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Interfaith Harmony Week Commemorated in Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro, Philippines - In commemoration of World Interfaith Harmony Week, UPF-Mindanao Director Mrs. Almera Grace Mayo organized a one-day seminar for Ambassadors for Peace with the theme: “Love of God and Love of the Neighbor/Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbor” (the theme chosen by the UN). It was, however, held on February 11 instead of the first week of the said month. The venue of the celebration ALU Building in CagayandeOro City.

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The program was composed of two major parts. The first part was the interfaith prayer for peace. Representatives from Islam, Christianity, Lumads/indigenous people, and Unificationism each brought a symbolic container with water. Together they poured the water into a common vessel symbolizing the truth of all faiths adding to our understanding of the Divine. The large container symbolized the harmony of religions and cultures, recognizing each other not for their uniqueness but for their common destiny. It was a very moving experience as each representative poured the water and the MC read about its significance while music was being played.

The second part was the presentation of UPF’s Principles of Peace and the Cause of Human Conflict and Its Resolution.

There were about 50 participants representing various sectors of the community such as religion, politics, education, youth, senior citizens, and media. The city’s Vice Mayor, Hon. Ian Acenas, gave a very inspiring message; he described the interreligious initiative as very timely and promised to give his full support.

As a result of this event, the government of Cagayan de Oro issued a resolution declaring the first week of February every year as Interfaith Harmony Week in the city.

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