ICC NOTE: As the world becomes more a more secular due to the rise of many different reasons, it is refreshing and hopeful to see events like Reset 2016 on Washington Mall and soon a similar event in Krakow, Poland. Reset 2016 saw thousands of Christians come together calling for a revival in this land and elsewhere. World Youth Day will see thousands, if not millions, of young Christians from around the globe join together in solidarity. Showing signs of hope in many nations where Christianity has either witnessed persecution or is facing it today, Christians will be able to travel and attend the week long event. Nations like Kosovo who has seen religious violence in the past and Central Asian countries like Turkmenistan who along with its other Central Asian neighbors continue to clamped down on religious minorities with an iron fist. If anything the event will hopefully shed light upon the regions where it is still dangerous to be a Christian and provide a needed rallying call of the churches youth.
7/20/2016 Krakow, Poland (Crux) – Jesus and Pope Francis, in that order, are the principal reasons why millions of young women and men from around the world will descend on Poland next week to participate in the 2016 edition of World Youth Day, according to the results of a recent study.
The massive youth gathering is being staged in Krakow, the city where the church was once led by the future St. John Paul II.
As Pope Francis said in a video message sent out ahead of the July 25-31 encounter, World Youth Day (WYD) will be “a mosaic of different faces, from many races, languages, peoples and cultures, but all united in the name of Jesus, who is the Face of Mercy.”
When WYD gets underway, American, Polish, Italian, Spaniard and French flags will probably dominate most events, as they represent close to 50 percent of the total count of registered pilgrims as of July 20.
Yet the numbers show that Krakow 2016 will be the most international WYD so far, with pilgrims coming from 187 countries, including several that will have representatives for the first time – including Kosovo, Bangladesh, Palestine, Myanmar and South Sudan.
WYD is often described as the Catholic Olympics for being an international, regular yet itinerant event. However, according to a recent study, three out of four participants see this an opportunity to strengthen their faith, and they want to take part in the event aiming to “find myself through Jesus Christ.”
For some of the pilgrims, it’ll be about having the possibility of experiencing being a part of the universal Church: Hundreds are coming from countries where Christians are minority groups and where they experience persecution.
With the help of the papal charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), young women and men from countries such as Iraq, Turkmenistan, South Sudan, Chad, Algeria, Syria, Haiti, Pakistan and Bangladesh will travel to Krakow for the July 25-31 festival.
“Through WYD these young people have the possibility to see that they are not alone in their Faith. And it gives them the momentum and motivation in their own countries to act as missionaries to other young people,” explains Regina Lynch, head of the Project Department at ACN International.