RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, July 27, 2013—Daejon Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik assured the Church that the upcoming Asian Youth Day (AYD) that his diocese will host next year will push through despite the tension between North and South Korea. 

Bishop You gave the assurance in an interview with YouthPinoy during the Asian Youth Gathering (AYG) that transpired in this city during the World Youth Day (WYD) week. 

The prelate admitted that the conflict between North and South Korea has affected the preparations for WYD but said “it won’t stop AYD.” 

“Yes it has affected but the conflict has been running for the past six years. We will try to do whatever is needed to make AYD happen,” he said. 

You came to the AYG with at least 300 WYD delegates from South Korea. Hundred others came from the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Pakistan, India, Japan, and Mongolia, among others. 

The prelate allayed fears of AYD postponement as he invited AYG participants to attend the AYD, adding that the Diocese of Daejon in South Korea is already preparing to accept pilgrims in their country. The AYD will take place on August 10 to 17, 2014. 

He said the AYD theme will stress the importance of martyrdom in the Catholic faith. The Catholic Church in Korea is very proud of the possible beatification of 124 Korean martyrs. 

“In my diocese, there are many martyrs. They gave up their lives for God and our people. The martyrs are our example in faith and we must imitate them. I hope all young people will look up to martyrs and try to be like them and offer their lives to God,” the bishop said. 

Bright future 

Bishop You expressed optimism in the growth of Catholic Church in Asia with the great number of AYG attendees. 

“I am very happy seeing these young people from Asia. They are the hope of the Church and of humanity. The youth is the champion of the new evangelization,” he added. 

The prelate made a special invitation to young Filipinos to attend the AYD. 

“My young friends in the Philippines, come see us in my diocese. Come and attend the Asian Youth Day,” he said. (YouthPinoy)