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Interfaith Harmony Week Observed in Bratislava

Bratislava, Slovakia - Who would come on a late afternoon when heavy snowfall was causing the traffic almost to break down? Despite the bad weather conditions, there came more people than expected to this event organized by UPF-Slovakia on February 13. The prayer gathering related to the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week took place in the chapel of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church in the old town of Bratislava. The hosts tried to warm up the freezing guests with hot tea and coffee, and soon all faces were displaying warm smiles.

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On the podium were seated also the heads of the Old Catholic Church and the New Apostolic church, the Falun Gong meditation group, and the Unification Church in Slovakia. In the audience numbering about 30 persons were present members of about 10 different faiths. This is a remarkable number in a country where interreligious dialogue is hindered by some conservative Catholic forces.

"This year's meeting was blessed with an especially peaceful atmosphere," commented Milos Klas, the Secretary General of UPF-Slovakia. Everybody present felt that interfaith harmony was not only a slogan but a substantial reality all throughout the program.

All comments were respectfully listened to, and at the end some participants suggested having more such interfaith events during the year, and a proposal to establish a interreligious forum was made. The leader of Hare Krishna, who made some well-received comments about the parental heart of the Creator and the struggle with the rising atheism in European society, invited all participants to come to their training center in a nearby village. The invitation will be accepted in the near future.

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