ECHD Holds 5-Day Training Session On Justice, Peace

During sessions, youth learned about peacebuilding, justice, minority rights, freedom of religion or belief, and climate change 

ECHD Holds 5-Day Training Session On Justice, Peace

The Diocesan Ecumenical School for Young People on Justice and Peace was organized at Danish Kada, Hyderabad, in Sindh province.

The school focused on enhancing, in a creative and critical manner, what it means to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God Almighty” and alongside our neighbors of other faiths.

The diocesan ecumenical school was initiated by the Ecumenical Commission for Human Development (ECHD) with the technical and financial support of Kerkinactie (KiA), the Netherlands.

This was a major ecumenical youth event that brought together more than 25 people of diverse Christian backgrounds from the Church of Pakistan, the Roman Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan, and the Salvation Army in Pakistan from across the Sindh province.

The weeklong diocesan school provides a platform for young Christians to discuss a wide range of emerging issues in national and diocesan contexts. The themes of the school focused on peacebuilding, justice, minority rights and freedom of religion or belief, climate change, youth action, and engaging in visible Christian unity among churches.

The youth also participate in SWOT analysis exercises on challenges, opportunities, and ways forward for youth in Pakistan.

The diocesan ecumenical school also provided an opportunity for young people each morning to begin the day with inter-confessional prayer.

On the occasion, Bishop Samson said “Youth must be added to decision-making bodies and for that, they have to show maturity and be ready to face the consequences of their decisions. A financially independent youth can strengthen family life and church."

Noor Muhammad Bajeer, CEO of the Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP), briefed about the geopolitical turmoil in Pakistan and its impact on religious minorities.

Fr. Shahzad Khokhar, the Diocesan Director of the Commission for Interfaith Dialogue and Ecumenism, stressed the need to promote interfaith harmony.

Father James Castellino, the Administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Hyderabad, spoke about “Nurturing of Trinity, Inter-Religious Harmony, and Building Peace” as well as “Journey Together: Mission as an Ecumenism of the Heart.”

Advocate Sooba Bhatti described the minority rights guaranteed in the constitution of Pakistan. He explained the fundamental rights of Pakistani citizens covered under Articles 8 to 28.

ECHD Theological Officer Ushba Barkat shared the story of Nehemiah: The Man Behind the Wall, a biblical figure known for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

“His actions are relevant to social work activism, reflecting visionary leadership. Change can only be brought about through determination and inspiring others. Involving the affected communities in decision-making and actions can help in addressing their own issues,” she said.

According to James Rehmat, Executive Director of ECHD, the diocesan ecumenical school offered an opportunity to rethink in a creative and critical manner what it means to "act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God" and alongside people of other faiths.

“It responds to nurture a zeal among the youth, as they are not merely leaders of the future but also today's leaders to live better, act as God’s people in a multi-faith society, and be agents of transformation for building communities of just peace.”