Amsterdam, Netherlands—UPF co-sponsored a commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day.
The event on July 18, 2023—which would have been the 105th birthday of the South African anti-apartheid activist—was held jointly with the Dutch chapter of the Church of Scientology and took place in the Scientology chapel.
The evening started with an introduction to Nelson Mandela by Gerbrig Deinum of the Church of Scientology. Mandela stressed the importance of not following the way of revenge, she said. Rather, he emphasized taking the path of forgiveness and reconciliation while focusing on a better future for all people involved.
The presentation was followed by a few videos about human rights.
Dr. Willem Koetsier, the secretary general of UPF-Netherlands, pointed out that a similar process was at the root of European countries' cooperation after World War II.
A video was shown in which one year ago UN Secretary-General António Guterres paid tribute to Nelson Mandela.
After that, Hans Campman and Eleanor Flowers performed songs about changing the world toward peace.
The keynote speaker was Izzy Mansour, an inspirational and interactive workshop leader from the Church of the Nazarene. He emphasized how important it is to be accurate when using words and to be aware of their context. The word "apartheid" has a certain context, he said, connected to the concepts of divide and conquer or keeping power. However, one cannot use this word just like that in other situations, for example, in Israel.
After his speech, he asked the participants how they would like to carry on Mandela’s legacy in their personal lives. After offering their views, the participants looked back on an evening with refreshing thoughts.