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Day of Families Observed in Montreal

Montreal, Canada - UPF-Montreal's observance of the International Day of Families on May 18 began with a reading of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for this year that concludes with a resolution to “support families as they nurture the young, care for the old and foster strong communities built on tolerance and dignity for all.”

With this theme in mind, UPF-Canada Secretary General Franco Famularo presented the UPF perspective on the International Day of Families. This was followed by a talk delivered by Rev. Daniel Razakaria, pastor of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Montreal.

Originally from Madagascar, Rev. Razakaria has lived in Canada for almost 20 years; he is a veteran Ambassador for Peace, fluent in several languages, and has lived in multicultural environments for most of his life.

In his presentation, he provided some background information about the work of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church worldwide in its efforts to support the religious liberty of individuals and families who are the victims of religious persecution.

He emphasized that it is right and proper for Christians and people of all faiths to promote peace and the sanctity of the family and referred to the visionary words of the prophet Isaiah: “They shall turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

He continued by reminding us that two thirds of the world’s population are suffering from poverty and illness and that there exists a “family poverty” caused by social exclusion.

Rev. Razakaria referred us to the four themes adopted by his church to promote peace and understanding: 1. Dialogue, 2. Justice, 3. Forgiveness, and 4. Reconciliation.

The meeting continued with questions and commentary by the interreligious group that included representatives and clergy from several religious traditions.

To read more extensive notes of Rev. Razakaria's presentation, click here.

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