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Asian Mission Congress highlights role of Jesus in Asian culture

.- More than 1,000 Catholics from across Asia gathered in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for a five-day congress to discuss incorporating their cultures and their faith, reported UCA News.

The theme of the Asian Mission Congress, held from Oct. 18 to 22, was: “The Story of Jesus in Asia, A Celebration of Faith and Life.”

UCAN reported how speakers spent a good part of the conference focusing on how to place the story of Jesus and to live the Gospel of Jesus within Asia's richly varied cultures, with its many religions and dealt particularly with youth and media, migration and consumerism.

Paul Mary Suvij Suvaruchiporn, a Thai businessman, shared with participants about overcoming consumerism; Singapore's Sherlyn Khong talked about a life-changing exposure to poverty she experienced as a youth; sociologist Maruja Asis of the Philippines reflected on how her faith grew while studying in the United States; and Albertus and Clara Rose Ajisyksmo, an Indonesian couple, spoke on interfaith dialogue in their life, reported UCA News.

Msgr. Pietro Nguyen Van Tai, a Vietnamese who directs programming at Manila-based Radio Veritas Asia, related how he learned to appreciate the importance of media in telling stories of Jesus in local cultures.

Fr. John Mansford Prior, a UK-born Divine Word missioner based in Indonesia, closed the afternoon sessions with a reflective theological synthesis.

"Inculturation [is] more than simply a pastoral issue or a question of methodology," he was quoted as saying. "Inculturation is an ongoing quest of immersing the local Churches and faith communities into the diverse and pluralistic Asian milieu with its myriad cultures, religions and extreme poverty, sharing life in solidarity with the Asian peoples and serving life as Jesus has done."

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