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The flyer for the event.
About 80 people coming from diverse cultures enjoyed the very rich and varied program.
Cultural interlude by the Sikh community.
Mrs. Chantal Chételat Komagata, Secretary General of UPF Switzerland, served as the moderator.
Dr. Liudmila Gamaiunova, University of Lausanne, spoke on the role of religion in physical and mental health.
Ann-Katrin Gässlein of the Catholic chaplaincy of St-Gallen spoke on the role of religion in conflict resolution.
Cultural interlude by the Krishna community.
Angela Ullmann from the University of Bern spoke on the role of religion in social cohesion.
(Left to Right) David Leutwyler, Ursula Marti, and Naïma Serroukh addressed the contribution of religious communities to peace at the state level.
Cultural interlude by the Muslim community.
The day concluded with a water ceremony involving Ambassadors for Peace from five religions: Sikhism, Islam, African religion, Brahma Kumaris, and Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU).

Religions in Service to Peace

As part of the Week of Religions, an Interfaith Day took place on November 10, 2023, running from 9 am to 5 pm at the community hall of St. Nicolas Catholic Church in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. UPF collaborated with the Catholic and Reformed Churches to conceive and organize the event, aiming to underscore the role of religions in fostering peace. It drew approximately 80 participants from diverse cultural backgrounds and walks of life, including academics, community and religious leaders, as well as laypeople. All enjoyed a rich and varied program, accompanied by delicious food prepared by the Muslim Community.

In a world where religions are often manipulated to fuel animosity, Chantal Chételat Komagata, the Secretary-General of UPF Switzerland and Master of Ceremonies, emphasized the event's goal from the outset: "highlight the primary role of religion, which is to reconnect with God, oneself, and others, rather than focusing on apparent differences".

Presentations from representatives of religious circles, scientists, politicians, and civil society deepened the understanding of the significant role of religion in physical and mental health, conflict resolution, and social cohesion.

Eight different communities provided participants with tools for internal and social peace through concurrent workshops. One such workshop, led by UPF, involved reading and discussing 10 texts from World Scripture on religion and peace. A round table discussion with representatives from the state, the Reformed Church, and civil society addressed the contribution of religious communities to peace at the state level. Short cultural interludes served as connections between program segments. The day concluded with a water ceremony involving Ambassadors for Peace from five religions: Sikhism, Islam, African religion, Brahma Kumaris, and FFWPU.

Click here for the complete program in German and French (PDF).

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