Ten days from now, hundreds of representatives from Catholic organizations in Asia will descend on the capital city of Korea for a congress to examine evangelization on their continent.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity (PCL) has announced that the Congress of Asian Catholic Laity will be held in Seoul, South Korea from Aug. 31 to Sept. 5 under the theme "Proclaiming Jesus Christ in Asia Today.” The congress will bring 400 hundred people together, including representatives and bishops from 20 countries from within the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences and delegations from 35 different Asian Catholic lay associations, movements and communities.
According to a statement distributed through the Holy See's Press Office, the PCL initiative aims to strengthen local Church ties with Rome.
"The decision to focus on Asia expresses a missionary concern for a continent that ... is now emerging as a key player in an age of immense transformation," the statement said.
The Council for the Laity noted that the choice to host the congress in Korea "manifests the Church's pastoral attention for Asian lay Catholics who are called to witness to Jesus Christ in communion with their pastors, and to proclaim the Gospel of Christ as a universal gift of salvation."
The congress will place a special focus on the history of the Church in Asia as well as current challenges to evangelization in the region. Addresses, panel presentations and extensive discussions will examine many elements from within this framework. Some of the topics to be covered include the formation of laity, Christian witness in society, religious freedom and the role of women in the Church.
The experiences of movements and communities on the forefront of evangelization will also be presented during the congress.