The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) announced that the theme of the Asia Sunday 2018 will be focused on the theme ‘Embracing the Differently Abled, and Upholding Their Dignity’.
The Asia Sunday is observed every year on the Sunday before Pentecost, and this year’s Asia Sunday falls on May 13.
Every year observance of the Asia Sunday focuses on a particular theme, and member churches, councils and ecumenical partners around the world organize worship services as part of the observance of the Asia Sunday.
The CCA General Secretary Dr. Mathews George Chunakara urged member churches and councils as well as the ecumenical partners to observe the Asia Sunday 2018 in an appropriate way.
“The observance of Asia Sunday on the theme, ‘Embracing the Differently Abled, and Upholding Their Dignity’ is yet another initiative of CCA to prepare the churches in Asia, and various other actors in the Asian ecumenical movement to renew their commitment to address the concerns of the differently-abled people in Asia,” stated Dr. Mathews George Chunakara.
The number of differently abled people in Asia has been increasing during the past several years. According to a U.N study, “One in every six persons in Asia has some form of disability, and they number about 650 million. This number is expected to rise over the coming decades.”
The CCA General Secretary further stated that, “it is a reality that in most contexts, churches in Asia have not properly recognized people with disabilities in their congregations or communities. Disabled people are alienated from the mainstream of society as they face isolation from friends, family members and members in their own communities. Such exclusion even isolates them from active involvement or participation in the spiritual life of the Church which is supposed to be a caring and inclusive community.”
“The Church as a community is called by God to embrace everyone, including those who live with disabilities, and understand the nature of diversity in humans, who are created in the image of God,” added Mathews George Chunakara.
Although the designated date falls on the Sunday before Pentecost every year, churches and councils are free to organize the observance of Asia Sunday as per their own conveniences in respective local or regional/national contexts.