Israel’s Faith Leaders Pray during Pandemic

Leaders representing four main religions met to pray for the healing of the world from coronavirus.

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UPF-Korea Event Supports Launch of New Organization

UPF-Korea held an event in support of the launch of the Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community, an affiliated organization, which was broadcast online and attended by 810 participants.

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Russian Orthodox Cleric Promotes Pedagogy of Peace

A prominent Russian Orthodox cleric was the first guest in a series of online meetings on interreligious cooperation.

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Africa Day Event Tackles Major Issues

An Africa Day commemoration discussed violence against women and government corruption.

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India Celebrates Global Day of Parents with Virtual Conference

UPF-India celebrated the UN Global Day of Parents 2020 by organizing a virtual conference on “Parental Love is the Key to Combating COVID-19,” with several hundred participants.

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Faith for Earth: Climate Change and Environmental Justice

The Coalition of Faith Based Organizations, a partner organization of UPF, hosted a June 4th webinar on Faith for Earth: Climate Change and Environmental Justice..

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Peace Tours

Global Peace Tour in Slovakia Addresses Economic Crisis

Bratislava, Slovakia - The historic Zichy Palace in the city centre of Bratislava was the site for an April 16 conference on the current economic crisis and a reading of the peace message of UPF's 2009 Global Peace Tour.

The gathering was opened by well-known composer and pianist Mrs. Hoang Thi Kieu Ah, a Vietnamese woman living in Slovakia. Then the participants were greeted by the first President of the Slovak Republic, H.E. Michal Kováč.

 


President Kováč expressed his support for the peace activities of UPF and also shared some of his ideas concerning economic situation. He offered a short analysis of the past 20 years of development of Slovak society after the collapse of the totalitarian regime and concluded that developments have not resulted in the hoped-for improvements. President Kováč also shared his idea for launching a civic movement for the promotion of truth, justice, and the common good. Furthermore, he stressed the need to implement Christian principles in public life as a way to help preserve human dignity and reverse moral decline.

President Kováč´s address was an excellent introduction to the small conference on the current economic situation. Professor Július Alexy, who at age 82 is still teaching at two universities and is a member of various government commissions, spoke on economic and ethical solidarity in the process of globalization as it relates to the current crisis. According Prof. Alexy, the existing financial and monetary systems inevitably lead to new crises. One of the reasons is the system of compound interest that periodically doubles the amount of money owed. History has witnessed many such crises that led to wars and revolutions.

In the social structure, interest payments function like cancer. To ensure the flow of money, another mechanism should replace interest. To save the world from uncontrollable development, the current conflicts, superficiality, and heartlessness towards one's fellow human beings should be replaced with dignity, whole-heartedness, recognition of universal human values, and moral living with economic solidarity.

Mr. Zuheir Kotroch, a Syrian businessman and representative of the Muslim community in Slovakia, spoke about the current crisis in terms of different religions, denominations, and perspectives that rather hinder people from seeing what we have in common and learning to live according to the principles God gave us. The failure to live for the sake of others is one of the reasons for the current crisis, he stated.

Both of the speakers then answered many questions from the audience.

After short break with refreshments, the program continued with the Slovak part of the Global Peace Tour. Ambassador Robert Harenčár, president of UPF-Slovakia and former Ambassador of Slovakia to Ukraine, introduced the vision and work of UPF to find the solutions to world problems, among them the current economic crisis. He mentioned also the necessity for social sensitivity in business, using as an example the well-known Czechoslovak businessman Mr. Tomas Bata. Ambassador Harenčár encouraged the audience to strengthen their commitment to live for the others in the current situation.

The keynote address of the evening was presented by Dr. Yong Cheol Song, Chair of UPF-Europe. He presented a peace message containing “a spiritual vision rooted in time-enduring principles, values and aspirations" that is inspiring a peace movement around the world. He called upon the audience to join this movement and to dare to dream the greatest dream of all – to create “One Family under God!”

For the keynote address and more information about the peace tour, click here.

 

Note: Tomáš J. Bata built a successful global enterprise that manufactured and sold shoes. Not only did he provide jobs and a decent standard of living for thousands of Bata employees, but long before it was fashionable he opened up opportunities for education and advancement to people of all races and colors; he introduced them to modern technology and previously unknown standards of quality workmanship and he helped many of them to establish businesses of their own. He did all this through a culture founded above all on service: a genuine concern for the well-being of the workers, customers, and communities in which it operates. For more information, click here.

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UPF-Italy and WFWP "Peace Talks" - Webinar Focuses on Social Distancing Stress

Rome, Italy—Anxiety and stress resulting from social distancing were the topics of a webinar held by UPF and an affiliated organization.

UPF-Argentina Hosts Weekly Reading and Reflection Sessions on Zoom

Argentina—On May 18, UPF-Argentina held via Zoom its fifth reading and reflection session with the theme “Science and Ethics.”

Australian Webinar Discusses Health and Peacebuilding

Melbourne, Australia—UPF-Melbourne continued its personal development webinar series with a virtual seminar on mental health and peacebuilding.