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Interfaith Programs

Azerbaijan Conference on Interreligious Dialogue

Baku, Azerbaijan - UPF-Azerbaijan held a conference at the Ambassador Hotel in Baku on Dec. 27, 2010, to support interreligious dialogue and cooperation.

The conference was hosted and moderated by H.E. Rahim Huseynov, former Prime Minister of Azerbaijan and Chairman of the Association of Ambassadors for Peace the nation. Some 60 state figures, journalists, and prominent NGO leaders participated in the event. In his opening remarks he stressed the importance of peace work and education by Ambassadors for Peace in the South Caucasus region to free the occupied lands of Azerbaijan. He called upon the guests to go beyond the limits of their national affiliation or persuasions in their work for the sake of world peace. Rahim Huseynov used the example of the UPF founder’s lifelong dedication to the cause of conflict resolution and building one family under God.

Konstantin Krylov, Assistant Secretary General of UPF-Eurasia, gave a presentation on the recent projects of UPF and the International Week of Interfaith Harmony, the first week of February each year. It was noted that Azerbaijan was one of the nations that sponsored a UN General Assembly Resolution to establish an interreligious council. The tradition of interreligious dialogue and peaceful coexistence is deeply routed in the Azeri culture.

The recently published autobiography of Dr. Moon was recently translated into Russian. The discussion at this forum moved on to the reflections on this publication. A number of academic and NGO leaders highly praised the Peace-loving Global Citizen. Prof. Ali Abasov of the National Academy of Sciences expressed “It is a pity that a book of this kind was not published long before our days. It would have helped counter a lot of misunderstandings about Dr. Moon's work."

This wonderful program started with the audience standing for the National Anthem of Azerbaijan. At the end, Toru Nishiwaki, chairman of UPF-Azerbaijan, showed a video of the performance of the Little Angels children’s arts group that recently visited the neighboring nation of Turkey and was welcomed in Ankara by the President. People were deeply moved to see the Korean children singing in the Turkish language, which is familiar to people in Azerbaijan.

Note: Located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East in the Caucasus Mountains, Azeri culture draws on both Islamic and European civilizations. It is influenced by Persian, Caucasus, Turkic, and Russian heritages. Today, Western influences are strong.

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