Represent 87 Countries and Meet in Colosseum
ROME, MAY 21, 2002 (Zenit.org).-Nine thousand Jewish, Christian, and Muslim youths, will meet in Rome’s Colosseum on Sunday, to affirm that, “despite everything, a future of peace is possible.”
The march is being organized by the “Boys and Girls for Unity” of the Focolare Movement (focolare.org).-, which will start at the Coliseum and end in St Peter’s Square. The youths range in age from 12-17 years old, and consist of many religions and nationalities
Marching on Sunday will be Jewish delegations from Rome, Brazil, and Israel; Muslims from the Middle East, the United States, and Pakistan; Buddhists from Japan and Thailand; Hindus, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians from India, and followers of traditional African religions.
The manifestation, which will include the participation of youths of other ecclesial associations, is described as “The Boys’ Assisi,” reminiscent of the meeting of religious leaders for peace, called by the Pope and held on January 24 in Assisi.
The theme for the Colosseum meeting is “the golden rule,” so often mentioned at Assisi: “Do unto others what you would have done unto you.”
Guests at the march include Chief Rabbi Di Segni of the Jewish community of Rome; Reverend Miyamoto of the Myochikai Buddhist movement (Japan); Vinu Aram (Hindu), leader of the Shanti Ashram Ghandi movement; Spanish Imam Allal Bachar; and Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.
The march will be preceded on Saturday, May 25, by a gathering in the Marino Sports Palace near Rome, accompanied by music, theatrical games, songs, and testimonies from the participants.
The program will end on May 27 in Loppiano (Florence) with an International Forum of boys of different religions and the launching of a “programmatic message” to their contemporaries worldwide.