Youth Involvement In Different Religions
Please understand that this is an essay I wrote for my Grade11 Religion final project. If you choose to comment, please keep it respectful. If you have any more information, feel free to comment with it, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Youth Involvement In Different Religions
Youth participation in different religions will change depending on the customs, rituals, or beliefs. Catholics believe youth are to be treated with respect and are to be taught in the ways of the church for a better future. Native Aboriginals believe that youths should participate once they have proven themselves at the age or maturity. Hindus are just coming to make their youths participate in their faith. Islam believes that youth should be involved at a daily basis in their faith; to proclaim the word of Allah in their everyday lives. Jews believe in the power of representing God through living out his teachings. Youth involvement usually increases as children get older, but as youths they represent their religion in their actions, thoughts and their progression of faith as they grow up.
In letters from two different Popes the outline for youth involvement is shown. The Popes who wrote both letters criticize the church with not telling the youth to participate more. As time goes on, youth involvement grows less and less, almost to the point of only adults worshipping at church. The Pope wishes for the church to reach out and to bring more youth to the worship of God. Pope Benedict once said that the Catholic Church calls for,
“ ..a Church for young people, which will know how to speak to their heart and enkindle, comfort, and inspire enthusiasm in it with the joy of the Gospel and the strength of the Eucharist; a Church which will know how to invite and to welcome the person who seeks a purpose for which to commit his whole existence; a Church which is not afraid to require much, after having given much; which does not fear asking from young people the effort of a noble and authentic adventure, such as that of the following of the Gospel.” (Pope Benedict, August 6th 2010)
The Pope realizes that the youth are the next generation of the church, or the future of Catholicism.
Native spirituality demands that youths prove themselves to the community in order to be thought of as young adults. The process involves the youth being thought of as a child until they hit puberty. At this time the youth will (depending on the tribe) preform a task, quest or other assignment to prove they have matured. At this time, the youth may proceed to participate in festivals, ceremonies, and more. Youths are encouraged after their trial to participate in everything the tribe will do. The very primitive form of participation was to hunt for buffalo, attend powwows, sing for rain, and to marry from another tribe. Nowadays Natives will marry whomever they choose, don’t have to prove themselves, need not show involvement, still may attend annual powwows ; but do not has as many restrictions.
Hindus rely on youth to take responsibility at a young age. They are to help with family life and to help the growth of faith in their homes. Hindu youth involvement is growing steadily: “..in establishing the youths as the cornerstone of the organization, whereby Hindu education, volunteering, and youth involvement is flourishing.(Avinash, n.d)” The leaders of some Hindu youth groups are contributing to the growth of this religion and the proclamation of their faith. “Being one of the five founding members of the Shiv Ratan Youth Group, ... Avinash works closely with the youths in trying to elevate this new generation of Hindus.” Hindus are still as active in their faith as they were thousands of years ago when they were first started. They are taught by their elders to respect and treat others well, and to take care of those around them. Hindu youth involvement is still growing, and will most likely continue to grow if they keep up the teachings and how they get youth excited for faith.
Islam believes that youth should be involved to a point of proclaiming their faith. Islam teaches that youth are to join adults for worship and to share their faith with those around them. Youths should participate in festivals, such as Ramadan and Hijri. Youths believe in God, the angels, prophets, sacred texts, judgement day, and predestination. “Islam does not teach rejection of the world, it teaches involvement, struggle, and change.” They are encouraged to grow in their faith and praise Allah.
“..To raise a generation of Muslim youth who take great pride in their great faith. A generation of young Muslims whose identity is purely Islamic, a generation of Muslims for whom Islam comes first and everything else.”(FHOSM)
Islam is slowly gearing up for a revolution of Muslim faith.
Judaism teaches that youth involvement in the synagogue to learn more about God. It wishes for the youth to be true to themselves in the face of God. They are to act as a child until the age of which they can have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. When they reach this age, they are to act as an adult. Jewish youth are to act upon their faith and share it with whomever will listen, and even those who won’t. Much like Christians, Jews are told to be present at the Church/Synagogue for regular services. They are taught that the Sabbath is Holy, and that no work should be done on that day. Youth are treated as adults after their mitzvah and are expected to act as such. Jews are to treat everyone with respect, to share their faith, and to forevermore seek the glory of God.
All together, the different youth involvement and world views of God(s) are taught, but are still hesitant to reach one another. Each view is completely alien to the other, and therefore people do not take kindly when they share their faith with each other. World Religion Classes help to make this tolerance known to youth so when they start to proclaim their faith, they can back it up, and also understand the other point of view. Youth are taught to be respectful, but aren’t always. In every religion, they are to participate in one way or another. All things considered, youth have a difficult time to accept different religions as the ‘correct’ one in fear of theirs being ‘wrong.’ Youth get involved in order to learn more about their religions, and to one day, become someone who brings others into their religion.
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