Christian Youth Faith Formation Programs

Peace Center Lahore organized Christian Youth Faith Formation Program on 25th April,2023 at Lahore. 45 Christian youth participated from the different location of Lahore. Fr. James Channan OP Director of Peace Center Lahore was the host and he warmly welcomed to Christian youth in Christian Youth Faith formation program. As speaker Fr. Tufique Younis OP, Mr. Asher Nazir and Madam Neelum Nisari participated and as speaker they talked on Christian faith formation with youth. James Channan OP shared in his welcome note that the prime motive of the Peace Center Lahore is to create Peace and Interfaith harmony among various religions living in Pakistan. In our programs religious scholars, representative of civil societies, teachers, political leaders, media and lawyers, youth and women   participate in interreligious dialogue. The Peace Center is rendering remarkable services in highlighting minority issues and social and Christian youth faith formation. Pakistan is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, abundant natural and human resources and an important geopolitical position. Pakistan is an Islamic State. It is a developing country and politically unstable. The majority of the people living in Pakistan are religious-minded, kind and loving. They care for each other with brotherly love and affection. The attitude and behaviour of common Pakistani is pleasant and encouraging.

There are serious challenges to Christians living among Muslims in Pakistan. The Church in Pakistan has to struggle for basic human rights. It has to struggle for its right to run schools and give religious education, so necessary for the life and the future of the community. The Church has to battle daily against discrimination and intolerance. youth are facing various types of challenges, like identity crisis, poverty, lack of education, forced conversion, force marriages and other forms of persecution. In such situations it’s often possible to go astray and look for the short cuts or to become pessimistic. Through such activities the Church is able to prepare them to be a rock in all crises, and to be ready even for martyrdom. So, it is one of the ways to keep them together despite all hardships.

Our faith formation methods must provide youth with opportunities to explore human values in a critical fashion and to test their own values through personal reflection and experience. faith formation must be firmly founded on their Christian faith, culture and context. Christian faith formation needs to promote a process that seeks to develop and support both human and faith dimensions of Youth. It must remind the youth that the gifts which they have are to be used for the common good. The parishes in Pakistan are committed to sponsoring the development and maturation of the Christian faith of the community. Therefore, the aspects like: the content of Christian faith, the dimensions of faith development, the surroundings in which catechesis is given, the persons to whom the faith formation is offered, the persons who are the agents for offering the faith formation, the methods of imparting the Christian faith, and the organization of parish programs with specific goals should be our concern if we are serious about deepening the faith of our people. is to help people believe that Jesus is the Son of God so that believing they may have life in His name. Every pastor has to take upon himself the responsibility of building up the body of Christ, which includes basically the formation of faith of the community who are children, youth, and adults.
In Pakistan, we are facing numerous challenges to Chrisian youth faith formation; we live our faith in an Islamic context. During the last few decades, the process of Islamization has greatly influenced our political, social, and family life. The rapid industrialization has left a profound impact on our people and on the environment. Certain religious sects are attracting some of our faithful away from the Church. The growing influence of media culture poses a tremendous challenge. Media is having its good and bad effects on the attitudes, morals and beliefs of our people.

Another major challenge is of missionary zeal. We are not reaching out to the people and that is why we are not aware of their actual needs and problems. The majority is following the same pattern of traditional faith formation and only a few are using modern means of communication in their talks and seminars. Another challenge lies in the fact that the number of faith educators and animators are not enough to keep with the growing population. of hope and new life are still alive. Young priests, religious and sisters are also making sure of the participation of youth in the Church activities. New ministries for youth are flourishing and new ways of youth faith formation are also being discovered by the Church at the universal and local level.

The Church in Pakistan is encouraging the initiatives of inculturation and harmonizing religious education with cultural education for evangelization purposes. The traditional values are examined on the parameter of the gospel values. Religious piety and Marian devotion are helping tools for proclamation of the gospel and faith formation in rural areas as well as in big cities.

The Church must come to their level in order to serve them.  Once youth find the treasure, Jesus Christ, they cannot stop proclaiming Him. In this way youth become real witnesses of Christ, living and proclaiming their faith. Who are strong in faith and prayer become the apostles of Christ in the modern era. Youth must be encouraged and motivated to do the work of faith formation and evangelization in their own society. Thus, each young become a messenger of the Good News. People-forming-people theory must be followed. If each person forms and evangelizes one person, it is not far away for the whole world to know Christ. Then the whole world will be overflowing with the knowledge of Christ and we can successfully form integral human persons.  

Reported by:
Asher Nazir
Executive Secretary
Peace Center

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Peace Center is very important institution which is playing a significant role in spite of all the difficulties we are confronted with. A couple of Dominican Friars are active in Christian- Muslim dialogue and they are well known both nationally and internationally for promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue. It is top priority of the Dominican Order in the world and in Pakistan as well.
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