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Interfaith Programs

Toronto Interfaith Forum: Overcoming Hatred through Love

The Universal Peace Federation-Toronto held its monthly meeting on May 3, 2008. This meeting, as was the April one, was very well attended.

The proceedings began with an opening prayer from Archbishop Delores Severight from Shouters International Church and a very good friend of the Toronto Family Church.

Dr. Hoosein Auckbaraullee, UPF Canada Central District, Co-Director, gave opening remarks and introduced the participants. 

Rev. Earl Smith from the Church of Scientology was the keynote speaker. He began his presentation with a series of disturbing videos showing the recent attacks that the Church of Scientology has endured from an anarchic group called Anonymous. The group has attacked the church on the Internet and galvanized some individuals to hold protests at various church locations in several countries. Some leaders of the church have received death threats. There have also been several bomb threats against the church.

Anonymous claims that it is spreading anarchy and mayhem “because we can.” They offer no real justification for their animosity towards the Church of Scientology, save for feeble statements to the effect that the church “has been misleading the world and spreading falsehoods.” Rev. Smith and his colleague from the church said they have not even seen any former members of the church participating in the protests and demonstrations against the church. In fact virtually all the protesters are young people who know nothing about the church.

Rev. Smith emphasized that in our quest for peace, it is important that we resist and fight injustice. An attack on anyone of us is an attack on us all. He closed his presentation with some quotes from the founder of the Church of Scientology, the late L. Ron Hubbard. The key message was that before one can achieve peace in the world, one has to have peace within. Holding on to hate and desiring revenge is destructive. Only love can overcome hatred and evil.

A spirited question and answer period followed as participants tried to understand why the Church of Scientology was being subjected to such heinous treatment. They also wanted to know whether the church had received help from law enforcement officials and the media. The church had received limited support but was determined not to be dragged into retaliating against Anonymous. Instead, they would maintain a moral high ground.

The UPF members present resolved that as an act of solidarity and support towards the Church of Scientology, the next UPF meeting would be held at the Church of Scientology in downtown Toronto.

The meeting closed with a prayer from Qamrul Khanson and a group picture.

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