Paris, France—UPF held its tenth scriptural reasoning on the theme of “Light.”
The monthly interfaith meeting was held by UPF’s Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) on December 12, 2021.
The date’s proximity to both Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, and the beginning of the Advent season for Christians inspired the choice of “Light” as the theme. Four excerpts from sacred texts on the theme had been sent to the registered participants.
This time, two main meetings were organized: one at the Espace Barrault education center in Paris, with 16 participants; and the other at the Armenian Apostolic Church in the city of Lyon with about 20 people.
In addition, more than 50 people from 13 countries connected to the meeting on Zoom, with others following it on Facebook.
The moderator was Dorian Gravrand, an engineer and member of the French chapter of the International Association of Youth and Students for Peace, an organization that is affiliated with UPF.
After each sacred text was read aloud, a representative of that tradition offered a commentary.
Judaism: The commentary by Charles Rosilio of the Jewish Community Centre of Les Ulis and the Chevreuse Valley, on Psalm 104, verses 1 to 11, was read by Tirzi Martin of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), another organization affiliated with UPF.
Christianity: The text of Matthew 5:14-16 was read by Hugo Veracx, the Western Europe regional director of FFWPU, and commented on by Vazken Eskijian, an Orthodox deacon and others from the Armenian Apostolic Church of Lyon.
Islam: Verse 35 of Sura 24 of the Koran was read and commented on by Abdelmalik Richard Duchaine, the president of the Mains-Ouvertes association in Lyon.
Unificationism: The fourth text was "The Light of Glory," a song written by the founder of the Unification Movement, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, in Pyongyang, North Korea, in November 1950, just after his release from the Heungnam labor camp. Instead of being read, it was sung by Didier Guignard and then commented on by Michel Bredard, both from the Unificationist community of Lyon.
Venerable Michel Thao Chan, the president of Cercle de Réflexion des Nations, spontaneously presented some Buddhist remarks on the theme, followed by a question-and-answer session coordinated by Laurent Ladouce, a UPF research fellow.
Jean-François Moulinet, the coordinator of the Dialogue & Alliance interfaith forum, together with Dr. Mouslim Fidahoussen, an Islamologist, then presented some closing remarks and announced the guiding theme for the 2022 meetings: “Living with God in the Present World.”
Recording of the event: https://youtu.be/dmkQXOmNs2A