Youth in Asia Training (YATRA): Summer School on Eastern Religions in Asia,
Dates 8th to 20th of June 2015 in a venue to be determined in East Asia.
The 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches held in Busan, Republic of Korea called the churches to embark on “a pilgrimage of justice and peace”. Recognizing the need for such a pilgrimage to have an inter-religious dimension, as well as an inter-generational one (particularly with a focus on young people), the WCC’s programme on Inter-religious Dialogue and Cooperation initiated a new programme YATRA (Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity). YATRA is envisaged to be a training course which will enable young Christian leaders from Asian churches to contribute towards the building up of just, harmonious and peaceable communities by equipping them for ministries of justice and peace from an inter-religious perspective. The choice of name for this programme – YATRA – (which is a common term for pilgrimage in many Indo-Asian religions and languages) is intended to reflect the idea of pilgrimage.
Yatra will bring together young men and women between 20-30 years who are in positions of leadership within their respective churches as co-pilgrims, to:
• Analyse the complex intersections between religion and politics in contemporary Asian contexts.
• Build up a peer-network of enablers – who can sustain and strengthen each other (through mutual encouragement, challenge and the sharing of resources) in the ministry of accompanying local churches and national councils in their interfaith engagement for justice and peace.
• Conceive creative and constructive models of inter-religious collaboration by offering participants opportunities for orientation and exposure to inter-religious projects.
• Discover both the diversity of Asian Christian experiences of living and witnessing in a multi-religious world, as well as the rich resources which different Asian religious traditions offer on questions of justice and peace.
• Engage with important theological questions and ecumenical documents relating to mission, inter-religious prayer, the Church, inter-religious solidarity, Christian witness and Christian self-understanding in a multi-religious world.
The training will include theological reflection, workshops, bible studies, lectures by specialists from different religions, study of recent ecumenical documents, contextual analysis, exposure visits and the cross-cultural experience of living together and learning from each other.
YATRA 2014 is open to up to 30 Christian men and women, between 20-30 years, who have been identified as having the potential to influence their churches and make significant contribution to inter-religious awareness and engagement. It is expected that participants have completed at least a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and have relevant experience of inter-religious involvement in their own contexts. Balanced representation in terms of region, denomination and gender will be ensured in the selection process.
Preparation and implementation of this seminar are led by Rev. Dr Peniel Rajkumar together with Ms Marietta Ruhland.