According to the UN, International Youth Day (August 12) gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young people’s voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.
This occasion is a good time to raise awareness of the involvement of young people in the life of the Church, from active participation in worship to volunteering in parishes and gathering in Orthodox associations.
The efforts of youth associations change people and communities for the better. They create the environment for socialization and the formation of moral characters but, at the same time, offer significant help to those in difficulty. Young people in Orthodox associations are bearers of the Church’s message, as well as defenders of the faith in an increasingly secularized society troubled by ideologies.
The theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
The most famous Orthodox youth organization in Romania is the Association of Romanian Christian-Orthodox Students (ASCOR) which turned 30 in June.
“ASCOR has reached the age of maturity and responsibility,” Patriarch Daniel stressed, and this is demonstrated by all their activity which did not cease even during the pandemic, but were intensified to come to the aid of others.
An example of concrete philanthropic action by ASCOR is the Campaign of Iași students “Together we build a house.” During the lockdown period, ASCOR Iași sent the message that for some, staying at home is a dream and it has come true. This will be the second house donated by ASCOR, after the first house donated in 2019.
“Young people are not only the future of the Church, but they are also its active and creative present,” Patriarch Daniel often says and this is the message that must be transmitted and comprehended not only on August 12.
Photo: ASCOR members at the Patriarchal Residence, Jan 12, 2020. © Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene
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