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“Joyful Asian Youth!” kick off their seventh youth day in Indonesia

The seventh Asian Youth Day has officially kicked off in a vibrant way, gathering 2,000 Catholic youth in Yogyakarta, Indonesia from August 2-6.

As Christians are a minority in a majority Muslim Indonesia, young Catholics from 22 countries united with the theme, “Joyful Asian Youth! ‎Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia.”

They created a theme song to express this idea even further. 

Every three years, the event, organized by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference, celebrates and applies the Gospel message to the problems of today through prayer and community. 

In 2014, Pope Francis was the main celebrant of the Asian Youth Day in South Korea. Now, it is Bangladeshi ‎Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka, from the Office of Laity and Family of the Federation of ‎Asian Bishops’ Conferences, who is participating, and even presided over the initial Mass. 

Like the traditional World Youth Day put on by the Vatican, the Asian Youth Day continues the tradition of passing on the Cross to the next country hosting the youth convention. It is a symbol of Christ's love for the world and an testimony of redemption and salvation.  

While the different countries and cultures gathering this week bring their varying traditions with them, the one commonality they all share is their faith and desire for community on the continent of Asia.