The traditional educational program of excursions to the churches of St. Petersburg, dedicated to the UN Inter-Religious Harmony Week, this year started on a very significant date for the city - January 27, the day of the complete liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi blockade.
Although this day is not directly related to religion, it’s not by chance. The Second World War did not spread on the basis of religious conflicts, but the key role here was played, nevertheless, by the struggle of ideologies, or rather, the concept of superiority and exclusivity of some over others. Believers often fall into this trap, believing themselves to be chosen, and their religion exclusive and solely true, persecuting dissidents, allowing themselves to violate their rights and freedoms.
Our project aims to increase awareness of the faith and traditions of various religions and faiths, reduce the level of all kinds of phobias and prejudices, which create barriers in communication and soil for conflicts and even radical, extremist and terrorist acts.
We live in a wonderful time when humanity has matured for a peaceful dialogue and harmonious cooperation.
The UPF in St. Petersburg creates opportunities for residents and visitors to get acquainted with the traditions and cultures of various religious organizations. This year, more than 60 people participated in our tours, which lasted for 5 days and involved 10 religious organizations. The meetings with priests and parishioners, conversations, and discussions became a fascinating journey, which helped to look at the world not only with a wider perspective, but also with a more open and friendly heart.
The series of excursions ended with a bright creative meeting, at which the vision and peacemaking path of the founders of the Universal Peace Federation – Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, was presented.
All religions offer their way to liberation from the struggle and problems of this world, including from wars and conflicts.
UPF founder Dr. Moon has always emphasized that inter-religious harmony is an important condition for building peace on earth, stating that: “When all religions become one family, they live in harmony, cooperate with each other as parts of a single organism and share common values, then all will be released."