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Day of Peace in Vienna

Vienna, Austria - After words of introduction by Peter Haider, Secretary General of UPF in Austria, explaining the history of the International Day of Peace, Dr. Alfred Kührer read the message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, in which he noted that the International Day of Peace takes on special meaning this year because 2008 also marks the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Bashir Mirco took us away into the cultural world of the Middle East playing Sufi tunes on his flute. Then Mr. Thomas Fiedler, a main organizer of the “Platform for Interreligious Exchange,” introduced this initiative which works in several districts of Vienna where centered on the local mayor various religious and ethnic groups are introduced to each other and meet regularly. Being a Buddhist himself, he ended his speech by citing a famous text from his tradition. A Unificationist quintet delighted the audience by singing “Be Thou My Vision” and “I Want to Be Ready.”

Dr. Dietrich Seidel, who is now teaching in private American universities in Vienna, talked about his graduate studies in world religion and science and the work he and his wife Elisabeth are doing through their "marriage enrichment” seminars.

The “Song of Peace” to the melody of "Finlandia" was an appropriate conclusion before Rev. Peter Zöhrer said a final prayer. Among the 80 participants in the event were several Ambassadors for Peace and a representative of the UN in Vienna.

To read UPF's Peace Declaration and reports of observances in other nations, click here.

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