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Interfaith Harmony Week Observed in Stuttgart and Munich

Stuttgart - The Stuttgart Branch of UPF in cooperation with “The House of Religion in Stuttgart” held a forum under the title “My Identity within Religious Diversity” on February 2. A theologian, Dr. Karlheinz Bartel, spoke about his experience with Buddhism in light of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, which is the first week of February. Dr. Bartel lived for some time in Japan, studied Buddhism, and came to learn how to practice meditation, which he undertook with the attendees. There were about 40 participants from different religions and denominations.

Munich - During the first days of February the eyes of the world were again focused on Munich and its renowned Munich Security Conference, where prime ministers, foreign and defense ministers meet to discuss issues of security and peace, and the no-less famous International Peace Conference, initiated by several peace organizations.

It was very meaningful for the local UPF to open these days of peace for the world through an interreligious prayer meeting on February 1. This gathering may have been smaller than the other two, but the words that were spoken were surely not less important. And these words were not shallow and empty but marked a beginning for what is hoped will one day become a reality.

The motto of Interfaith Harmony Week is: Love God and Love your Neighbor. The theme of the UPF gathering in Munich was Make Peace through the Power of Prayer. Love and prayer are the strongest forces of the universe. They are creative and not destructive. This is what was felt at the prayer meeting led by Christians, Muslims, and Unificationists.

After words of introduction, peace prayers of different religions were spoken, and a candle was lit for each tradition. The highlights were the recitation of a Sura of the Qur'an by Imam Türlü of the mosque in Munich-Pasing, words about prayer of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of UPF, and songs of peace by two youth from the UPF community.

It was a meaningful meeting for the creation of a culture of peace on a local level!

See also photos of other World Interfaith Harmony Week 2013 events.

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