The annual European Youth Meeting promoted by the Taize Community is taking place in Poznan, Polandfrom 27 Dec to 2 Jan. It brings together thousands of young people from all over the continent.

[display_podcast] This podcast made available from Vatican Radio

Pope Benedict XVI has sent the participants of the meeting a message

Taiz� – European Meetings – english from Taiz� Community on Vimeo.

Taiz� – 32nd European gathering

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30,000 young people from across Europe and other continents will gather in Poznan, Poland, from December 29, 2009 to January 2, 2010 at the invitation of the Taiz� Community. This 32nd European young adult meeting has been organized in response to the invitation of the archbishop and ecumenical leaders of Poznań. From Portugal to Russia, from Sweden to Croatia, all European countries will be represented.

Five-day-long European meetings have been organized by the brothers of Taiz� since 1978. They have been held in Paris, Barcelona, London, Rome, as well as in Prague, Vienna, Munich, Budapest, Milan, Lisbon, Zagreb, Geneva and Brussels. European meetings have taken place three times in Poland, twice in Wroclaw (1989 and 1995) and once in Warsaw (1999). These meetings are part of a �pilgrimage of trust on earth� launched thirty years ago by Brother Roger, founder of the Taiz� Community.

During the meeting in Poland, participants will spend their mornings in 150 parishes of the dioceses of Poznań and Gniezno. In the afternoon they will meet in the exhibition halls of the city for meals, worship together and workshops on social issues and inner life. In some of these workshops, experiences of commitment to justice, solidarity and peace in the world will enable participants to prepare to take on responsibilities back in their home countries. One of the workshops will deal with the theme of freedom: the freedom for which many fought in the twentieth century and which now seems so natural to those who are under 25. One of the issues that young people will be invited to address is this: today in Europe and across all continents, are we thinking enough about what meaning to give to our freedom? During the prayer each evening, Brother Alois, Prior of Taiz�, Brother Roger�s successor, will deliver a meditation.

On the occasion of the meeting in Poznan, Brother Alois will publish a �Letter from China�, translated into fifty languages, which the young people will receive upon their arrival in Poland. Taiz� has had relations with Christians in China for over twenty years. As a sign of friendship and community, through �Operation Hope�, this year one million Bibles were printed in Chinese and circulated in all parts of the country.

Accompanied by two brothers of the community, a Chinese and a Korean, Brother Alois has just completed a tour of three weeks in mainland China. He will speak about this in Poznan. �What dynamic faith there is among Christians in that country!� he wrote. �We admire their perseverance and their loyalty. Several people told us about the suffering that their parents or grandparents endured for the faith. We met believers who, in their humble situation, play an active role in building the future of their country. In Sichuan province, for example, after the great earthquake of 2008, some went to help offer aid to the victims; they are still there and are greatly appreciated by the population.�