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Argentina-2022-07-18-IAPD/UPF/YSP Argentina: Discussion with Worship Directors

Spanish

Argentina—IAPD/UPF Argentina, with YSP-Argentina, began the “Interreligious Dialogue and Good Practices” Series, which this year included discussions with directors and secretaries on July 18, 2022. In the first meeting, four public officials from Buenos Aires City talked about their work: Dr. Norma Lozano, director of Worship and Institutional Relations at Lanús Municipality; Dr. Héctor Mendé, director of Adjunct Direction of Worship at Bahía Blanca Municipality; Norma Beatriz Ruiz, Worship Director at José C. Paz Municipality; and theologian Jorge Sánchez, general director of Worship at José C. Paz Municipality (1).

Each guest had the opportunity to tell their experiences, some of them using PowerPoint presentations, where they showed different aspects and views on how they have managed their own Worship direction. This is an interaction between the State and religious communities using mutual cooperation and promotion of interreligious dialogue and action to accompany or facilitate the state structure for the development of any activity by a religious entity (2).

In honor of July 18 being International Nelson Mandela Day 2022, Miguel Werner, president of UPF-Argentina, recalled in his opening remarks the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela. He stated: “It is an occasion to learn from his life philosophy applied in his term as president of South Africa after 27 years in captivity, which can be summarized in the Ubuntu ethical rule: ‘I am because we are.’ Such loyalty among people and strong community bonds support the capacity of forgiveness and empathy to transcend resentments and to unite fighting individuals and clans in search of common good.”

During the discussions, many of the speakers showed solidarity with the victims of one of the biggest terrorist attacks in our country, the bomb that destroyed the headquarters of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), killing 85 people and injuring hundreds, asking for truth and justice 28 years after this tragic incident. Guests also answered questions, moderated by IAPD-Argentina’s representative Inderveer Kaur, representing the Sikh Dharma community, and Susana Segovia, coordinator of the 2022 Series, representing the Scientology community.

A video was then shown of the 2021 “Interreligious Dialogue and Good Practices” Series, which had five discussions with Interreligious Boards from different regions in our country (3). At the end, IAPD-Argentina’s representative, Graciela Páez Báez, National Religions Coordinator of Argentina’s Baha’i Spiritual Assembly, issued an invitation to the second discussion, expected on August 15, with Worship officials from provinces at the center of our country.

The 2022 Series, organized by the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), UPF-Argentina and Youth and Students for Peace (YSP) Argentina, has the following goal: “To understand and reflect on the work from the public sphere to enable the development of activities from different creeds and freedom of worship. To value good practices from the public sphere and different faith communities, with experiences of interreligious dialogue and cooperation in cities and provinces across the country. To provide a formative space in interreligious, intercultural dialogue, promoting mutual respect, common good and sustainable development. To revalue the contribution of spirituality to give sense and help to our neighbors from each individual’s dignity and inalienable right.”

Quotes:

1) Photos of First Discussion with Worship Directors and Secretaries:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=upfargentina&set=a.2166617173517370

2) Recording of the First Discussion with Worship Directors and Secretaries:

https://youtu.be/iWk8z5IGprg

3) Video review on the 2021 “Interreligious Dialogue and Good Practices” Series:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYVjeI94VKE

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