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Interfaith Ceremony Inspires New Peruvian Peace Ambassadors

Lima, Peru – UPF-Peru and the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) Peru held a gathering of religious and political leaders in an auditorium at the Congress of the Republic of Peru on February 6, 2024. The meeting, to celebrate the U.N.-designated World Interfaith Harmony Week, was co-sponsored by Congressman Raúl Huamán Coronado, who is also a UPF ambassador for peace.

The meeting started with one minute of silence for the cause of peace, followed by Peru’s national anthem. An opening prayer was offered by Pastor Luis Acero, an evangelical minister who serves several congregations in the deepest jungles of Peru.

UPF-Peru President Dr. Trevor Jones gave the opening remarks, emphasizing the need to continuously expand efforts for peace, to strive for mutual prosperity, and to practice universal values.

Following these remarks, Bishop Jesús Manuel Mejía Quiroz, of the Anglican Catholic Church of Peru, spoke about the importance of interreligious dialogue for peace and harmony. He is a specialist in philosophy and sacred theology at the Faculty of Pontifical and Civil Theology of Lima. 

He was followed by Evangelist Marcelino Salazar, who spoke on the theme, “Love of God and Love of Neighbor.” Rev. Salazar travels frequently, addressing gatherings of thousands of believers. His last event in Lima attracted over 8,000 participants.

Dr. Carlos Alberto Yrigoyen Forno spoke on "The Role of Interreligious Wisdom in Public Discourse." He is a former diplomat, university professor, lecturer, poet and writer, as well as president of the Ricardo Palma Foundation of Miraflores in Lima.

Many religious leaders and special guests then joined the heads of the various UPF associations in a Ceremony of the Water of Life and Peace. Mr. Jaime Fernández Túpac, secretary general of UPF-Peru, gave an explanation of the ceremony, and former Congressman Pastor Orestes Sánchez Luis, secretary general of IAPD-Peru, offered a prayer. The participants then poured vessels of water into a common container, representing the confluence of diversity in unity.

This deeply moving ceremony was followed by the appointment of 40 new ambassadors for peace. Dr. Trevor Jones shared the significance of these appointments, and the oath and investiture were conducted by  Mr. Jaime Fernández.

Congratulations were then offered by two of the newly appointed ambassadors. Dr. Coronado presented certificates of thanks to the keynote speakers and religious leaders. The auditorium, with a capacity of 250 seats, was filled to overflowing with peace ambassadors and their guests, many of whom were inspired by the proceedings and expressed the hope to become future ambassadors for peace.

By Dr. Trevor Jones, President, UPF-Peru February 6, 2024


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