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World Interfaith Harmony Week Observed in Slovakia

Slovakia-2016-02-09-World Interfaith Harmony Week Observed in Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia—To commemorate World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016, UPF held an event titled “Activities of Peacemakers in the Middle East.”

The aim of the February 9 meeting, which was held in a Bratislava conference hall, was to focus attention on the Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI), a UPF project, from its beginnings in 2003 until today.

Interfaith work is still in a fledgling state in Slovakia, with its conservative Catholic population. Many religious associations cannot register because they do not meet the standard of a membership of 20,000. Fears of Islam are flaring so that the population favors a selective policy of accepting only Christian refugees from Syria. 

To create a warm atmosphere, a video with the song “Gift of Love” by Sami Yusuf was showed. This was followed by a short biographical video about UPF Founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon with his fitting words: “Heaven has allowed the growth of religious realms in relation to certain ages and regional cultures as the providence has unfolded in history. Within these religious realms [humankind] has worked with unceasing effort to realize a world of peace. In an environment where people serve one another a basis for peace emerges. Flames of revival blaze when people sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others, and flowers bloom and spread their fragrance when love is shared.”

UPF-Slovakia Secretary General Milos Klas showed a PowerPoint presentation about MEPI which also included the latest conferences on the topic of Syria. This was followed by an emotional video message of Pope Francis supporting interfaith activities.

By now the audience was prepared to listen to the various religious representatives. A special impact was made by the speech of Lama Peter Banas, who stressed that the enemy is within us and that peace will come naturally once our attitudes toward others changes.

The speech of Hare Krishna leader Raghunatha provoked questions and reflections too. One guest later commented that he needed this UPF meeting to make him find out about their faith; in no other location he would have listened to them. All first-time guests received the autobiography of the UPF founder, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen.

One lady had donated dozens of potted hyacinths for the participants to remember this evening of interfaith harmony, which was appreciated by everyone. 

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