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8000 youths to kick off nationwide bible drive

MANILA, Philippines - Some 8,000 youth leaders will kick off Saturday at the Folk Arts Theater in Manila a nationwide drive to heighten Bible awareness among the youth. Philippine Bible Society president and Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes enjoined interested youth leaders to join and "rally together to become Bible lovers." "We live at a time where economic, social, and political turmoil should draw us closer into the loving and caring arms of God. The Bible directs us towards God and has already charted the map for us. The Body of Christ in the Philippines can no longer afford to be divided by our petty differences. The call for us to unite in the name of God and His Word is real. Y! Explode is our response and challenge," he said in an article on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website. Dubbed "Y! Explode: The Bible Adventure Series," the one-day event was organized in response to findings that more than half of Filipinos do not even have a Bible. Kicking off the event will be the march of participants from the Rajah Sulayman Park in Malate, Manila and the Derham Park in Pasay City. The two groups will converge at the area between the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Aliw Theater and move as one group towards the Folk Arts Theater. Among those who will give the participants Bible lectures are Pastor Ed Lapiz, Pastor La Mumar and Bo Sanchez. A Bible concert will cap the gathering. "It is in response to this reality that the organizers have come together and decided to come up with a deliberate youth scripture engagement program…that will convey to the Y Generation the transformative message of God's Word in a more interactive fashion," organizers said. Organizers include the Philippine Bible Society, National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, and the CBCP Episcopal Commissions on Youth and Biblical Apostolate. The organizers lamented that more than half of Filipinos do not own a Bible. Even among young people who own a Bible, many acknowledge they do not read it. Reasons for this, they said, include the youth do not know where to start, do not know how to read the Bible, or do not understand the Bible version they have. - GMANews.TV