“Catholic bishops, in addition to listening to us young people, should guide us,” said Daniel Bashir, a young synod delegate from Pakistan, speaking to AsiaNews to the Synod on young people. He is one of the very few young auditors (36) invited to participate in the Synod of Bishops, tasked with helping the Church to better understand young people and touch their destiny, renewing them in faith and vocation. A young doctor from Karachi, Daniel is also the national coordinator of Jesus Youth, an international movement of lay missionaries. He has been lucky in life because not all young people in his country have the opportunity to study that he has had.
As reported by asianews.it, Daniel remarked that “If one really wants to understand how Pakistan’s youth live, the first distinction that needs to be made is between those who study and those who do not. Everything revolves around that. If we turn to the Christian minority, “the distinctions based on education makes little difference. We ,Christians can be engineers, architects, doctors, but in many places, we are discriminated because of our faith. Some jobs are for Muslims only, whilst the most degrading jobs are reserved for young people from minority groups. Sometimes this is very frustrating, especially for those who have an education. It is painful for us.” Further, he added, “In Pakistan, young Catholics live in a very simple way. The most devout go to Mass every morning, before going to school or work. For that reason, the service is held at 6:30 am in many parishes. Money is the main factor that differentiates. For students, the school day unfolds following an hourly schedule. When they are grown up, they search for work. Those from poor families, life is different. Most of them are day labourers, so if they don’t work, they don’t ear. For this reason, many move away from the faith because they cannot go to Mass on Saturday or Sunday. Neither is a public holiday in Pakistan.”
However, Daniel highlights that “young Pakistanis face only one fundamental problem, namely guidance. After school, we don’t know what to do. We are confused, we don’t have a sense of discernment. Priests are extraordinary in their pastoral work but not in counselling young people. The bishops must help us find our way. The Synod should encourage them to focus on helping and counselling young people in individual dioceses. After listening to us, they must advise us on how to solve our problems, realize our dreams, and face the challenges of life through faith and spiritual renewal.”