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November 2018
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IAPD Inaugurated in Ecuador

Quito, Ecuador—On September 29, 2018, UPF-Ecuador held a celebration of the UN International Day Peace and the national inauguration of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) at the Peace Embassy in Ecuador’s capital, Quito.

Following one minute of silence and a reading of the UN Secretary-General’s message for this year’s Day by the emcee, Bishop Luis Moreno of the Anglican Church spoke about the 32nd UPF International Leadership Conference (ILC), which took place in Seoul, Korea in September, and about UPF’s international activities.  

The ceremony to inaugurate the IAPD began with a water ceremony for harmony and unity of all religions under God. Metropolitan Archbishop Chrysostmos Celi of the Orthodox Church, who is the president of the National Council for Freedom of Religious Equality of Ecuador (CONALIR), said: “If we have no respect for each religion or understanding of the diverse forms in which religion is manifested and expressed, there can be no peace in the world. When we understand others, we can love each other more. If there is love, respect and unity, peace can exist. Without love for one’s neighbor, peace cannot exist in the world.”

Bishop Abraham Sarabia of the Orthodox Church spoke about Mother Teresa’s life of practicing God’s love by serving all people, regardless of their religion. “If we want to change this world, we cannot depend on only our own beliefs, ideology, or membership, but must live daily based on loving others. We are not perfect yet. If we act in this way, we can get peace.”

During the ceremony, the participants confirmed the importance of loving others beyond differences of doctrine or religion.

A representative of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) in Ecuador talked about harmony within the family. “First, we must restore our relationship with God. With the idea of God at the center of the family, we must practice love in our family: filial love between husband and wife, fraternal love among siblings, and live for the sake of others; this is key to creating peace in our society and the world.”

Also among the participants were Christian pastors, missionaries of the Catholic Church, representatives of the Jewish faith community, and a former assemblywoman.

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