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UN International Day of Families 2014

International Day of Families Observed in Italy

Bergamo, Italy - UPF-Bergamo celebrated the International Day of Families proclaimed by the UN on May 17, 2014. The theme was "Faith in the Family."

The meeting was organized in collaboration with the Bergamo chapters of the Women's Federation for World Peace, the Family Federation for World Peace, the association "Your Bergamo," the Ghanaian community, the Islamic Center, the Hare Krishna community and Sister Leonor Gomez with representatives of the Filipino community in Bergamo.

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The meeting was held in a beautiful former Baroque-style church transformed by the city into an auditorium. The
attendance was of about 100 people - less than expected considering the number of associations involved - but the quality of the speeches was noteworthy.

The representatives of the various religions and associations took turns on the podium. Carlo Zonato, president of the local UPF chapter, introduced the meeting; he was followed by some Protestant ministers, a Catholic nun with a choir, two representatives of Islam, a speaker of the Hare Krishna movement, a Unificationist couple, and Giannina Figus, president of the local Women's Federation for World Peace chapter.

Each one of those speakers briefly expounded the view of his or her faith about the family and, consequently, for the society. Most speeches were followed by singers, either individuals or groups, of the different faiths.

Those who know the participating religions could have foreseen a certain common view about the subject of the family; surprisingly, however, the degree of coincidence between the various visions was deeper than expected. All the participants agreed to reaffirm the centrality of the family consisting of father, mother and children, possibly extended to grandparents, and the importance of a healthy family for a healthy society.

Another emphasis was the importance of filial piety and religiosity in the family. If God is not the center of the family, then the family cannot be at the center of society, and if God - regardless of the faith - is not at the center of society, society declines, as is happening today.

The plurality of faiths in the meeting was accompanied by the interracial and international mix of participants: there were not only Italians but also Arabs, Africans and Asians.

The ceremony ended with a much-appreciated ethnic buffet, which contained specialties from the countries of the participants.

International Day of Families 2014 from Universal Peace Federation International

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