Interfaith Peacebuilding


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Interfaith Programs

Austrian Interfaith Breakfast Gathers Peacemakers

Austria-2019-12-07-Austrian Interfaith Breakfast Gathers Peacemakers

Linz, Austria—The Upper Austrian branches of UPF and an affiliated organization held an interreligious and intercultural breakfast with the theme “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for They Will Be Called Children of God.”

About forty people from different religions gathered in the offices of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), an organization that is affiliated with UPF, on December 7, 2019.

The center recently opened the exhibition “100 Years Rev. Moon – His Contribution to World Peace,” to commemorate the centenary of the UPF founder’s birth.

After a welcome by Mrs. Maria Pammer, the leader of UPF-Upper Austria, and a prayer by Catholic theologian Heinrich Krcek, the guests served themselves from the breakfast buffet while a young singer, Becky Moshammer, set the mood for the morning’s presentations.

Mr. Johann Brunnbauer, the leader of FFWPU of Upper Austria, began his presentation with a video about the peace work of Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon titled “Who Is the Mother of Peace?” Mr. Brunnbauer spoke not only about the many peace initiatives that Father and Mother Moon have started worldwide but also about the inner aspects, especially the power of forgiveness which leads to real peace. He illustrated this powerfully with the example of being bitten by a poisonous snake. In this situation it is not useful to chase the snake, but rather to immediately remove the poison from one’s body.

Mr. Andreas Weniger of the New Apostolic Church of Upper Austria emphasized how important it is to be at peace with oneself.  Since he comes from Hamburg, he also experienced intensely the enthusiastic mood after German reunification and the time when disarmament efforts nurtured great hope for world peace.

Mrs. Brigitte Bindreiter, a representative of the Buddhist community in the Upper Austrian Religion Advisory Board, explained the four prime virtues in Buddhism: loving goodness or charity; compassion – not pity; shared joy and serenity; and the ability to look at a situation from both sides. Through her talk about these prime virtues, we felt that she personally is working very seriously on their realization.

Mr. Mehmed Becirbasic, representative of the Bosnian mosque in the city of Steyr, reported in a very touching way about his personal experience of coming to Austria as a refugee child. The respectful attention of his primary-school teacher helped him to adhere to his roots and to have also a goal in mind. If you cannot attain an affinity to your roots and if you have no goal, a peaceful togetherness will be difficult to realize, he said. Out of gratitude he visited this former teacher after many years. The teacher told him simply that he always felt like a farmer sowing seeds. If, years later, he is able to see that the seeds are sprouting and bearing good fruit, this is the best thanks.

Mr. and Mrs. Lipp of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking as parents of four grown children, emphasized the importance of parental love in creating lasting unity among all one’s children and in bringing peace into the family.  During this process it is very important to always see the good in the other, they said. This brings peace to the individual, to the family and to the community.

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