UPF-Peru Commemorates World Interfaith Harmony Week by Recognizing 28 New Ambassadors for Peace

Peru-2021-02-12-UPF-Peru Commemorates World Interfaith Harmony Week by Recognizing 28 New Ambassadors for Peace

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PeruOn February 12, 2021, Peru’s chapter of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) celebrated UN World Interfaith Harmony Week 2021, with the main theme “Building Bridges Across Boundaries.” As part of the program, 28 new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed. Mr. Jaime Fernández, Secretary General of UPF-Peru was the moderator. To see the webinar, click here.

Dr Trevor Jones (President, UPF-Peru) gave the opening remarks. For more than 40 years, the founders of our organization have made global efforts to promote interreligious peace and harmony, such as the Middle East Peace Initiative, bringing together religious leaders and authorities across the world. The United Nations inaugurated the World Interfaith Harmony Week in 2010, and UPF-Peru has celebrated it since 2012. With the establishment of UPF’s associations worldwide and the inauguration of IAPD-Peru in November2018, we have successfully involved more religious leaders in promoting peace and helping those most in need.

Mr Jaime Fernández read the remarks from Dr. Thomas Walsh, Chairman of UPF International, about World Interfaith Harmony Week, "Building Bridges Across Boundaries," inviting all faith actors to mark this week as an opportunity to bring people together for this noble purpose of building a culture of peace.

Then, Bishop Jesús Mejía Quiroz (Bishop, Catholic Anglican Church, Peru; President, IAPD-Peru) shared his reflections about the event. He emphasized the efforts of UPF founders in holding many meetings with religious leaders across the world for many years to promote fraternity and mutual respect. He urged to renew the commitment to promote a greater unity among believers and work for peace and religious harmony.

Priest Walter MalcaRodas (Redemptorist Missionary, Catholic Church, Peru) spoke next about Jesus as a model who built bridges of peace and broke boundaries through his work, regardless of anyone’s nationality and religious denomination. He highlighted the role of religion as an instrument of peace and mutual understanding.

Pastor Violeta Nolasco Negreiros (Renewal Apostolic Church, Lima, Peru) spoke about the role of religious leaders as spiritual leaders, ensuring that the love and character of God be known by humanity. They can instill peace and hope, especially in these current difficult times, helping people to recognize their worth and dignity.

Hon. Orestes Sánchez Luis (Congressman, Republic of Peru; Pastor, World Christian Mission Church) spoke about the importance of establishing bridges of peace through the principle of loving God above all things and loving one's neighbor as oneself. Hon. Sánchez urged authorities and key individuals from different areas of society to be Ambassadors for Peace who follow this principle to love one’s neighbour and promote peace, unity and development.

Sheikh Mohammed Kobbi (Iman, Islamic Association, Peru) continued with his contribution. God invites, through his word, that all humanity may come to God, and that all humankind may live in peace, recognizing one another and, therefore, promoting respect for people and respect for the religious denomination that they profess.

Finally, Mrs Dina Salas Montoya (Missionary, Seventh-day Adventist Church) spoke about the importance of loving our neighbor and service. We as humanity need to unite with God. We can turn into builders of bridges that promote peace among humankind and heal wounds in families and at all levels of society through reconciliation.

The religious leaders took part in the Virtual Interfaith Ceremony, “The Water of Life.” Bishop Mejía Quiroz offered a representative prayer on behalf of all the religious leaders and the audience for reconciliation, interreligious cooperation and world peace.

Subsequently, the video of the Sunhak Peace Prize, "Making the World Better for Future Generations," was shared.

Mr. Fernández introduced the Nomination Ceremony of new Ambassadors for Peace.

Dr. Jones gave congratulatory remarks to the new Ambassadors for Peace and thanked the panellists and the audience. "We all have a fundamental role to play in order to create a peaceful world, a family under God, an ideal pursued by the founders of UPF."

The event finished with closing remarks by Mr. Fernández, who issued an open invitation to all the audience to attend the 5thRally of Hope for the establishment of a unified world of peace. He thanked the panelists, the UPF-Peru work team and the audience.

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