The 3rd ASYG was held from August 24 to 31, 2008 at the Yong-in Youth Center in Korea. ASYG is a quadrennial event organized by EASYNet to promote ecumenical cooperation and grassroots ecumenism in different countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The ASYG was attended by 100 young people representing the six-member organization of EASYNet, namely; WSCF AP, Asia-Pacific Alliance of YMCA, IMCS, IYCS, YWCA, CCA Youth and guests from WCC.
Rev. Dr. Seo Gwang Sun from Korea led the Opening Worship with a sermon entitled, “ Making Peace: Global Leaders Mission Impossible? In his sermon, he challenged the young participants to take-up the ‘Great Commission of Peace Making,’ for well-being and for the whole Creation. He also shared his personal experience of growing-up during the Second World War and the suffering that his family has endured during this period, including the execution of his father by the North Korean Security forces. Lesley Capus of the Philippines gave the keynote speech where he likened ASYG to the Korean concept of “Sarangbang” or a peace/love room in traditional Korean houses. He emphasized the need for young people to engage in peace-building education to promote the culture of peace among the young generation. The Bible Study Sessions were led by Emma Cantor from the Philippines on Exodus 1:8-21 and Dr. Yani Yoo from Korea on the book of 1 Samuel.
Highlights of ASYG were the Exposure Program organized by the Local Host Committee in nine different places namely; The House of Sharing, Vinyl House, De-Militarized Zones (DMZ), Borderless Village, Canaan Farmer’s School, Life Friendly Rural Farming, Mugunli US Military Training Camp, My Sister’s Place. The Exposure Program provided in-depth understanding on the issues of War and Militarism, Women’s Exploitation, Globalization, Environment, Migration and Urban Housing Problems. The participants were able to relate the ASYG’s theme to Korean reality.
Other highlights of the program were the National or Country Presentation, where participants from each country presented issues and situation of their countries through exhibits and creative presentations in a “Market Place.” Thematic Workshops were also organized on four main themes: Empire Building in Asia; Ecumenical and Interfaith Cooperation; War and Militarism; Ecological Crisis and Sustainable Development. ASYG concluded with a plan of action and statement expressing their commitment to Peace-building and continuing ecumenical cooperation at the grassroots level.