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Marriage and Family

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Marriage and Family

Oslo Forum on the Significance of the Family

Oslo, Norway - UPF-Norway organized an evening program at the Lutheran institution Diakonhjemmet University College on November 24. The topic was “The Significance of the Family for Human Development and a Safe Society.”

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The first speaker, Ragnhild Bjoernebekk, a researcher on violence from the Norwegian Police University College, spoke on the topic “Causes of Violence.” She presented various factors that can trigger violence. In Norway, according to her research, most risk factors are found on the micro level, or the family level. When life is out of balance here, there is a high risk for undesirable behavior. There is much benefit in various support programs on this level.

Mr. Zia Uddin, from the Islamic Cultural Centre, spoke on “The Family’s Role in Society.” He compared the family to a factory. The family is a “factory that produces good citizens.” Even though for most people the words factories and families have very different associations, he believes that there is a parallel. As factories produce good products, families need to raise good individuals. In order to accomplish that, he emphasized the need for responsibility and spiritual values.

UPF Secretary General Steinar Murud talked about “The Family as the Key Institution for Human Happiness and Development.” If there are things common to all human beings, it is the relationships of parents, spouse, siblings, or children. These universal relationships constitute a school of love that develops us into mature persons and creates a base for happiness.

The final speaker was from the Norwegian Parliament. Mr Kjell Ingolf Ropstad presented numbers and statistics on how people from broken homes and troubled families are at higher risk for committing crimes, suicide, or misusing alcohol. He mentioned that such patterns are often repeated; children from a broken family will often suffer the same fate in their own marriage or family.

Thirty-two participants attended the event. People in the audience made insightful comments and raised several relevant questions. A break with good refreshments in an inspired atmosphere encouraged people to mingle, share, and discuss informally.

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