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Interfaith Programs

UPF-Italy Sponsors Interfaith Forum on the Family

Bologna, Italy—On November 11, 2018, at the Hotel Europa, UPF-Italy held a public conference on interreligious dialogue with the theme “The Family: A Common Base of All Religions.” Thirty-six guests participated.

Imam Ataul Wasih Tariq, national vice president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at, expressed several concepts about the family taken from the Koran. These were that that a believer can understand God through an affectionate and tender relationship with a spouse and that women are considered sacred and proof of the existence of God. Muslims, he continued, must take care of the education of children, who are the future, as well as serving their parents.

Dr. Silvia Guetta, professor in the the Department of Education at the University of Florence, and member of the Board of Directors of the UNESCO Center of Florence, emphasized that Judaism is based on family discourse. Man and woman were created together to be complementary: The Jewish people start from the family. The biblical expression "Son of ..." demonstrated the importance of the generational passage. This is why the Fifth Commandment, "Honor thy father and mother" is so important. In the family, Jews learn while doing: seen in the preparation and celebration of Jewish holidays and especially in the importance of study. She explained that during the Holocaust, the children who were in concentration camps with their parents did not lose a day of study.

Carlo Zonato, president of UPF-Italy, was the third and last speaker. He emphasized that UPF honors the family with God at the center. All faiths teach that humankind has disconnected from God and is orphaned; the harmony of faiths is a common basis of cooperation. The family is the fundamental link to rebuilding peace because it is a school of love. Additionally, he said, the family is responsible for enacting three famous blessings in Genesis: "Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the Earth." With the freedom that comes from the practice of this commandment, he concluded, we can find the answers to world’s problems.

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