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April 2019
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World Interfaith Harmony Week 2019

World Interfaith Harmony Week Observed in Prague

Prague, Czech Republic—UPF co-organized an interfaith meeting titled “Passing on the Tradition and Faith and the Freedom of Choice.”

The meeting was held on February 4, 2019, on the occasion of World Interfaith Harmony Week. It was held jointly with The Christian Community, which offered its premises as the venue.

After short welcoming speeches by Rev. Tomáš Boněk, pastor of The Christian Community, and Dr. Juraj Lajda, president of UPF-Czech Republic, the representatives of world religions joined in a ceremony of lighting candles and pouring water into one bowl which represented harmony among different religions. During this ceremony each representative expressed some wisdom, thought or wish related to his or her religion.

After this solemn ceremony the audience, about 40 in number, including young UPF supporters visiting from other nations, formed two groups to discuss the motto of the meeting, and in particular how older generations can pass on their faith to the younger generations.

This topic is relevant to all religions. When parents believe in a religion which they consider to be the best, they would like to see their children also follow this path. On the other hand, children have the freedom to choose, and they don’t automatically accept the religion of their parents. Where is the line between one’s duty and one’s freedom of choice? We heard testimonies from both parents and from children.

After a short cultural performance each of the two groups reported on their discussion. These were the main points:

  • Parents should love and care for their children and create a good environment for them.
  • Parents should respect the freedom of choice of their children to decide if they will follow their religion or not.
  • Community life is very important for children.

This year’s meeting was very useful and inspiring. The participants were reminded about practical problems they face in their communities and about the  importance of harmony among religions.

The Czech chapter of UPF is planning to hold more meetings in the coming months and to prepare an interfaith conference.

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