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Interfaith Conference in Bangkok on Strengthening Families

Bangkok, Thailand - The Chairman of the Committee of Religions, Art and Culture of the House of Representative of Parliament of Thailand gave the keynote address at a Feb. 7, 2013 conference in Bangkok on "Interreligious Principles for Strengthening Families." This World Interfaith Harmony Week program featured religious leaders working together to uplift the standard of morality and peace based on healthy families.

The 143 participants included Buddhist monks, religious leaders, civil society leaders, NGO representatives, military and government representatives, Ambassadors for Peace, and youth leaders. The program in the main conference hall of UPF Peace Embassy in Bangkok started with a video presentation on “Creating a Family of Faith” from UPF International. Gen. Terdsak Maromme, President of UPF-Thailand, gave opening remarks. After that, Hon. Santsak Jaroon Ngampichet, Chairman of the Committee of Religions, Art, and Culture of the House of Representative of the Parliament of Thailand, gave the keynote speech. He stated that religion should be the core guideline in Thai families in order to reawaken the compassion, love, and mercy that have characterized the Thai people in the past. He urged participants to channel the positive power of religions to build sustainable peace throughout the nation. As Chairman of the Committee on Religions, Art, and Culture of the House of Representatives, he said he would cooperate with UPF and religious organizations to promote understanding and peace among religious leaders in order to bring peace throughout the nation.

Representatives of the major religions in Thailand -- a Buddhist monk, an imam from the Sheikhul Islam office, a Christian minister, a Hindu leader, and a Sikh leader, joined in pouring water into a common container and offering interfaith prayers for “harmony between religions and world peace.” This created an atmosphere of peace and interreligious harmony throughout meeting hall.

The main program was the interreligious dialogue on “Interreligious Principles for Strengthening Families.” The speakers were as follows:

  • Maj. Gen. Usanee Kasemsant, Vice President, the Assembly of Buddhist Associations of Thailand
  • Dr. Witsarut Lohwithee, Advisory Committee of the Shekhul Islam Office of Thailand; Vice President, the Central Islamic Council of Thailand; Director, Islamic Studies Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Rangsit University, Thailand
  • Rev. Nirut Chandkorn, Senior Pastor, Ruamnimit Church, and President, Hathaitip Foundation
  • Mr. Amarin Piyasachadech, Namdhari sangat of Thailand
  • Dr. Suriyadeo Tripathi Director, National Institute for Child and Family Delvelopment, Mahidol University
  • Dr. Lek Thaveetermsakul, MD, Secretary General of UPF-Thailand, who served as moderator

Religious leaders in the audience offered many comments and ideas during the dialogue. People spoke of the urgent need for religious people to cooperate and support one another in order to increase the power of religion to promote morality and peace starting in the families, in order to counter the influence of materialism and immorality. Many people in the audience expressed joy and happiness to see top leaders from different religions joining together with love, respect, and compassion to promote morality and peace. They expressed support for the Interreligious Council for Peace and the vision of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon which promotes the family as the school of love and peace and the Interfaith Peace Blessing Festival.

 
 

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