To further enhance the peace advocacy through promoting religious understanding among the youth from the multi-cultural communities in the city, the youth members from Youth Solidarity for Peace (YSP) together with the Mindanao Youth for Development (Mydev) and those who are coming from the partnered barangays of Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) gathered last April 11 to reflect on the inner meaning of the Lenten Season during the “A Day of Reflection” activity.
The said activity was facilitated by members of the Interreligious Solidarity for Peace (ISP) an organization in the city composing of religious leaders and peace advocates. The Day of Reflection aims at giving opportunity the young ones especially the non-Christians a deeper understanding of the meaning of Lenten Season and how this holy observance promotes solidarity to the other religious belief especially the Muslim. The activity was conducted at the Claret Lay Leaders Formation Center, San Antonio Ma. Claret Parish and was participated by some 30 young minds.
YSP is the youth arm of Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) one of the member consortium of ZABIDA. PAZ closely involves the youth to enrich them with knowledge and experiences that will better their understanding on our differences and diversity in this City.
Pastor Rogelio F. Alfaro, a pastor from the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines (CAMACOP) and member of the Executive Committee of the ISP underscored that Lenten Season is very important among the Christian believers as it provides an avenue for the faithful to reflect and to assess his or her life if he or she is doing what is being commanded on them to do.
To connect his reflection to the solidarity, he said that God created men as relational beings. Therefore men need a companion in their journey in life. He also shared several bible passages with portraying a story of relationship and solidarity such the story of the “Good Samaritan” and the “The Woman at the Well”.
Meanwhile, Brother Teophil “Salman” A. Galang, from the Ahlul Bayt Philippines Islamic Assembly (ABPIA) lectured the young audience that the Holy Qur’an has also the story of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. He said that the Muslim is considered Jesus a Prophet like the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
He also emphasized to the audience not to allow any groups especially the extremist to destroy and create hatreds between the Christians and Muslims which he said has been co-existing peacefully and harmonious ever since. (Albert F. Arcilla/Peace Advocates Zamboanga/ZABIDA)