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Day of Peace Observed with Interfaith Prayers in Italy

UPF-Italy organized various observances of the International Day of Peace 2013:

Monza

“It would be better to devote 364 days to peace and only one day to the war, rather than the other way.” These are the words of Carlo Chierico, President of UPF-Monza and Brianza UPF, on the UN International Day of Peace, September 21, in public celebration held outdoors in Piazza Trento e Trieste.

There were many participants and also many onlookers at the traditional interfaith prayer vigil. The South American choir of the parish of St. Carlo opened the evening with songs that Father Giancarlo, from the diocese of Milan, described as "very touching; they teach us that each of us has to change something, remembering that religion is not a cause for war."

Members of various faiths and communities of the area participated, including Father Pierluigi Boracco, a professor at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy, Emy Blesio, spiritualist and writer, and two Buddhist monks: Antonio, from the Center of Tibetan Studies in Milan, and Ashin. The latter, now a Burmese refugee in Germany who took part in the 2007 uprising of monks against the military regime of Myanmar, reiterated that "every day the aspiration for peace must be renewed," concluding his speech with a traditional Buddhist song.

The event enjoyed the patronage of the municipality and was attended by Mayor Roberto Scanagatti, who was keen to stress that the true soul of the city is open to different situations. "We must assume as a principle that cultures unite, not divide," he said. "It was only natural to support this ninth annual appointment with peace, a theme so meaningful to us all."

The 2013 theme chosen by the UN was Education for Peace. Carlo Chierico said: "It's the young people who will lead the way: it is important that institutions help them learn and apply principles of peace."

For photos, click here.

Written by Francesca Salamino and published in the Italian newspaper "Giornale di Monza" September 24, used by permission. Translated by UPF-Italy.

Bergamo

Representatives of the Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Hindu, and Unificationist faiths offered prayers for peace and poured water into a common bowl that was poured on the base of a "Tree of Peace" at Bergamo’s cultural center Spazio Polaresco. 

Milan

UPF hosted a program of prayers and music from various faith traditions.

International Day of Peace 2013 from Universal Peace Federation International

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