The Church in India has launched a new web portal for young people with multimedia and social networking facilities, claiming it to be the first Church site to link its content to cell phones.
Nuncio to India Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio launched the site at the concluding function of a national youth convention on Oct. 17 in Shillong, the capital of Christian majority Meghalaya state.
An estimated 60,000 young people, especially from northeastern states witnessed the launch along with some 400 priests gathered for the week-long event.
The portal www.youthactiv8.org is conceived, developed and maintained in collaboration with ucanews.com, the Bangkok-based Catholic news service specialized in covering the Asian Church.
The site, having a full-fledged multimedia and social networking targeted at youth, is first such in the global Church, says Jesuit Father Michael Kelly, executive director of ucanews.com.
The Indian Catholic Youth Movement that functions under the youth office of the Indian bishops collaborated to develop the site.
“The site is for you, and it is your site,” Father Kelly said amid applause from young people, dressed in colorful tribal and regional dresses.
“The Church is a community of communities. And sharing is the basics of communities,” Father Kelly said adding that the site helps build and sustain the communities.
“Here the technology is working to do what the Church wants to achieve–communicate a message and enrich relationships,” he added.
Rakesh Singh of the youth movement who coordinated the project with UCA News said the young people have “taken it as a big step of the Church forward.”
India is a world hub of technological development and the Indian youth are well aware of it. Here the Church is meeting them with something that they well understand, Singh added.