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Interfaith Harmony Week Commemorated in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand - UPF-Thailand joined hands with other religious organizations to organize a World Interfaith Harmony Week program at its Peace Embassy in Bangkok on February 7. The 300 people in attendance included Buddhist monks, religious leaders, civil society leaders, NGO representatives, military and government representatives, Ambassadors for Peace, and youth leaders.

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The program started with a video presentation entitled “Creating a Family of Faith” by UPF International. Gen. Terdsak Maromme, President of UPF-Thailand, gave opening remarks, explaining about the meaning and development of World Interfaith Harmony Week; he mentioned the benevolence of King Bhumiphol of Thailand and stated that he leads the nation with righteousness and promotes love and equality among all religions. After that, Hon. Sansak Jaroon Ngampichet, Chair of the Committee of Religion, Art, and Culture of the House of Representatives of Thailand, gave the keynote speech. He expressed hope that religion can again become the center of Thai life and revitalize the compassion, love, and mercy for which the Thai people had long been noted. He called for harnessing the positive power of religions to build sustainable peace in Thailand and expressed his commitment as chairman of the faith-related committee of Parliament to cooperate with religious organizations to work for understanding and good will among religions in order to bring peace to the nation.

Then, invocation prayers for harmony between religions and world peace were offered by a Buddhist monk, an imam from the Sheikhul Islam office, a Christian minister, the Chairman of the Catholic Association of Thailand, and the Chairman of the Namdharee Sangkat Association of Sikhism. The prayers helped create a peaceful and compassionate interreligious atmosphere in the meeting hall. This was followed by a video presentation of the inauguration of the Interreligious Council for Peace in Thailand last year.

The main program consisted of presentations on the topic of "Harmony among religions as the foundation of morality and peace in Thailand.” The panel represented top religious leaders in Thailand:

  • Gen. Charan Kullavanichaya, Chairman of the Assembly of Buddhist Organizations of Thailand and former Secretary General of the National Security Council of Thailand
  • Dr. Wisarut Lohvithee, Advisor and Representative of the Sheikhul of Thailand and Director of Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Rangsit University
  • Mrs. Warunee Saenglimsuwan, Representative of the Chairman of the Interreligious and Ecumenical Committee of the Bishops' Conference of Thailand
  • Rev. Nirut Chankorn, Senior Pastor of the Ruamnimit Christian Church
  • Mr. Amarin Piyasajjadej, Advisor of the Namdharee Sangkat Association of Sikhism of Thailand

Dr. Lek Thaveetermsakul, MD, Secretary General of UPF-Thailand, served as moderator.

Many religious leaders in the audience contributed comments and ideas to the dialogue. Speakers urged religious people to cooperate and support one another to increase the power of religion to promote morality and peace in Thailand and counter the power of materialism and immorality. Many in the audience mentioned their happiness to see top leaders from different religions joined together on that day with love, respect, and compassion. They expressed support for the Interreligious Council for Peace in Thailand.

This interfaith dialogue gave people hope and inspiration about the possibility of interreligious cooperation to uplift the standard of morality and spread peace in Thailand.

For more information about World Interfaith Harmony Week, click here.

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