08/01/2011, 00.00
INDIA
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Indian youth ambassadors of pluralism, peace and harmony at WYD

by Nirmala Carvalho
This is the exhortation of Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai. The Indian delegation welcomes more than a thousand youths, of which 110 in Kerala and 240 of the archdiocese of Mumbai. The cardinal said the young people are the "greatest" resource and hope of India.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - More than a thousand young people, including 110 from Kerala and 240 of the archdiocese of Mumbai, will be "ambassadors" for India to World Youth Day in Madrid, August 16 to 21. This is how Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, described them during a special Eucharist celebrated yesterday in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount (Bandra, Mumbai Archdiocese), urging them to bring to Spain the "pluralistic rich heritage of India, where religious and cultural diversity are defended and celebrated, to ensure the harmonious coexistence between people of different beliefs and cultural horizons”.

In a country of "young people" - 40% of the population is in the 20’s and by 2020 the average will be below 30 - which is home to at least eight religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Sikh, Judaism and Jansenism - the sharing the values of cooperation, harmony, unity and tolerance are the key to achieving a new world order marked by peace. For this reason young people, for the cardinal, are "the greatest resource and greatest hope of India, whom we have taught to go beyond differences" and "appreciate the diversity of cultures, languages and religions."

"This country - said the archbishop - can be defined as the 'first daughter of the Church in Asia' (St. Thomas the Apostle, the first missionary of the East, evangelized India in 52 AD, ed), and today 18 million Catholics are proud witnesses of a rich and vibrant faith not only in India but throughout Asia. " In this context, in Madrid, "our young people can contribute immensely to the universal Church, bringing with them the multi-religious traditions of India, against the trend of rampant secularism in Europe."
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