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Day of Peace in Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany - On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, the local UPF community in Munich gathered together people from different faiths under the motto “Prayer for Peace and Meditations of the Religions” on September 21. There were four presentations and round-table discussion, as well as a meditative lighting of candles.

The song “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me“ launched this conference, putting peace with one’s self in the center of the evening’s discussion. Peace is not only a matter of politics; rather it is a call to all religions.

Ms Barbara Thomas, a Christian Scientist, read words from the Bible, which rang loudly in everyone’s ears with overwhelming accuracy. Additionally, she quoted a humorous article called "In a Snit," by Mary Baker Eddy, exposing one’s mind as a destructive forge fueled by pride and insecurity. "With a love big enough to cover all evil," each individual can grow to become a positive, active source.

Israel as a special focal-point of religious conflict and political tension is a topic that moves all peace activists. Our speaker, Franz Rott from the Universal Peace Federation took part in a peace rally in Jerusalem for the second time. Compared to his previous visit in 2003, he observed a more peaceful cooperation among the population. If families from the respective regions get to know each other personally, tensions and discords can be resolved, as it is easier to overcome misunderstandings on that level. Also, there is a willingness for peace, unlike in political and extremist groups. We concluded this part of the evening with a quote: "The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love," and dedicated a silent prayer to this region.

Ms Marlene Straub, member of the International Sufi-Order Germany e.V., read from the scripture of Hazrat Inayat Khan, who dedicated his life to the unification of east and west a hundred years ago. The injunction "Oh peacemaker (...) first find peace within yourself," explains how unity within one’s self is the path to peace; in contrast, fighting with others is the path to war.

Siegfried Jensen presented two major themes from the founding speech of the Universal Peace Federation, held in New York in 2005 by Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Nations are grounded in individuals and families. Practicing the four realms of love* in a family enables people to live a true, devoted life. For this ability to love to be passed on, there has to be spiritual stability, established through lineage. In connection to lineage, the parent-child-relationship is essential.

In our short discussion we explored the meaning of lineage. In fact, it seems to be inevitable to inherit bad traits from one’s parents, besides the good points. Therefore, it is important to reflect about God as one’s heavenly parents and to consciously make a new start in one’s life, striving to become loving and peaceful human beings.

In the end, every person lit a candle, which was put in a bowl of water. Each flame represented a concrete, personal contribution to a future of peace.

"Make me a channel of your peace" was the last song of this evening.

* The four realms of love referred to are the parent's realm, spouse's realm, sibling's realm, and child's realm.

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