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Interfaith Programs

Oslo Interfaith Forum: God's Role in Developing a Peaceful World

Oslo, Norway - The second in a series of My Faith Forums was held in the beautiful Wat Thai Buddhist temple near Oslo, under the title "God and Peace." The staff in the temple had made wonderful preparations in organizing the table, banner, floral decorations and food. While UPF had organized the program, the Buddhist staff set up the venue, and participants came to a set table.

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The gathering took place on October 2, which happened to be Gandhi Day. His example of finding inspiration in his faith served as a role model for the discussions.

The Hindu panelist emphasized that we all live by God’s energy and blessing. We need to be aware of that in order to live good lives.

The Buddhist representative said that even though Buddhism does not talk about God, there is still a need to follow something higher than oneself. She put the concept dhamma in such a position, the highest teaching, like a natural law, to be followed.

The Baha'i member focused on the development of humanity. Humankind has arrived at a new stage and should use all means to reach the goal of world peace. There is only one God and people need to cooperate.

The Ahmadiyya imam mentioned universal values. Only such values will prevail. Peioke must pray with sincerity to God. People lack contact with their Creator these days. Without God there is no peace.

The Unificationist presentation introduced the calling to be in God’s image. It touched upon the need to lead lives where words and deeds and where mind and body are in harmony. On that basis God can be with us.

Several comments and questions were raised. One of them was about reincarnation. The Buddhist representative answered that people should focus on reaching their goal now, in this life! It is possible to find peace here and experience nirvana in this life.

The evening concluded with sharing wonderful Thai food, a visit to the temple’s holy place and a social gathering among all the 46 participants who attended.

Report: Steinar Murud
Photo: Ole Toresen

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