Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Muslim, Christian leaders meet for Asia summit
Religious and political challenges on agendaArchbishop Fernando Capalla, Hasyim Muzadi and Nazaruddin Umar speak to reporters in Jakarta
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- February 26, 2013
More than 100 representatives from 16 Asian countries kicked off the 4th Conference of Muslim-Christian Religious Leaders of Asia in Jakarta Tuesday, aiming to bring “a common word to common action” for justice in the region.
“Bringing Common Word to Common Action is our theme now. In order to bring common word to common action, we must overcome and solve many problems -- religious, political and social,” said Hasyim Muzadi, secretary-general of the International Conference of Islamic Scholars (ICIS).
The ICIS, the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference and the Communion of Churches in Indonesia organized the program, which will run until March 1, with the support of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) and Christian Conference of Asia.
“We get together here to make our ideas a reality,” Muzadi said.
He hopes religious leaders from Asian countries in attendance, including India, Indonesia and the Philippines, will form an Asia-level forum for interreligious dialogue. “The soul of religions is in Asia, not in other continents,” he said.
Archbishop Fernando R Capalla said injustice, disharmony and disorder in the region can be traced back to the absence of love in neighborhoods and communities.
“From the side of FABC, we believe that such situation can be restored if we follow the teaching of the Holy Bible and the Holy Qu'ran, which is to love God and to love thy neighbor. Justice is an expression of the love of God and the love of neighbor,” he told ucanews.com.
The Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali, Nasaruddin Umar welcomed the attendees, saying it “is a witness to a strong commitment from three religions [Catholic, Islam and Protestant] to promote the values of harmony.”
Besides plenary sessions, the four-day program also includes discussions and exposure visits to six organizations’ offices such as the Migrant Care and the Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace (ICRP).