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Ambassadors for Peace

UPF-Argentina’s Monthly Ambassadors for Peace Meeting Hosts Interfaith Panel

Argentina-2020-11-11-UPF-Argentina’s Monthly Ambassadors for Peace Meeting Hosts Interfaith Panel

Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.

Argentina—“Spirituality and Interreligiosity” was the theme of the monthly UPF-Argentina Ambassadors for Peace meeting on November 11, 2020, via Zoom, with 57 connections. The panel, centered on the “Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation” line of action, had presentations from Ambassadors for Peace Mario Gluzman, facilitator of Spiritual Intelligence workshops and compiler of reflection books; Cristina Andrés de Mirabelli, member of the Dialogue and Coexistence Interreligious Group for 26 years; Gustavo Libardi, president of the Scientology Church in Argentina; Inderveer Kaur, sewadar from the Sikh temple in Argentina; Noemí Paredes and Carlos Laluf, pastors from the Christ Ambassadors Ministry; David Frol and Silvina Rodríguez, from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and Carlos Varga, president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in Argentina.

In the beginning, the usual information section was in the charge of Miguel Werner, UPF-Argentina secretary general; and the event ended with prayers by Faiza Yahia, from the Islam Community (Al Ahmad Mosque); and Julio Nardini, intercession minister of the Word of God Movement (Catholic Church). Moderating was Graciela Almada, founder and director of the Music for Peace initiative.

The “Spirituality and Inter-religiosity” panel aimed to

revalue the role all spiritual traditions are called to develop in the realization of a society and a world where we can live together in peace and general well-being: as one great family, according to the transcendent universally shared values. Foster interreligious dialogue and cooperation; knowledge and mutual respect, understanding, compassion and fraternity, extended to all areas of society (before peoples and nations that became multiethnic, multi-religious and multicultural), in order to build the common good of humanity and the planet, which are written in the holy scriptures and which our ancestors, descendants and people of good will cherish.”

Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3glYkNu9g0

It is worth mentioning that monthly Ambassadors for Peace meetings were raised as a learning, informative and motivational space, reinforcing the mission and commitment to be peacemakers. There is an informative section, where we share a brief review of some activities held in the previous month and provide an overview of the following month’s schedule, with the same aforementioned purpose. Accordingly, each panel is centered on the good practices from all UPF-Argentina lines of action, through the presentations of Ambassadors for Peace, organization directors, with experience and knowledge on each of the addressed themes (1).

Speakers on the Interreligious Panel

Mario Gluzman, facilitator of Spiritual Intelligence workshops; compiler of the book collection Una Manera de Vivir and La Palabra Revelada que Ilumina al Hombre, with reflective content on the spiritual quest; business administrator (retired) in Argentina, Venezuela, Israel and Spain:

Among the various intelligences humans possess, I want to focus on one which is part of today’s issue, the one named inner intelligence or spiritual intelligence, many times confused with religion. If we try to define it, we could say spiritual intelligence is the one that connects itself with the deepest sense of who you are.

He referred to the words of a Catholic minister he met in Venezuela to discern between religion and spirituality: “Spirituality is the skin you are born with; religion is the clothing you wear.” This means that, during our lives, we can change our clothes for various reasons; even though skin is shed by nature over time, we could never change it voluntarily.

With this, I mean spirituality is inherent to human beings, which you will consciously or unconsciously have to assume or not in some circumstances throughout your life and which will take you to a higher or lower capacity to personally relate with those you share your life with in all areas, such as personal, family, work, social, sports, political and even religious.

Spiritual intelligence, according to many writers on the subject, is the final and greatest intelligence with which we resolve issues on the sense and values, which allows us to insert our lives in a broader, deeper context; that is, a universal context. Spiritual intelligence is not inherent to religion, nor depends on it. We can be religious people and have no spiritual intelligence, or vice versa. It can also be defined as the transcendent capacity to go beyond materialism to live with a sacred sense in each action, showing a righteous behavior.

Cristina Andrés de Mirabelli, member of the Dialogue and Coexistence Interreligious Group for 26 years; historian with teacher training and Masters in Educational Conduction, with a great cultural and interreligious career; founder and member of different entities; researcher and author of 10 books.

She began by describing how the Dialogue and Coexistence Interreligious Group emerged in Florida, Vicente Lopez, Buenos Aires Province, quoting a phrase by Father Poveda: “Humility is the fruit of surrender to bring others forth.” Then, “with such simple and humble sense, this story began in the late 50s, during immigration, and we listened to different languages, so it was more difficult to communicate with Germans, Poles, Russians, Japanese, Armenians and Englishmen.”

In this context, religions were enclosed, and a neighborhood experience arose. Pastor Amaral, from the Protestant Church, reached the parish Nuestra Señora de la Guardia de Florida, where he met a young priest, José Pooli, to tell him the children at the parish were bullying children in the temple. A neighborhood issue. Then, Father Pooli, very wise and a pioneer, answered: “Come in, let’s drink some coffee, and I will tell you what I’ve been thinking for a while: Being religious people who work in the same area or neighborhood, who believe in the same God, who teach righteousness, why do we not know or treat each other?” It was a very natural thing that seemed very logical to Pastor Amaral. Then, they began to interact and agreed to meet to get to know each other. So they did and agreed to visit the rabbi.

Video review of the Dialogue and Coexistence Interreligious Group:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6480Uhg80w

Gustavo Libardi, president of the Scientology Church in Argentina; president of the civil association Training for Life, which develops humanitarian programs on addiction prevention, promotion of human rights and social values; hosted and produced radio and TV programs on religious and humanitarian topics; doctorate in Economic Sciences.

He began, “There is so much to say,” distinguishing between spirituality and religion. He mentioned that religion “is the regulation of mysticism: one way to know spirituality or existence, from the individual to God or the Eight Dynamic, as we say in Scientology, going through all the other areas of existence: the family, the society, the nature, and the physical universe.”

He recalled that the founder of the Scientology Church, Ronald Hubbard, wrote in “Religious Influence in Society (1973)”:

For the last hundred years or so religion has been beset with a relentless attack. You have been told it’s the “opiate of the masses,” that it’s unscientific, that it is primitive; in short, that it is a delusion. But beneath all these attacks on organized religion there was a more fundamental target: the spirituality of Man, your own basic spiritual nature, self-respect and peace of mind.

We could expect this declaration to be aimed at one particular religion, but the truth is that all religions, from the most traditional to the newest, suffer such attack when we analyze this issue.

He claimed that interreligious dialogue allows us to strengthen the general purpose of religions, which

is related to humankind’s redemption, their salvation or illumination; in brief, the possibility of reaching such higher state.

The problems of humankind begin in the absence of knowing their own spiritual nature. Men with faith or certainty about their spiritual condition can distinguish the best of human condition and predict: A civilization without dementia, criminals and wars, where those capable can prosper, and honest people can have rights, and where people can be free to fly higher, as expressed in the Scientology goals.

Inderveer Kaur, sewadar from the Sikh temple in Argentina, public relations area; professor of theology and philosophy (UCA); professor of theosophy and Eastern religion; graduated in Ayurveda nutrition and holistic therapies.

She shared a video that shows one of the Sikh principles: recognize all races as one, serving all people without distinction. She said that Ravi Singh claims: “It is important to be united for the world, since in union, peace and respect, God’s true love is cast.”

She commented that Sikhs have a song that says: “If you search for God to fuse with Him, then you must love Him, totally and absolutely; but to love Him, you must love all His creation, from the purely material to the purely spiritual, including animals and vegetables. You should love all of them.”

She continued: “Unleashing compassion is the first step towards spirituality. Compassion is important. Without compassion, there is no religion or faith. Therefore, love, compassion and forgiveness are the main tools for your spiritual path. Only what you do for the love of God is selfless service.”

She quoted Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Founder of the Sikh religion, who said: “If you were born in a particular religion, be good and strive for excellence in your religion. We must serve unconditionally, since God loves us unconditionally. You should feel honored and privileged to serve God’s creation. This is what it is expected from you.”

“God inspires us each and every day to create one true family in His home named planet Earth! Let’s remember, ek Omkar (there is one God). Thank you UPF for inviting me. We are sharing part of our spiritual and interreligious tradition! Waheguru Ji Ka khalsa Waheguru ji Ki Fateh.”

Noemí Paredes and Carlos Laluf, pastors from the Christ Ambassadors Ministry; directors of the Montebello Foundation.

Pastor Noemí Paredes introduced her husband by reading a verse in the Bible (from Philippians): “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Pastor Carlos Laluf:

In most of our confessions, there is a similarity to these words. Peace is about me and my neighbor, those who are close to me, my close ones. The person I share things with (…) Also those who don’t share my convictions. Such peace is applied to every person and myself, without discriminating their religion, culture, ethics and moral. This is why it exceeds all understanding.

This peace is at the higher levels, and if we reach it there are promises and rewards. When I possess this peace, when this peace is within me, I can share it with others. Maybe not with words, but with facts. I can wish my neighbor great things in life: that they are healthy, that their family is united, that their descendants become very powerful and beautiful. I wish them good in their health, economy and finances. I wish their business and projects are achieved.

So, as expressed in the Bible, peace encompasses so much more. It encompasses religion, spiritual intelligence and all known by men. It is a peace we could define as integral, as it benefits me and my neighbor. Of course, when we are applying this peace with my neighbor, together, we can bless the fruits of the earth and make a common profit. This profit is not only for the present, but it is being built, perfected in the following generations, since we begin to practice it. That is, our children and grandchildren will be blessed by this peace.

This encourages us, as men and women, to keep searching for peace; not the kind of peace we listen every day, but peace as established by our Creator. It is the kind of peace that brings unity, mutual understanding, compassion and respect. This is not a desire. This is not something that comes from our hearts, it comes directly from God’s heart. This is a moral and ethical obligation, particularly religious, with the purpose of building a better world for our descendants.

Ultimately, we are responsible for applying this integral concept of peace in this and the following generations. We are responsible before the Creator and humankind.

Pastor Noemí Paredes: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

“This is our wish to all of you present in this moment and those related to us. Thank you very much.”

David Frol and Silvina Rodríguez, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; parents of four children, committed to various projects in the social, cultural and spiritual fields; lawyers interacting with institutions of interreligious dialogue, religious freedom and humanitarian aid, promoting human rights and dignity.

Silvina Rodríguez: “It’s amazing the great things we can do” with spirituality and inter-religiousness in our daily lives. She claimed this constitutes “an enormous power.” She recalled the final part of the Constitution’s Preamble: “To all men of the world who wish to dwell on Argentine soil: invoking the protection of God, source of all reason and justice.”

She mentioned our patriots claimed and asked to uphold the Constitution, and that “this land will prosper thanks to all of us, spiritual men and women who belong and profess different religions, but who are united by one thing, our absolute faith in God that moves us, gives us life and is our main purpose.”

Then, she shared an experience she had, along with other people of faith who believe in the importance of marriage and the family. She recalled that, since March, when the lockdown began in Argentina, getting married was “forbidden” because the civil registry offices were closed due to health issues. In this situation, many couples, especially young people, turned to her for help. After making several petitions to the authorities to allow marriages, their claims were listened to in September. She recognized this was a joint effort where they used social networks and met many couples from different religions who were not allowed to get married. She confessed that it was “incredible” how 300 couples could get married in September. “We made this thanks to spirituality and our faith in God, which united dozens and hundreds of people from various religions and who we didn’t even get to see face to face,” she claimed. “We are all part of a harmonious symphony, and we stay united by our love for God,” she concluded from this experience.

David Frol: “To conclude, I support every thought expressed today. I feel represented by most of them, especially Cristina Mirabelli’s story about Pooli and Amaral. Maybe it’s similar to my experience when I began my relationship with the task of interreligious dialogue.” I understand religion as organized spirituality and interreligious dialogue as organized, fraternal spirituality set in motion, as it has been considered in other presentations from this panel.”

Carlos Varga, president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in Argentina; director of UPF-Argentina; lecturer, educator, musician; husband and father of five daughters:

We are unique beings. We have a unique value among millions and millions. At the same time, we have an original personality, and that is our responsibility. It’s like we are given a chisel and a raw stone, but each one of us has to polish, cultivate that personality and make it resemble God. Unlike other beings of nature, human beings are spirit in essence. We can cultivate our spirit for an everlasting life, live in transcendent unity into a more mystical realm with God, the Father–Mother, with Heaven and, at the same time, with all beings related to us: our neighbors.”

Human beings fell into the darkness and lost their design for which they were created. They focused on seeking immediate satisfaction, ephemeral pleasures, even ephemeral emotions. For this reason, the Bible describes our first ancestors’ death as not a physical death. They kept living. It meant a spiritual fall, a spiritual death. Thus, many religions are schools that try to teach us how to nurture our spirituality. They are like institutions where you take a course and get a job.

Religions have the role of bringing people to God, of reconnecting to the transcendent, the mystical, the heart of our Heavenly Parent, and they also teach how to regain a spiritual vision of life. Both masters and their followers, which created the great religions, were enlightened by God, first through experiences. They are the ones who guided humanity to spirituality, to seek the retrieval of such spiritual values, but coming from one experience. This is what happened to the UPF and FFWPU Founders, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.

Certainly, religions are the way to lead humankind in developing their inner abilities, in searching universal values, in living according to the nature of true love, a reason to live for the sake of others, as each representative has expressed (…) We should not compete with each other or only seek new members; we should definitely expand the path towards spirituality. Religions must practice the nature of love, all cooperating to strengthen the path of human spirit. Thus, interreligiosity is so rich and leads to so much progress, as the other speakers have explained.

QUOTES:

1) Monthly Peace Ambassadors Meeting 2020: Panels and Lines of Action

“Peace with Creation”: Panel of Peace Ambassadors Meeting 13-5-2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ4PLeKophk

“Peace with the Neighbor”: Panel of Peace Ambassadors Meeting 10-6-2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t55F3gpHbJY

“Peace Culture”: Panel of Peace Ambassadors Meeting 8-7-2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkiTg5cETWo

“Leadership and Cooperation”: Panel of Peace Ambassadors Meeting 18-8-2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPxFjqU8vwk

“Family and Common Good”: Panel of Peace Ambassadors Meeting 9-9-2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NouxdUkoOoY

“Education and Values”: Panel of Peace Ambassadors Meeting 14-10-2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqREzlBrvf0

“Spirituality and Inter-religiosity”: Panel of Peace Ambassadors Meeting 11-11-2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3glYkNu9g0

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