with him, yesterday at the conference - which aimed to be a contribution to the Synod on young people, under way in the Vatican - priests and educators from China, Cambodia, Brazil and Iraq took part, speaking of their experiences with young people. Some of them are direct witnesses of wars, religious and political persecution, and have decided to remain in their original societies because of that impulse to accompany, to stand next to each other, which is the teaching of Christ; others are missionaries in foreign countries and their beacon is always Christ, who invites us to "go out into the whole world" and preach the Gospel.
Fr. Paolo from Iraq spoke, among other things, of how he tried to curb the hemorrhaging of young people from the Nineveh Plain, and the joy of priestly and matrimonial vocations despite the presence of the Islamic State (ISIS); Fr. Luca from Cambodia spoke of the challenges posed by modernity and depopulation of the villages; John from Hong Kong described the despair of young people when one day, during a Way of the Cross, the police forced them to suspend the prayer at the seventh station and how they wanted to continue despite the ban, but "in fact - says the educator - it was not necessary : they had experienced the 14th station, Jesus being placed in the Sepulchre ". Finally, the testimony of Fr. Marcelo, who described how his vocation was born and highlights some characteristic traits of today's young people, young people who "ask pertinent questions" and want concrete answers; but who above all, "demand credible witnesses", that is people they trust who do not only make beautiful speeches but experience the Gospel in their own life.