Odivelas, Portugal—For the second consecutive year, UPF was invited to take part in this city’s various activities to promote interfaith understanding.
Odivelas, which is proud of its religious diversity, organized its second Week of Inter-Religious Harmony and Intercultural Dialogue from October 2 to 8, 2023. The activities included guided visits to various religions’ places of worship.
In this context, on October 3, UPF welcomed a group of visitors to its Peace Embassy, including city officials and religious representatives, among others. Although not a religious entity, UPF has been collaborating in this type of event due to its longstanding work for peace, particularly through interreligious and cultural dialogue.
For this occasion, an informative program was prepared about the work of UPF and the mission of its founders, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, particularly in the religious field.
After brief welcoming remarks, the program began with a prayer offered by Dr. Sérgio Neto, the national president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), an organization that is affiliated with UPF, followed by the presentation of two videos, "18th Anniversary of UPF" and "Who Is God?"
Dr. Sérgio Vieira, the national president of UPF, gave an overview of the founders and the different organizations they established, including the Unification Church and FFWPU.
To better illustrate the vision of a single God, the Father and Mother of all humanity, and the source of many religions and paths of spirituality, excerpts from the book World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon were read. This work was produced at the request of Reverend Moon himself and published by UPF, becoming a reference work for interreligious dialogue.
To conclude, all participants were invited to visit the Cheonshim Won prayer room and offer their prayers for peace and harmony among all peoples and religions. During the subsequent social gathering, many visitors expressed a desire to deepen their understanding of the UPF founders’ teachings and to participate in future UPF activities.
Odivelas’ extensive one-week program of activities from October 2 to 8 featured the launch of the book Letter of the Religions of Odivelas and the seminar "Odivelas, a Promoter of Religious Freedom Municipality," which was attended by representatives from the High Commission for Migration and the Commission for Religious Freedom.
The last two days, held in a city park, allowed all associations and churches to share their beliefs and activities. It was in this context that UPF promoted the autobiographies of its founders and their vision for a world of peace through presenting excerpts from World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon in slide format.
This rich week of mutual understanding culminated in the Prayer for Peace. All the religious representatives, along with UPF in the presence of its national president, Sérgio Vieira, joined in a common prayer for peace, a symbol of the dream of a world shared by the human family.