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December 2019
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Interfaith Programs

UPF-Portugal in Dialogue with Hindu Community Leaders

Portugal-2019-10-01-UPF-Portugal Meets Hindu Community Leaders

Lisbon, Portugal—A delegation from UPF visited the temple of the Hindu Community of Lisbon and met the president and vice president.

After a meeting in May 2019 with two secretaries of the Hindu Community board, in which we were very well received and were able to leave a copy of the UPF founder’s autobiography for the community’s president, UPF kept in touch. Recently we requested a new meeting, this time to probe the possibility of inviting its official to the 2020 UPF World Summit in Korea.

We were told that we would be welcomed by the vice president of the institution, and on October 1, 2019, a UPF delegation comprising the UPF president, vice president and the secretary returned to the Hindu temple in Lisbon.

After we gave a brief summary of recent important UPF activities and events around the world and in Portugal, the vice president of the Hindu Community, Mr. Ajit Hansraj, welcomed us on behalf of their president. Mr. Hanraj, who is the brother of one of our first Ambassadors for Peace, Dr. Ashok Hansraj, thanked us and acknowledged the importance of the visionary work and legacy of the UPF founder, as well as the UPF activities.

He spoke about the ambitious project to expand their facilities, saying that their almost 500-seat auditorium, with two parking floors, would be available for any use we might need. He welcomed the possibility for future partnerships and collaborations.

The vice president provided us with four invitations to the commemoration that they were preparing for the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. The event, with some high-level Indian and Portuguese individuals participating, was scheduled for the next day, October 2.

In the meantime, we also were introduced to their president, Mr. Kirit Bachu, who also very sympathetically stressed the importance of good interreligious and peace activities, considering the UPF founder to be one of the great peace visionaries.

As we already had given the founder's autobiography to the president, this time we left a book with the vice president, who was visibly pleased.

The UPF secretary took the opportunity to give a testimony about the Africa Summit, which was held in September 2019 in São Tomé and Príncipe. She emphasized the special reception given to UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon in recognition of her interreligious work, as well as for uniting the spheres of politics and religion.

Having explained the significance of the appointment of Ambassadors for Peace and their importance in the international recognition of UPF, we spoke of the possibility of proposing the name of their president to participate in the important and significant next major event, the Korea 2020 Summit, which coincides with the centenary of the UPF founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon.

The president showed interest and willingness as regards this possibility, and we have requested his biographical information for this purpose.

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