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Interfaith Programs

Canadian Seminar Discusses ‘Current Challenges of Interfaith Activity’

Vancouver, Canada—The “Current Challenges of Interfaith Activity” was the focus of UPF-Western Canada’s seminar held on March 25, 2017 at the Nikkei Museum and Cultural Center in Burnaby city in the Greater Vancouver area. Representatives and members of different faith groups attended the event, which was organized and hosted by the director of UPF-Western Canada, Mr. Alan Wilding, and his wife Michiko. Several presenters spoke on the theme, after which, a Q&A session, moderated by Ambassador for Peace Dr. Yourie Pankratz, took place.

Rev. Laurie Deacon, of the New Westminster Presbyterian Church, and a long time interfaith activist, spoke about the contribution of interfaith work to the wider society—in spite of resistance, including from some within her congregation.

Mrs. Cindy Song, a former prosecutor in China and an adherent of Falun Gong, spoke of her experience in prison and how she was tortured for practicing ancient traditional Chinese meditative exercises.

Mr. Acharya Dwivedi, a Hindu scholar who has been engaged in dialogue with representatives of many faiths for a long time, offered his insights on the current and future development of interfaith activity.

Afterwards, Mr. Bassam Javed, who was representing Imam Fode Drame, founder of the Zawiyah Foundation, impressed the audience with his presentation and demonstrated that he has been an excellent student of Imam Drame.

Mr. Franco Famularo, secretary general of UPF-Canada, then presented on the UPF Principles of Peace. He emphasized the important role of the Ambassadors for Peace as a network of religious, political and civic leaders advancing the cause of peace.

The meeting concluded with Mr. Wilding providing a summary of the main points that were presented in the seminar, and a discussion among the participants.

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