05/13/2017, 10.31
INDONESIA
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Indonesian Church for Dialogue: Over 5,000 youth at Joyful Run

by Mathias Hariyadi

Young people from different religions, communities and social classes attended the event. Enthusiastic response to invitation to embrace the spirit of unity and defend pluralism. Msgr Pius Riana Prapdi: "Celebrating differences in society means celebrating the nation." The celebration is a strong response to the current socio-political situation in Indonesia. Fr. Antonius Haryanto: "Being different is a common thing and staying united is a huge grace."

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Over 5,000 people took part in Joyful Run AYD 2017, a sports event organized by the Youth Commission of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference (Komkep Kwi). The event is part of the bishops' planned initiatives for the 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD 2017), which will take place from 30 July to 6 August 2017 in Yogyakarta, Central Java.

The purpose of this sporting gathering, held on May 7 in Tangerang, was to promote dialogue between participants, young people from different religions, communities and social classes. They enthusiastically responded to the invitation of the Indonesian Catholic Church to embrace the spirit of unity on which the Republic of Indonesia is founded and to defend pluralism, cited by the national motto "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" [Unity in Diversity - ed].

Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi, bishop of the Ketapang diocese and president of Komkep Kwi, said: "Celebrating differences in society means celebrating the nation. The Joyful Run AYD 2017 is the joyful celebration of the pluralism that unites us. The presence and participation of these young people has sent a clear message to the entire country, including the Indonesian Church: the underlying principle of our nation is alive and strong. Their prayers are a great help to our commitment to defending the values ​​of pluralism and unity in diversity. "

The spirit that animates this sporting event is a strong response to the current socio-political situation in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta. It is a historic moment in which unity in diversity is "put to the test" by the grave political clash between moderate groups and fundamentalist movements, increasingly active in Indonesian society.

Speaking to AsiaNews during the event, Fr. Antonius Haryanto, Secretary General of Komkep KWI, expressed his gratitude to all those who worked hard "behind the scenes" for this great sporting event to take place and to take place in a peaceful manner. "The Joyful Run AYD 2017 is a clear message and strong proof that all parties from different social spheres have shown their tremendous support to the spirit of pluralism and love for peace in society. There is no need to worry and be afraid. Being different is a common thing and staying united is a tremendous grace,”  said Fr. Antonius.

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