Marriage and Family


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Marriage and Family

Toronto Conference on Educating for Peace

Toronto, Canada - UPF and the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) jointly staged an educational conference to present wide-ranging lectures and discussions with a theme of "Stable Families Bring Prosperity, Peace, and Integrity to the Nation." More than 50 Ambassadors for Peace and delegates of diverse religions and cultures with their families attended the Jan. 11 program held at the Toronto Family Church.

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Dr. Armand La Barge, multicultural relations specialist and a retired chief of police, was the master of ceremonies. Rev. Earl Smith, interfaith director from the Church of Scientology, offered an invocation.

Dr. Moonshik Kim, chair of UPF-Canada, thanked all participants and said that Rev. Moon had the vision of restoring the humankind to the original purpose of God. He highlighted the fact that marriage builds peaceful families, which are building blocks of a nation. Mrs. Eveline Stewart, Director of the Hamilton Chapter of WFWP, moderated the first panel with the topic "Is the family in decline, as values are lost, leading to anarchy and chaos?" She stated that UPF is a living phenomenon throughout the world with people committed to living a principled life and build strong marriages. She invited Ms. Nazila Isgandarova to speak.

Ms. Nazila Isgandarova an author, Muslim chaplain and counselor, said that Muslim families coming from different cultures and countries are bound together with the presence of religious and cultural centers. With 940,000 Muslims in Canada, they uphold family values according to the teachings of the Qur’an, which states "…Do not worship except Allah; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good words and establish prayer and give obligatory charity ..." (2:83).

Ms. Chelomie Colchrist, a Christian speaker, mentioned that the human family is a source of integrity and strength for the community. Unfortunately, contemporary trends of free sexual habits, deterioration of moral values, and chasing material dreams have led to 50% divorce rates and bankrupted society. She takes inspiration from this quote: "Raise up children in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it" (Proverbs 22:6).

Rev. Mitch Dixon, UPF co-director and counselor, spoke about the importance of lineage, originally inherited from God. He emphasized the relationship among the dimensions of life, love and lineage.

Panel two covered the topic of “What is your perspective on marriage and family?” with two young Unificationists sharing their thoughts about the importance of parental love which paves the way for their confidence in their parents choosing a spouse for them. Ms. Miki Young, a M.S. candidate, commented about the secular trends and noted, “I hardly fit in a culture which is against my God-revering nature.” Mrs. Sharon Fuchs talked about the bond between her and her husband, sharing the secret of a solid relationship: “No matter how angry we may get at each other, the communication between us is always open to resolve the issues.”

Rev. Stoyan Tadin delivered the keynote address on the topic of “Stable families bring prosperity, peace and integrity to the nation.” He identified the most serious problem humankind is facing today as the gradual destruction of family values due to the rampant immorality and the erosion of divine values. The stability in families comes through love between husband and wife, who are the bases of procreation designed by God.

The third panel addressed the question: “How do religious norms and values add stability to the family? Has this been weakened by hypocrisy?” The panelists were Mrs. Sandra Palin, Mr. David Stewart and Mrs. Hoossen Auckbaraullee who represented Dr. Sahar Al-Majali. Mrs. Lilly Tadin was the moderator. All reiterated that every religion holds the family as the cornerstone of society and social stability. Mrs. Palin of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints said that to promote strong families Mormon families have a weekly Family Home Evening in which each family does something together. Mr. David Stewart spoke about general religious norms about the family, statistics of divorce rates, Unificationist family traditions, arranged marriages, marriage blessings and mass weddings.

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