Lisbon, Portugal—For its second online interreligious forum, UPF chose the theme “God as Father and Mother.”
As the focus for the discussion, UPF used the book World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon (Page 53, “Heavenly Father and Mother”) with its associated passages from various religious scriptures.
The forum on October 13, 2020, was part of a planned cycle of online interfaith meetings. The first one took place on September 7 with the theme “The Universal Identity of God” (Page 10, “The One God”).
Within this forum, again, the objective was for each religious representative to read and comment on a passage from his or her own sacred scripture, thus giving the other participants the opportunity to discover the same common knowledge of God as Father and Mother.
After the UPF national president opened the meeting and welcomed the participants, Professor Dr. Shiv Kumar Singh, president of the House of India and professor at the Faculty of Arts, University of Lisbon, where he is the director of the Center for Indian Studies, spoke about the fundamental importance of ecumenical and interreligious initiatives.
Other speakers were Cristina Carvalho, an advisor at the Hindu Community of Portugal; Dr. Mamadou Bah, president of the Islamic Community of Algueirão-Mem Martins; lecturer Jorge Silva from Seicho No-Ie (a Japanese philosophy); and three speakers from Christianity: Brother Manuel Silva of the Marist Congregation (a Catholic institution); Bishop José Barbosa of the Lusitanian Church in Portugal; and Rev. Pastor Barros Novo of the Anglican Church in Portugal.
Passages from Sikhism, Shinto, Tenrikyo, Buddhism and Confucianism were read by the UPF Board secretary to show how they also are all related.
Last but not least were the words of UPF founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon on this theme, presented as Unificationism and explained by the UPF national president.