Bratislava, Slovakia—An interfaith lecture series presented by UPF is meant to foster a deeper understanding of faiths other than one’s own.
The Slovak chapter of UPF started a series titled “World Scriptures Build Bridges” last year. The subtitle “My Journey to God” invites the speakers to talk also about their personal motivation and experiences.
At the beginning of each session, we introduce the book World Scripture and the activities related to it.
For the first session, held on November 16, 2021, the speakers were a representative couple of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness who also are Ambassadors for Peace. Raghunatha, who grew up in the Czech Republic, gave a captivating talk how he discovered and studied the Vedas during the communist regime. Later, he pioneered the movement in Slovakia. Colorful pictures and witty comments made us familiar with his spiritual journey as well as the activities and traditions of Hare Krishna in Slovakia and abroad. At the end his wife, Sucitra, served us delicious food which they had prepared with special prayers.
Due to severe restrictions caused by the COVID pandemic we discontinued the series for a half-year. In June 2022 our Peace Embassy in Bratislava was the site of the next two sessions:
On June 8, UPF was lucky to welcome Ľubor Košút, the abbot of the Zen Buddhist Centre in Bratislava. When entering the Peace Embassy, he commented that he perceived a very high atmosphere there. His lively account of his faith journey—from studying the Bible earnestly to his meeting with Zen teachers over 30 years ago—was delightful.
Next he put questions to the audience of 22 and used the answers to explain more principles of Zen tradition and training. His interactive presentation provided much food for thought!
On June 27, 2022, the Peace Embassy welcomed a lovely delegation of the Mormon faith. Despite extremely hot weather, over 30 people came to get deeper insights. They were amazed by the stories of the two missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Lilia Bowers and Lorin Utsch spoke about their personal life of faith, their families, and why they came from the United States to Slovakia. They explained the principles of their religion and traditions like temple marriage and ancestral baptism. A video explained the interior of the stylish temple in Rome and the connected traditions.
At the end, many guests asked questions and also made personal contacts with the members of the Mormon faith. Everyone seemed to be happy. Many visitors received a free copy of the Book of Mormon.