Europe and the Middle East—In the spring of 2022, UPF’s Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) responded to the start of war in Europe by calling for six weeks of interfaith prayers.
Europe was just emerging from two years of the COVID pandemic’s devastating consequences when, on February 24, 2022, it found itself facing war and violence on its doorstep.
At the outset of the conflict involving Ukraine, Pope Francis called on believers around the world to observe a Day of Fasting and Prayer on March 2, 2022, which was Ash Wednesday in the Christian tradition, the day that begins the 40-day period of Lent before the commemoration of Jesus Christ’s Passion and Resurrection.
Foreseeing the looming tragedy in Eastern Europe, UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, often referred to as the Mother of Peace, had declared two weeks earlier that “the way for humanity to survive, for Europe and the world to survive, is to attend Heavenly Parent”—which means inheriting the heart that can embrace brothers and sisters in conflict around the world.
In this context, the Europe and Middle East branch of Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), a primary association of UPF, took the initiative with key partners to host an interfaith campaign throughout Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East, calling for a de-escalation, immediate end of hostilities and the re-establishment of lasting peace in our region.
After an initial webinar on March 2, a series of six weekly webinars were organized from March 17 to April 21, 2022. These prayer meetings brought together a large number of religious leaders, representatives of faith-based organizations and religious youth leaders from throughout the region. The sub-regional chapters of IAPD and partners throughout Europe and the Middle East consecutively hosted these events to foster solidarity, peace and reconciliation in Eastern Europe and globally.
The video recordings of these events can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/channels/interfaithprayers
Europe and the Middle East—IAPD responded to the start of war in Europe by calling for six weeks of interfaith prayers.