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
Sign of the times: Suu Kyi discusses freedom with young Christians
Myanmar Christians talk freedom with Suu KyiSuu Kyi attends last week's Christian conference on nation building
- Thomas Toe, Yangon
- July 25, 2012
In its annual assessment of religious freedom in Myanmar, conducted last September, the US State Department noted âthere was no change in the governmentâs limited degree of respect for religious freedom.
âReligious activities and organizations were subject to restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly,â it added.
But following the opening of the new parliament in March last year and a subsequent series of reforms, young Christians in Myanmar should take a âgreater roleâ in the development of the country, said Suu Kyi.
âThe most important question is: What do we want our country to be?â Suu Kyi asked those gathered at the home of Yangon Archbishop Charles Bo.
There had been few opportunities for young Myanmar people in the past, said Archbishop Bo, meaning many had suffered from unemployment. This had led a large number of theÂ brightest young people to leave the country in search of work, he added.
He urged Myanmarâs young Christians âto start running with confidence and take part in building the nation, whether in education, health or social development.â
Whether or not young Christians participate in these types of activities will largely depend on how confident they feel in doing so, given the previous half a century of restrictions.
Shaung Shaung, a young Baptist woman attending last weekâs conference, said Christians were starting to see tangible signs of greater religious freedom in Myanmar meaning their activities no longer needed to be kept underground.
âWe need to show our ability in the right way and not bury it in a hidden place,â she told ucanews.com. âWe should work together to get involved in the right areas for the development of our country, regardless of what religion we are.â
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