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Walking to Emmaus Walking to Emmaus
After a long walk in the streets of Bethlehem, we finally had the chance to wander around in the market for a couple of hours. Each Palestinian had to be a leader for some of the youth that were in the group, so a South African, two Germans, and a Swede formed my group. While hanging around on the roads, we passed by some tourist buses. One of the youths who were with me said: “Wow, there are a lot of tourists in Bethlehem. I’m glad I’m not a tourist but a pilgrim!”
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Journey toward justice and peace Journey toward justice and peace
As a youth leader, I have been involved in this pilgrimage since 2011 when I was nominated to attend the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches. I wanted to know many things about the WCC but most importantly I wanted to know about the call to justice and peace. I searched for any information that could explain the real meaning of these two words especially in regard to Christian unity. After attending the assembly at Busan, I realized that it was not just a meeting but it was a calling to a journey.
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Cambodia: Emerging from the shadows of its past Cambodia: Emerging from the shadows of its past
Spending a month in Cambodia did reveal to me its treasures. The beautiful smiles and resilience of the people of Cambodia makes one forget about its gory past. Isn’t it true that most places inhabited by millions today have a gory past? That should not define who we really are.
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YATRA - a refreshing journey into the Self through the Other YATRA - a refreshing journey into the Self through the Other
The Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity (YATRA), as a space to encounter other religions, offered me a fascinating yatra (pilgrimage) into Hinduism through the lectures of Prof. Meera Baindur from India who introduced Hinduism as a religion of epics and mythologies and helped me to encounter my own Christian faith afresh.
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Indigenous peoples and pilgrimage: redeeming a concept once tarnished Indigenous peoples and pilgrimage: redeeming a concept once tarnished
The word pilgrimage is a linguistic double-edged sword. On the one hand, it connotes a kind of movement towards a higher, even spiritual or religious, end that one has in mind. When thought of in this positive sense, I think of the pilgrimages of the desert fathers who migrated into the sun and sand longing to be alone with God and who were eager to shed off the weight of this world so that they could experience His world more intimately. However, in our post-colonial context, the word pilgrimage equally stirs up mixed emotions, most of which might be negative, particularly amongst Indigenous peoples across the globe.
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Walking to Emmaus Walking to Emmaus
At our first meeting in South Africa, a few months before going to Sweden for the first part of the international youth pilgrimage “Walking to Emmaus”, we were exited to meet each other and to know that we would all be going on a plane. It was a first for all of us so I’m sure you would imagine the excitement you could see on our faces going down the terminal and into the aeroplane.
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Remembering the remarkable life of Brother Roger, Taizé Remembering the remarkable life of Brother Roger, Taizé
It was a warm August day and I was on my way to Taizé. I was looking forward to going to the community in France that was already close to my heart. As a young adult I participated in many Taizé worship services organized by local churches where I lived in Canada. We sang the beautiful chants that Taizé is so well known for: “Come and fill our hearts with your peace…” For me, these services were a refuge for the soul.
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Reviewing the “travel security warning” for the world Reviewing the “travel security warning” for the world
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel widely (and freely). I’ve explored and experienced many different corners of the world and moved relatively freely between countries with my magic passport. But always before travelling I am advised to check the countries “security warning” to make sure that it is safe to travel there. If it is considered a level-four country, I cannot travel to it. This got me thinking, what are the factors distinguishing the levels? War, violence, terrorist threats, political tension? And how can these levels change? Justice and Peace.
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Becoming pilgrims: walking alongside our brothers and sisters in Egypt Becoming pilgrims: walking alongside our brothers and sisters in Egypt
Egypt, that ancient and mysterious land where the pyramids of Giza grace the hot desert landscape and the Pharaohs once reigned. A land overflowing with beauty and a historical richness unparalleled in all the globe. Today, it is a place whose regal image has been tarnished by the devastating consequences of revolution, economic decline, and fanatical religious zeal.
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Cambodia War Museum - an encounter with a violent past and a resilient present Cambodia War Museum - an encounter with a violent past and a resilient present
The YATRA training (Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity), organized each year by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in cooperation with the Cambodia-based Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS), is an opportunity for young Christians from different countries of Asia to learn about other religions of their contexts and become involved in the “pilgrimage of justice and peace” which the WCC Assembly had called for in 2013. This year, there were 25 young people gathered in Siam Reap, Cambodia, for two weeks of living and learning together.
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