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Interfaith Peacebuilding

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November 2020
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Interfaith Programs

UPF and Youth Leader Meet Head of Church

Portugal-2019-11-10-UPF and Youth Leader Meet Head of Church

Lisbon, Portugal—UPF-Portugal, together with the leader of an affiliated youth organization, met the supreme leader of the Tocoist Church.

Dr. Koji Matsuda, the newly appointed international president of Youth and Students for Peace (YSP), visited Lisbon twice on his way to and from São Tomé and Príncipe.

On his first visit, Dr. Matsuda spoke with us about YSP work and projects in São Tomé and Príncipe as a follow-up to the Africa Summit that took place there in early September. Dr. Matsuda also spoke of his desire to extend the same projects to other Lusophone countries, namely Guinea-Bissau, Cabo Verde and Angola—which UPF-Portugal also has been wanting to develop.

The Africa Summit that was held in São Tomé and Príncipe was a very important event for UPF-Portugal. São Tomé and Príncipe is a Portuguese-speaking nation and a former colony of Portugal. We understood that our human history is deeply connected with Africa, as our future certainly is.

On November 10, 2019, on his way back from São Tomé and Príncipe, once again Dr. Matsuda stopped for one day in Lisbon. On that same day, His Holiness Afonso Nunes, the supreme leader of the Tocoist Church (Angola), was visiting his congregation in Lisbon. It was an amazing coincidence and opportunity for them to meet each other. His Holiness had participated in the São Tomé and Príncipe summit, but because of the tight schedule, they couldn’t meet at that time.

At first we participated in their Sunday service, where we expressed praise and gratefulness to the entire congregation. Afterward, in a more private meeting specially prepared for us with His Holiness, we could discuss our common values and projects for the future.

Dr. Matsuda explained to him how important it would be for the Tocoist Church to officially invite UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon to Angola with government support (similar to what happened in São Tomé and Príncipe). To better illustrate his conviction, he reported on the work that the YSP continues to do in São Tomé and Príncipe, especially through character education and public service.

His Holiness mentioned that he already has started to prepare for a future visit of Dr. Moon to Angola, and he reiterated his appreciation and respect for our efforts to build a world of peace and harmony centered on God.

A copy of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s autobiography was offered, and as His Holiness was turning the pages, Dr. Matsuda explained about the difficult course of Rev. Moon and his determination to build a world of everlasting peace.

Dr. Matsuda was invited to visit the Tocoist Church in Luanda, Angola, in December, when he will be there to attend a youth festival.

It was a very short but meaningful meeting, as it created a God-centered platform on which to work together on efforts to realize a Heavenly Africa.

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