CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Towards building peace in Asia

HONG KONG (SE):  Prayers, dialogue and understanding are the keys to peace building, said the speakers during a workshop titled, Towards Reconciliation in Asia, held at the Caritas auditorium, Caine Road, on August 10. The workshop was part of the International Gathering of Young Adults organised by the Taizé Community in Hong Kong from August 8 to 12.
One speaker, Sinwoo Lee of the Bargn Nuri Community from South Korea, said that the objective of their group is to build up a peaceful society amidst hatred and conflicts in his country. 
The group has been organising monthly prayer pilgrimages, since March this year, to places in South Korea such as Gwangju, Jizhou and Busan, where civilians were persecuted or displaced in the past.
They are scheduled to go to Russia from August to September, with the support of the Taizé Community and other Christian groups.
Lee said he was happy to see a chance for peace as South and North Korean leaders met in April, which may help the North and South Koreans let go of resentments following the Korean War.
Minlun Chongloi, another speaker from India, believes that more dialogue is needed in the multicultural society of his country. He and his co-workers have developed a project in which different parties, including students, politicians as well as the general public can talk to one another and exchange views. 
Workshops promoting different cultures have also been organised to enhance mutual understanding and reduce discrimination.
Chongloi feels the biggest difficulty in peace-building is that the concerned groups cannot approach different kinds of people within a short time, while many people face discrimination and rejection in society based on their social, religious or economic status. Nevertheless, he stressed that young people, the future pillars, are responsible for promoting reconciliation and peace-building. 
A skit was performed at the end of the workshop to help those present to think about the suppression caused by conflicts among races or religions, and to pay more attention to the plight of the persecuted.
Anthony Biakthanpara, from India, shared with the Kung Kao Po that he believes Christians are responsible for building up unity in society and he was glad to join the workshop and find out how young people can help to promote peace.
Oidia Chua from Singapore, said that even though there aren’t many conflicts in her country, she wants to know more about the struggles in other regions. She said she also expressed her appreciation of the vitality of the prayer pilgrimages made by the Korean participants.

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