10/24/2011, 00.00
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Assisi 2011: Asian religiosity, modelled on St. Francis

by Melani Manel Perera
On October 27 we will celebrate the Day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace in Assisi, 25 years after the pilgrimage in 1986 invoked by Pope John Paul II. Anton Meemana, a Catholic University professor, believes religious leaders should "be alert to the problem of anti-Christian persecution," because "a true Christian is a blessing and a challenge for all humanity, never a burden or a disgrace."
Colombo (AsiaNews) - "The spirit of Assisi is a spirit of truth, love, peace, freedom, justice and infinite humility. This is the spirit of true religiosity” in the opinion of Anton Meemana, a Catholic professor at the Blessed Joseph Vaz Theologate in Colombo and Kelaniya University, on the Day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace in Assisi, which will be held on October 27. The pilgrimage will be a commemoration of the first 25 years since the first Assisi Day, celebrated by Pope John Paul II and world’s religious leaders on October 27, 1986.

According to the professor, St. Francis of Assisi represents a "true model", because "every day challenges us to take the best of our traditions seriously and live it with intensity." Only such a person, Meemana says, "can become a blessing for all humanity."

The professor points out: "Peace and truth are deeply linked together. The search for truth is the foundation of all attempts to build peace. The doctrinal tensions make our spiritual horizons broader. " In this sense, the professor believes, "a true Christian is a blessing and a challenge for all humanity, but never a burden or a disgrace. Non-Christians should not be afraid of true Christians. "

Meeman then urges religious leaders to pay attention to the problem of persecution in the world, particularly against the Christian community: "He who kills a Christian, or any human being, dishonors his religion. Social justice must come from the heart. The spiritual awakening of Asia must renew the face of the world, burning people's hearts and rekindling the soul of humanity. "

Finally, the teacher makes four suggestions for the religious leaders attending the Day of Assisi,: "Reinforce the agenda of social justice, more solidarity with Third World countries, witness the values of prayer; tackle economic and ecological justice."
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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”