The introductory slide with the countdown to the beginning of the online roundtable
Carlo Zonato, the president of UPF-Italy
Michele Cavallotto, the coordinator of IAPD-Italy
Panelists and participants of the online roundtable

Rome, Italy—UPF celebrated not only World Interfaith Harmony Week but also International Day of Human Fraternity at an online discussion.

"Freedom of Religion, Belief and Conscience: Foundation for Dignity and Human Development" was the theme of the roundtable held on February 7, 2023, in online mode.

Organized by the Italian branches of UPF and its Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), the meeting was designed to support the two anniversaries established by the United Nations and their message of interfaith harmony, mutual respect and cooperation that are the foundation of a culture of peace.

The eight speakers at the panel discussion were:

  • Michele Cavallotto, the coordinator of IAPD-Italy;
  • Agata Distefano, a psychiatrist;
  • Don Valentino Cottini, a diocesan priest of Verona;
  • Francesco Canale, an evangelical pastor of Equippers Church;
  • Luis Miguel Perea Castrillon, the bishop of the Anglican Episcopal Church (A.E.C.E.);
  • Nader Akkad, the imam of the Grand Mosque of Rome;
  • Tenzin Khentse, a Tibetan Buddhist monk;
  • Sergio Coscia, the director in the city of Turin of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), an organization that is affiliated with UPF.

The moderator of the meeting was Maria Gabriella Mieli, the director of external and international relations for UPF-Italy.

The meeting’s authoritative presentations with many insights from all the speakers were followed by a very interested and motivated online audience of 58.

In the concluding part many questions arose, especially from the younger participants. The atmosphere of unity and cohesion, especially among the representatives of the various faiths, contributed to the success of the panel discussion. This created a climate of concrete fraternity of purpose in promoting freedom of religion, belief and conscience as key factors in building a free and fraternally united human family for the good of all.

Summaries of all the speeches can be found here:

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