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November 2017
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Religious Youth Service

Religious Youth Service Project to Take Place in Moldova

When? August 5-12

Where?

Ialoveni, Moldova
Contact Mihai Calestru, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Ialoveni, Moldova - UPF-Moldova is organizing a Religious Youth Service project August 5-12 that will include cleaning and repairing a senior citizens center in the Ialoveni region, a 30-minute drive from the capital of Chisinau. The Ialoveni Department of Family and Social Assistance is a partner in the project, and participants will be lodged in the city of Ialoveni.

In addition, participants will create an educational video about understanding and cooperation among people of various faiths which can be distributed to educational institutions and people interested in teaching about interfaith respect.

Recent UPF initiatives in Moldova have brought together representatives of various faiths for seminars, round-table discussions, and conferences. There is interest in bringing together youth for a substantial experience of interfaith cooperation. The religious spectrum in Moldova is varied, even though 90 percent of the people are at least nominally Orthodox Christians. Within the Orthodox communion there are divisions, with the majority of Christians belonging to the Metropolis of Chisinau and Moldova, which is affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church and receives favored treatment by the government; smaller numbers belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church or Old Believers. There is religious liberty, but with some restrictions; the Ministry of Justice registered a Muslim religious community, but the Orthodox Christian Church put public pressure on the government to cancel the registration.

The upcoming Religious Youth Service project can demonstrate the potential for fruitful interfaith dialogue and collaboration towards joint solutions for social problems. The diversity of religion need not be considered a threat to the Orthodox Christian majority. Instead, faith groups can be trustworthy partners in addressing from spiritual and moral perspectives the pressing social issues such as domestic violence, teen pregnancies, sexually-transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, care for the elderly, juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, and tobacco and alcohol abuse. The problem is not the diversity of faiths but rather the lack of trust and collaboration for the sake of the community and nation. Youth of faith have the motivation and spiritual maturity to volunteer, and this project can prove it.

Moldova is a landlocked state of about 3.5 million people in Eastern Europe located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. The former Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, it declared itself an independent state in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

For more information email Mihai Calestru: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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