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IAPD Inaugurated in Peru

Lima, Peru—The Peru chapter of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) was inaugurated on November 3, 2018 at the headquarters of UPF-Peru in Lima. More than 100 people of different faiths filled the room where the event took place and listened intently to the presentations that were given.

The program began with a musical performance by internationally recognized Peruvian singer-songwriter and director of music ensemble Inca Son, César Villalobos, who recently completed a successful tour of Russia.

Dr. Trevor Jones, president of UPF-Peru opened the Inaugural Assembly with an overview of the history of UPF’s work for peace, giving examples of UPF co-founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s work in the United Nations and the Middle East since 1965. He also explained the objectives of the launch of the IAPD-Peru.

The program continued with leaders of different religious organizations speaking about their own faiths and beliefs as well as their commitment to work for peace. Among those who spoke were Bishop Jesus Mejia of the Anglican Catholic Church; Sheik Ahmed Osman Ali Kasen, a representative of the Islamic Association of Peru; Lopon Ngwang Khenrab, a representative of the Buddhist organization, Drukpa Peru; Dina Salas Montoya, a representative of the Adventist Church of Peru; Brother Adrian Salinas Chalco, a representative of the Christian Police of Peru; Father Jorge Atarama Rodriguez, director of the Salesian College and representative of the Catholic Church; Mr. Walter Bobadilla Sánchez, director of public affairs, a representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Peru; and Mr. Kishore Gupta, president of Hindu Geeta Ashram.

This was followed by the Water of Life Ceremony. The religious leaders, one by one, poured water into a common vessel, symbolizing the unity of religions and cultures. The ceremony inspired the audience with its simplicity and significance.

Afterwards, the declaration inaugurating the IAPD-Peru was read by Mr. Jaime Fernandez, secretary general of UPF-Peru, and then signed by the religious leaders and other Ambassadors for Peace.

New religious Ambassadors for Peace were appointed. Mrs. Faith Jones, president of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP)-Peru, an affiliated organization, and a member of the Presidential Council of UPF-Peru, gave a moving testimony of her life and reflected on her work in promoting a culture of peace. She spoke about the importance of God in our lives and urged everyone to work together for peace.

The event culminated with a choral performance accompanied by the Rock Perú Musart orchestra playing violin, flute and piano.

To view a video of the event, click here.

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