The Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPP) was founded in 2017 in the presence of 500 religious leaders from 20 religious traditions across 70 nations. It seeks to inspire an interreligious peace movement toward the ideal of “one human family under God.” To this end, IAPD will propose initiatives by which religious people can pursue the mutual well-being of mankind and advocate universal religious principles that emphasize the common ground of the great religious faiths.
On February 4 and 5, the IAPD Assembly consisted of three sessions on the theme “Toward Lasting Peace: The Role of Religion, Interreligious Dialogue and Faith- Based Organizations”. The sessions were moderated by Archbishop George Stallings, chairman of IAPD-USA and David Fraser-Harris, secretary general of UPF Middle East. Welcoming remarks were given by Prophet Samuel Radebe Ven. Sang Jin, Cheong Ryon Temple (Blue Lotus Temple), Korea; Sheikh Moafaq Tarif, Spiritual head, Druze Community, Israel; Prophet Samuel Radebe, founder, Revelation Church of God; President of UPF-South Africa; and Rev. Dr. Mark Abernathy, National Co-President, ACLC, USA.
Representing a broad range of cultures and denominations, participants shared their perspective on religious cooperation for peace. Speakers from Europe and the Middle East included: Archimandrite Rogelio Sáez Carbó, Greek Orthodox Church of Spain and Portugal; Shri Singh Bhatia, European director, Sant Nirankari Mission, UK; Dr. Andriy Yurash, director, Department for Religious Affairs and Nationalities, Ukraine Ministry of Culture; Sheikh Nuru Mohammed, Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Muslim Community of Birmingham, UK; Monsignor Nicolas, patriarch, Orthodox Patriarchate of Nations, France; Father Yacobos Abu-Aaqel, Arabic Orthodox community, Israel; Father Joseph Saghbini, archimandrite, Melkite Catholic Church, Lebanon.