The banner for the UPF-Denmark event
The panelists (clockwise from top left): Pastor Lene Skovmark; Klara Kaare; Imam Basri Kurtis; Saif Shahbaz; Karsten Nielsen of UPF-Denmark; Pastor Jørgen Degn Bjerrum
Pastor Lene Skovmark
Pastor Jørgen Degn Bjerrum
Imam Basri Kurtis
Saif Shahbaz, leader of the Minhaj Youth League of Denmark
Klara Kaare, a religious historian

Copenhagen, Denmark—People can reach across borders, said five faith leaders at a UPF interfaith webinar.

To celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week 2021, UPF-Denmark held a webinar on the theme ”Building Bridges across Boundaries.” There were 25 connections participating in the February 4 webinar.

The program began with readings from the World Scripture book of sacred texts. Next, a video about UPF’s Middle East Peace Initiative was shown as an example of interfaith dialogue and harmony.

Pastor Lene Skovmark, a priest and spiritual guide, moderated the 1½ hour session with presentations, debate, questions and answers. The panel consisted of a Lutheran pastor, the imam from the Albanian faith community, the chairman of Minhaj Youth League in Denmark, and a religious historian.

The panelists discussed best practices of interfaith cooperation and bridge building. They said that even though borders exist, people can communicate across borders. It is important to remember, it is not religions that meet, it is people with a religion who meet.

One panelist said it is important to separate the inner—people’s search and longing for God and true love—and the outer form. People fight in the garment of their religion, while their longing for God basically is the same. Everyone has the right to follow his own faith, but it is important that we learn and understand each other’s culture and religion.

Imam Basri Kurtis mentioned that Albania has shown a good example of protecting and reaching out to religious minorities. He gave the example of a village in which the Muslim majority built a church for the Christian minority.

In the end one participant asked, “Should we not pay more attention to what God feels in His heart rather than to what people think?” The moderator then asked the panelists, “What do you think God feels in His heart?” All the panelists answered this question with the word: “Love!”

 

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