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International Day of Peace Celebrated in Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland - Religious representatives and politicians gathered on Sept. 21, 2014, the UN International Day of Peace, to express their desire to work together to build peace and continue to make Iceland a model country of peace in the 21st century.

The meeting at the Free Lutheran Church was arranged two weeks earlier, and articles and advertisements informed the public about the event.

A young person read the UPF declaration about peace. Speakers represented Ahmaddiyya Muslims, Baha'i Faith, Soka Gakkai, the National Church of Iceland, the Free Lutheran Church, the Family Federation for World Peace and the Philippine consul. Deputy Speaker of the Icelandic Parliament Hon. Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, who was one of the speakers at the UPF World Summit 2014 in Korea in August, lent much enthusiasm in publicizing the event and serving as emcee.

The representative of the Family Federation quoted a statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his visit to Iceland in 2012, praising Iceland as the most peaceful country in the world.

The spirit of mutual friendship exhibited by the speakers was underscored by a violin performance by a Pakistani teenager, two young Baha'i singers and guitarists.

Catholic and Jewish representatives joined with the other religious leaders in an interfaith water ceremony, each pouring water from a glass into a common bowl, symbolizing rivers that spring from different regions merging into the same vast waters of the ocean.

In accordance with the founders' vision and guidance, UPF-Iceland organizers hope that the spirit of peace among religions and civil society demonstrated at this event may be contagious and spread throughout the world.

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