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November 2019
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Interfaith Programs

Steps toward Peace Taken at Interfaith Forum

Germany-2019-04-13-Steps toward Peace Taken at Interfaith Forum

Frankfurt, Germany—UPF held a forum for peace in cooperation with an internationally known Muslim organization.

Over many years, the Stuttgart and Düsseldorf branches of UPF, through their interreligious outreach work, have built a close relationship with the Muslim-Sufi MIHR Foundation. This culminated last year with the foundation’s participation in many World Peace Blessing events.

Now it was the turn of the MIHR Foundation to invite the Frankfurt branch of UPF to cooperate with them in organizing a peace forum. The event was held on April 13, 2019, in the Saalbau conference facility in the Griesheim district of Frankfurt. Other organizers were the Frankfurt Forum for More Integration and two other groups that are working for peace.

The topic of the event, decided after many preparatory discussions, was “Steps toward Peace: Inner Peace, Peace in Society, Peace through and with God.”

An audience of 300 guests—mostly of Turkish origin—filled the room.

The program began with dervishes with swirling gowns dancing to purify the spiritual atmosphere.

Then the leader of the MIHR Foundation in Germany, Dr. Abdulcabbar Boran, with Ender Eker translating, explained humankind’s ongoing struggle between Allah and Shaitan (God and Satan). Dr. Boran, a retired atomic physicist, repeatedly emphasized that the Torah, the Bible and the Quran contain basically the same message.

The presentations continued after two wonderful songs from the young singer Lirio Bellabarba.

Claus Dubisz, representing UPF-Frankfurt, introduced the five Principles of Peace as understood by UPF, emphasizing the central role played by the family as the school of love. Just as children experience unconditional love from good parents, so also is humankind’s relationship with the creator of the universe deepened by a concept of God as our “heavenly parent.”

A further two presentations from the other groups followed, before a break in which Turkish delicacies could be sampled.

After the break, the participants had the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers; however, only the representatives of MIHR and UPF remained available to answer.

What surely will remain as a lasting memory was the call for repentance in a special ceremony in which all could participate.

All in all, this was an important contribution to peaceful cooperation between religions, a better understanding of certain rituals and ceremonies, and, above all, deeper relationships with each other.

(Translated from German by Catriona Valenta.)

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