Ambassadors for Peace Richmond, Virginia
Universal Peace Federation International-D.C.,
"Interfaith Harmony Luncheon," February 24th, 2011
Washington Times, Washington, D.C.
Creating One Family Under God
UPF-Richmond joined with UPF International D.C. to commemorate the UN "World Interfaith Harmony Week" hosted at The Washington Times, Washington, D.C., on Thursday, 24th. The program was well attended with many clergy and Ambassadors for Peace coming from the Metro D.C. area. Representatives from 18 embassies in Washington, D.C. were also present.
The main speakers at the event were: Minister Amar Nath Gupta, Head Priest of the largest Hindu temple in the D.C. area, and an AFP; Venerable Cang Kim, Abbot of the Buddhist Monastery, Richmond, and Ambassador for Peace (AFP 2005) of UPF-Richmond; Pastor S. Matthew Goldberg, pastor of the Unification Church Maryland, representing the Jewish faith tradition; His Excellency Dr. Hussein Hassouna, Ambassador of the League of Arab States to the US; and Hon. Rev. Walter Fauntroy, civil and human rights activist, pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in D.C., US Congressman (1971-1990).
Mrs. Tomiko Duggan, Director of Public Affairs, UPF International-DC Office who emceed the program, lauded Rev. Moon's persistent efforts to have an interreligious body as a bicameral partner with the UN Security Council within the UN organization. The five speakers, in their presentations on their respective faith traditions, expressed appreciation for UPF worldwide activities and great vision of working to build a world of peace.
Minister Gupta stated that "Peace comes from the heart and soul and cannot be achieved by weapons,...only through love." "It is God who gives life and happiness." he said.
Ven. Kim emphasized the basic Buddhist principles that lead to peace, the absence from evil and respect for God and the religious founders. He praised the ideal of becoming "One Family Under God."
Pastor Goldberg addressed the spiritual quality of having a contrite heart of repentance on behalf of his people before God, the Lord and Ruler of the universe, and before all others who may have felt wronged by the Jewish people.
Ambassador Hassouna commended UPF "Arab Peace Initiative" effort and spoke to the current revolution impacting the Arab world. He shared the hope that the United States will continue to support the aspirations of the Arab people which he feels will lead to "greater moderation, needed reforms, democracy, respect for the role of women, more freedoms, and better education." He concluded that, "To succeed, we must work together."
Hon. Walter Fauntroy highlighted three central points of his concern: The great need for interfaith cooperation and peace, the practice of "truth in love" wherein "religious leaders should be the headlights and not the tailights; the thermostat and not the thermometer." And, "The importance of the United States fulfilling its destiny," which, he said, is to defend and protect others beyond race and creed, promote the value that all people are equal, and provide the basic social and economic necessities to everyone.
After viewing a video presentation on UPF 2010 Vision and Annual Activities Report, the program concluded with two UPF signature ceremonies: the Peace-Blessing Toast and the "Water Ceremony" symbolizing the unity, harmony and peace of the world's religions.
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