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International Day of Peace Celebrated in Norway

Oslo, Norway - The UN International Day of Peace was celebrated on Sept. 18, 2014, in cooperation with the Norwegian Lutheran Church (Church of Norway). The Groenland Church, a traditional church in Oslo, was the venue that gathered around 60 people for the evening event.

The UN topic for the day was the Right of Peoples for Peace. With the background of the crisis in the large Middle East region, where religion is woven into the conflicts, organizers wanted to discuss how religion could be a positive factor for peace.

A senior adviser from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained how Norwegian authorities think about and support religious dialogue.

The Jewish representative commented on the need for new thinking in the Middle East.

The vicar of the host church talked about "Theology and Praxis." He said, "Any believer needs to show the fruit of his faith in real life and be a person of peace."

The young Muslim representative, who just a few weeks before had organized a large demonstration against ISIS, spoke about the importance of dialogue as the way to solve conflicts.

The editor of The Oslo Times emphasized the importance of human rights. If human rights and religious concepts seem to conflict, human rights have priority, he stated.

The Norwegian UPF leader closed with the question: Why do we need religion? And he answered: because we need God. God in the role of a parent to all humankind is the best peace concept we can have.

The two-hour program was closed with beautiful songs by Torhild Nigar.

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