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YATRA: Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity
Friday, Feb 23, 2018

Last date to receive filled in application is 08th March 2018, Interested CSI candidates should apply to the Youth Department with a letter of endorsement from the Bishop of the Diocese

Application form can be downloaded from the WCC website.

YATRA: Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity

A Move-Ment Towards a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

YATRA (Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity), is a highly successful interreligious training programme of the World Council of Churches, launched in 2014 following the 10th General Assembly of the WCC held in Busan, South Korea. It is an intensive training course to enable young Christian leaders from Asian churches to contribute towards the building up of just, harmonious and peaceable communities by equipping them for ministries of justice and peace from an inter-religious perspective.  The choice of name for this programme – YATRA – (which is a common term for pilgrimage in many Indo-Asian religions and languages) is intended to reflect the idea of pilgrimage in resonance with the WCC’s call to its member churches to embark on a pilgrimage of justice and peace. 

Objectives:  YATRA brings together young Christian leaders between 20-35 years who are in positions of leadership within their respective churches, ecumenical organisations and national councils as co-pilgrims, to:

  Analyse the complex intersections between religion and politics in contemporary Asian contexts.

  Build up a peer-network of young enablers - who can sustain and strengthen each other (through mutual encouragement, challenge and the sharing of resources) in interfaith engagement for justice and peace.

  Conceive creative and constructive models of inter-religious collaboration by offering participants opportunities for orientation and exposure to inter-religious projects.

  Discover new possibilities for living and witnessing in a multi-religious world by learning from the rich theological and spiritual resources offered by different religious traditions.

  Engage with important theological questions that often serve as a stumbling block for interreligious dialogue.  

YATRA 2018 Programme

The Venue:  The residential period of YATRA 2018 will take place from 7-20 July in Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre, Hong Kong.  This centre was founded in 1930 by the Norwegian missionary Karl Ludvig Reichelt (1877-1952). The vision of the centre today is to foster and develop contextual Christian spirituality, art, and liturgy, and encourage interfaith and cultural exchange and dialogue.

The Theme: The theme for YATRA 2018 will be “Passionately Christian and Compassionately Interreligious”. 2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of the formation of the World Council of Churches. Alongside its ecumenical quest for the visible unity of the churches the World Council of Churches has embraced inter-religious dialogue and cooperation as an authentic form of Christian presence and participation in an increasingly pluralistic world since 1967. The WCC understands the concern to reconcile one’s faith as a Christian to the wider call to dialogue as an important challenge for Christian witness. YATRA 2018 will offer an opportunity to reexamine this concern in a creative and critical manner.

The Structure of the Programme: The YATRA programme will include four weeks of intensive online learning followed by two weeks of residential learning for those who have successfully completed their online training. The residential training will include workshops, bible studies, academic lectures, study of recent ecumenical and interreligious documents, contextual analysis, exposure visits and the cross-cultural experience of living together and learning from each other.

Dates: Online learning from 6 June – 4 July 2018

Residential phase from 7 – 20 July 2018 (arrivals by 7 July, 1 p.m., departures 20 July after 1 p.m.)

Eligibility: YATRA 2018 is open to up to 25 young Christian leaders aged between 20-35 years who belong to the WCC’s ecumenical networks and have an interest or involvement in interreligious dialogue. Participants

should have completed at least a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and must be positioned to influence their churches and ecumenical organisations to be actively engaged in interreligious work. Balanced representation in terms of region, denomination and gender will be ensured in the selection process.

Costs: The cost for tuition, full board and lodging, exposure visits and local transport during the course, as well as medical insurance, is 700.-USD per participant.

All applicants are requested to pledge a personal contribution of a minimum of USD 50.- towards these costs.

The church/organization recommending and endorsing the applicant must pay an endorsement fee of USD 100.-(for accepted participants only) which is also used to cover the above mentioned costs.

In order to enable wide participation, the WCC has subsidized the costs of the course.

All travel costs including local and international air tickets to Hong Kong, visa costs and en-route-costs are the responsibility of the applicant. Churches/organizations that recommend and endorse an application are invited to make efforts to sponsor travel costs including air tickets.

Some scholarships are available to partially subsidize course fees and international airfares. A scholarship request must be made at the moment of application and will be decided upon after application screening; all decisions on scholarship requests depend on the availability of funds.

The application form consists of 4 parts:

  • Personal Application Form 001
  • Essay Form 002
  • Church Endorsement and Financial Pledge 003 (to be completed by church)    
  • Applicant’s Personal Financial Contribution Form 004