Lisbon, Portugal—UPF hosted its first online interreligious forum, with the theme “The Universal Identity of God.”
The forum on September 7, 2020, was the first of a planned cycle of online interfaith meetings.
As the focus for the discussion, UPF used the book World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon (Page 10, “The One God”) with its associated passages from various religious scriptures.
Within the forum, each religious representative reads and comments on a passage from their own sacred scriptures, thus allowing the participants to discover their common values under one God.
As a first experience, the program was not open to the public but only to the speakers and the UPF board.
After the UPF national president opened the meeting and welcomed the participants, Professor Paulo Mendes Pinto, the coordinator of the Science of Religions area at Lusophone University and an ambassador to the World Parliament of Religions, offered some considerations about the fundamental importance of ecumenical and interreligious initiatives.
Other speakers were Dr. Hiral Shah, president of the Temple of the Hindu Community of Portugal; Father António Colimão, a Catholic priest and UPF Ambassador for Peace; and Brother Manuel Silva from a Marist congregation (a religious institute of the Catholic Church dedicated to the education of youth, currently in 70 countries).
There were also readings of passages from Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism and the Baháʼí Faith by UPF’s board secretary to show how they are all related. She finished with the words of Father Moon, presented as Unificationism and explained by the UPF national president.
Before ending, there was time for some questions, answers, comments and announcements of upcoming important UPF activities.