Igniting the flame of peace for Myanmar

The Youth4Myanmar campaign was launched on June 29, the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, in an atmosphere of prayer, solidarity and hope, by Bishop Joel Baylon D.D. of Legazpi Diocese, the Philippines, former Bishop-in-charge of the Youth Desk of the FABC Office of Laity and Family.

Jul 17, 2021

The Youth4Myanmar campaign was launched on June 29, the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, in an atmosphere of prayer, solidarity and hope, by Bishop Joel Baylon D.D. of Legazpi Diocese, the Philippines, former Bishop-in-charge of the Youth Desk of the FABC Office of Laity and Family.

The 90-minute programme began with an overview on Myanmar by Dr Francis Loh, a former professor of political science at Universiti Sains Malaysia. Dr Loh highlighted that we need to move away from the myths surrounding Myanmar and admit that it is a near-failed state, where investment in education and health has been lacking for the past 70 years.

This was followed by a message of encouragement and solidarity to the 245 registered online participants and the young people of Asia by Bishop Baylon, the Bishop patron of the Campaign.

Responding to the call of Pope Francis and of many cardinals, bishops, and Church leaders from Asia and around the world to stand and work for “peace and freedom in Myanmar,” they offered a plan of action to the local Churches in Asia, to work to raise awareness of this issue and prod the consciences of fellow Catholics and all the young peoples of Asia.

Immediately a petition campaign outlining five points of appeal was launched. The response was overwhelming. The details are available at www.youth4freedom.com.

The climax was the intercessory prayers in various languages of Asia. Acknowledging the need to work together with young people of various faith traditions or none, a prayer of solidarity was also read out. The evening closed with a joint blessing from Bishop Baylon and Bishop Olivier of Cambodia.

This event was organised by the Coalition of Catholic Youth Movements and other organisations of Asia, who came together to campaign for peace in Myanmar.

What does the campaign hope to achieve?

“Loving an oppressor does not mean allowing him to keep oppressing us or letting him think that what he does is acceptable. On the contrary, true love for an oppressor means seeking ways to make him cease his oppression; it means stripping him of a power that he does not know how to use, and that diminishes his own humanity and that of others.” (Fratelli Tutti #241)

1. Bring AWARENESS among Catholic youth – on Gospel values and Catholic social teachings - and awaken their awareness about and willingness to reflect on critical issues.

2. Ask faith leaders and elders to ACCOMPANY the young and lay people – to journey together and provide linkages to various Catholic movements and initiatives in Asia.

3. Call to ACTION – by sharing with the young and peoples of all faiths the importance of working for a more humane and just world – “no one is free until everyone is free!”

Proposed activities

a. Faith Campaign – Prayer intentions, Prayer Cards, Video clips, Solidarity messages and Bringing the stories of the peoples of Myanmar to Asia

b. Webinars – to help people understand what is happening in Myanmar and the consequences for Asia, and to mobilise people to know and act from their faith. These workshops can be carried out by any youth office in your parishes and dioceses. See the schedules here (https://youth4freedom.com/workshops/ ).

c. Advocacy – actions and initiatives that can be carried out by individual Catholics or groups to promote freedom and peace in Myanmar and across the region. You may sign the petition through this link (https://youth4freedom.com/petition/ ).

With this launching, the Coalition hopes to empower the youth of Asia to take a stand for Freedom, Justice and Peace.

Secretariat details:
Email: Youth4myanmar@gmail.com
Website: https://youth4freedom.com/
Facebook: YouthFor Myanmar
Instagram: Youth4mym

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