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Marriage and Family

The Suffering Heart of the World's Children

Spain-2010-10-10-The Suffering Heart of the World's Children

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Madrid, Spain - With a desire to understand more deeply about the suffering heart of children in the world, we invited advocates from Palestine and Kashmir to speak at our Marriage and Family Initiative seminar on October 10. The program at the Peace Embassy also included a presentation about the UPF proposal for an interreligious council at the UN. More than 40 people participated in the seminar, which concluded with a concert by the Mil Caminos chorus.

The opening remarks were given by Armando Lozano, Secretary General of UPF-Spain. “How many children are dying every day in the world?" he asked. "How many don’t have the proper education? How many are hungry and just survive day to day?" He talked about the eight Millennium Developments Goals established by the United Nations in the year 2000 and the challenges of achieving them by 2015.

Our first speaker, Mrs. Sahar Dahcher, spoke about “The Suffering Heart of the Children in Palestine.” She is from Palestine, a mother of five children living in Spain with her family and clan. She works in Madrid with the CAPP Foundation (a Roman Catholic social services organization) in support of the Palestinian children, helping meet their needs and alleviate suffering.

She showed a video about the cruel reality of these children living in misery, poverty, surrounded by destruction and chaos. So many children have been killed, and many are now orphans. These children need parents, care, and love. We felt like crying together with them. She spoke about the work her foundation is doing from its bases in Valencia and Madrid.

Our second speaker, Professor Mr. Emilio Asti, spoke about “The Children in Kashmir and their Suffering.” He gave us an analysis of his own experience in Kashmir, near the Himalayas. A valley linking India, Pakistan, and China, Kashmir is a place of constant conflict, with the three nations engaged in ongoing territorial disputes.

“This part of the world has been suffering for more than 60 years because of internal conflicts and natural disasters," Professor Asti explained. "The children are suffering constantly and greatly. In one of the regions governed by India, the Indian soldiers have committed sexual crimes against small children. So much chaos around them negatively affects the personality and behavior of children. Despite all this tremendous suffering, some of these small souls persevere with faith in God and spirituality. With a pure hearts, they remain grateful for the small good things in life.”

The third speaker, Mrs Mercedes González, gave a presentation on behalf of UPF International about the proposal for an interreligious council at the UN.

"This proposal of Dr. Sun Muyng Moon makes a lot of sense," one participant commented, "because good religious leaders have a deep respect for God and humankind and wish for everybody peace, love, and goodness regardless of their race, nationality, culture, or religion." Another participant commented: "Religious leaders could help a great deal when it comes to resolving a conflict or war. Their wisdom is needed in peace negotiations."

A definite need to incorporate an interreligious body in the structure and organization of the UN was expressed.

The evening program concluded with a magnificent musical recital by the 22-member Mil Caminos chorus. Through their nine beautiful spiritual songs, we felt much peace and goodness.

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