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Olso Interfaith Forum: Peace in Syria

Oslo, Norway - An observance of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week on the theme of Peace in Syria and the Middle East took place at Central Jamaat e Ahi-e Sunnat in Oslo on Feb. 6. The program on the theme of finding common values began with a candlelight ceremony by religious leaders and include words of greetings by ambassadors and representatives of civil society.

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Leaders from many organizations and religions, including from Iraq, Iran and the Israel embassy participated in the event on the theme of peace in Syria and the Middle East. A beautiful candlelight ceremony opened the evening. Eight religious leaders lit a candle for peace, followed by reading a short text from their own tradition. The religions represented included Buddhism, Shia and Sunni Islam, Catholic and Protestant Christianity, Sikhism, Hinduism and Sufi. The candles continued shining throughout the evening.

Two remarks were given, one by the secretary general of Religions for Peace and the other by the director of the Norwegian Peace Council.

Since music is not allowed in the mosque, a couple of poems for peace were recited. One was written by the Israeli ambassador to Norway and was read by the press officer from the embassy.

As always, the meeting ended with refreshments that provided opportunities to share and talk more personally with each guest.

Norway is a relatively peaceful corner of the world with many initiatives for dialogue. But religious concepts are often factors in conflicts. Believing that local initiatives can send a message to the world, UPF-Norway hopes to send a message that peace can never be built by conflict but through dialogue, understanding and cooperation.

Interfaith Harmony Week 2014 from Universal Peace Federation International

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