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Interfaith Peacebuilding

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Interfaith Programs

Jewish Religious Leaders Visit Ethiopian Church

Germany-2017-12-16-UPF-Düsseldorf Examines the Meaning of Christmas

Jerusalem, Israel—Jewish members of UPF-Israel’s Jerusalem Interfaith Forum for Understanding and Cooperation Among Religions visited an Ethiopian church in Jerusalem on December 29, 2017 in honor of the Christian holidays.

Father Abuna Zion, the head of the Christian Ethiopian congregation, warmly welcomed the Interfaith Forum members, and said that he and his people were very happy to host them in their church.

In light of U.S. President Donald Trump declaration regarding Jerusalem in early December, Father Zion emphasized the holiness of Jerusalem and that its role is to bring peace and light to the world, rather than conflicts and war.

UPF-Israel representatives, Mrs. Miri Kamar and Dr. Nurit Hirschfeld, related to the need for religious leaders to provide spiritual support to political leadership around the world, and encouraged the participants to continue with their spiritual efforts and activities for peace.

Rabbi Yaakov Luft and Dr. Ohr Yitzhak Margalit shared their vision on Jerusalem based on Jewish tradition. According to it, Jerusalem should be a place of prayer to all nations and all religions. Quoting from prophet Isaiah: "For my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations" (Isaiah 56:7).

During the visit, ideas for activities that could be organized locally by the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) were discussed. Rabbi Luft suggested forming an interfaith group that would be dedicated to studying and discussing deeply the Holy Scriptures, and that this study take place in Jerusalem to support the role of the city as a center for peace.

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