AN END TO
Watch related video
Young people (aged 15-24) make up around 18% of the world’s population, and are the primary participants in conflict today. The factors that pull young people into violent conflict are complex and can vary significantly. Young men can be manipulated by warlords or extremist groups and are influenced by drugs, alcohol, spiritual or material rewards to commit atrocities. Young women, on the other hand, are victim to physical and sexual abuse and a number of horrifying, violent practices in war.
What the Bible says...
“Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made humankind” (Genesis 9:6).
This is a profound principle regarding the evil of violence. God states this very early in the biblical account, making this a foundational truth. Most importantly, it links to the fundamental reality that violence against human beings is wrong because human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. There is a worth, a value, a dignity, to every human life, which makes selfish or deliberate violence a moral offence.
What the Church says...
In Christus Vivit (CV.72) Pope Francis acknowledged with sorrow that “many young people today live in war zones and experience violence in countless different forms: kidnapping, extortion, organised crime, human trafficking, slavery and sexual exploitation wartime rape…”.
The Pope asked us to first of all forgive those who hurt us: “Hurts you have experienced might tempt you to withdraw from others, to turn in on yourself and to nurse feelings of anger, but never stop listening to God’s call to forgiveness” (CV.165).
God loves the joy of young people. God wants us especially to share in the joy of companionship and friendship. We have to go beyond our own small groups to build a wider community, where everyone works for the common good.
We will never eliminate violence, but we can lessen it. Followers of Jesus are called to do more than passively wait for the next person to draw their gun. Our Lord and Saviour commands us to close the gap with people rejected by others. To connect with the wounded before they lash out and wound others. To bring down the level of tension and stress around us by living in peace. Three basic actions should guide our response: stand up, be heard, get help. Try to be the first person to make a report on a violence done to you or others. Make your voice clear and heard by teachers, parents, family members, carers, or any people in charge, so that they will take notice and find the best solutions.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Watch related video
MORE VIDEOS COMING...
GET THE Book
Identity:Identified contains 24 inserts and highlighting of key passages within the New Testament that are designed to help teenagers navigate life’s challenges with ways to identify why God created each one of us in the unique way He did.
This book also has a number of QR codes that link to a series of special videos that have numerous people sharing their stories and how they cope with life.
This is the perfect tool to help the younger generation in your life to follow Jesus as they navigate the challenges of life and trust him as a true friend and companion.