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July 2018
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Ambassadors for Peace

UPF-Nigeria Appoints New Interreligious Ambassadors for Peace

Abuja, Nigeria—As part of the activities it organized to commemorate the 2017 UN Day, UPF-Nigeria, in collaboration with the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) and the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) in Nigeria, held a three-day seminar on interreligious peace education for Ambassadors for Peace and religious scholars in Nigeria from October 24 to 26, 2017. Religious scholars who participated included scholars of Christianity, Islam, African traditional religions and some new religious movements. The workshop resource persons were Dr. Robert Kittel, president, Youth and Students for Peace (YSP) International, and Mr. Abdelmoumin Ibrahim Ahmed, secretary general of UPF-Sudan.

The workshop focused on an interreligious approach to peacebuilding with an emphasis on common intentions and expressions among the world’s religious traditions and teachings. Participants affirmed that there is one Creator which all religions seek to follow, but in different ways. Also, participants affirmed that human beings are essentially spiritual in nature and that all religions are committed to the spiritual development of human beings.

Other points affirmed by the participants from different religious groups were the significance of marriage and family as the school of love and peace, that all human beings are members of a global family, the need to live for the sake of others as a way toward reconciliation and the importance of interreligious and international cooperation in the 21st century.

During the workshop, the following religious scholars were appointed as Interreligious Ambassadors for Peace: Prof. Lateef M. Adetona, head of the Department of Religions and Peace Studies, Lagos State University; Dr. S. D Udofia, senior lecturer in Christian religious studies, Department of Religious and Cultural Studies,University of Uyo; Dr. Abdulmajeed Hassan Bello, Department of Religious and Cultural Studies, University of Uyo; Mr. Adeleke R.S., lecturer of Islamic studies, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo; Mr. Adekola Oluwawunsi, Department of Religious Studies, University of Ibadan; Mr. Jibromah O.K., Department of Religious Studies, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo; Mr. Rapheal Ojo Joseph, Department of Religion and African Culture, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State; and Dr. Benson O. Igboin, Department of Religions and Peace Studies, Lagos State University.

The newly appointed Interreligious Ambassadors for Peace pledged to work with other religious educators and leaders to ensure that religious education creates the needed impact on the national policies of Nigeria as well as promote and strengthen interreligious relations.

The religious scholars also affirmed the proposal by the UPF Founders for the renewal of the UN through the creation of an interreligious council at the UN and commended the government of Nigeria for responding to the call by establishing the National Inter Religious Council (NIREC). The participants, however, called on the federal government of Nigeria to strengthen the NIREC to become active in promoting interreligious relations. The religious scholars offered to reach out to religious scholars to strengthen religious education and promote interreligious cooperation as well as train interreligious clergies to champion interreligious peacebuilding in Nigeria.

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