10 Years Interreligious Council in Iceland
By FFWPU Iceland, Rohan Nandkisore
On the 24th of November 2016, the FFWPU Iceland along with 17 groups from many faiths celebrated its 10th anniversary. On this day exactly 10 years ago the then President of Iceland addressed the religions in his inaugural address. This time the new President of Iceland a non-practicing catholic gave a short but impressive message and encouraged all religions of living together by the golden rule.
Our most active Peace Ambassador Bjarni Randver Sigurvinsson gave a summary of what had been done over the past years. Besides the many public lectures on religious life in schools versus atheism, a multi religious calendar recognizing holy days including our five major holidays and an explanation had been published. It was put on the walls in schools and public buildings. The threat of noisy atheists was answered by all religions uniting and building a defense line around our Muslim brethren. It also showed that one’s supremacy is not preserved in protectionism, but in selfless giving and even sacrificing. In this way the interreligious council as Cain and the UPF with its events in Iceland was Abel until now.
As such even stronger ties were established and a kind of persuasiveness is being felt through our small group to continue on this path of interreligious dialogue. There were dying moments during these ten years, but the UPF events continued to spread the light of interreligious dialogue in this country and was able to move the council to stay alive. In difference to many other countries the number of Nationalists is small; the national front gained a total of 58 votes at the election in October. It shows that if a small but significant group that is recognized by heaven is active, pays CheonSeong a country can be moved into the direction towards peace. In this way our religious council fulfils the will of True Parents in this time.
The pre-condition of being a member of the council is that one has to be a state recognized religion in Iceland. We fulfilled that criterion in spring of 2005. It was by the encouragement and help of Bjarni that it could happen. The letter of recognition from the state arrived on the same day members landed in Iceland arriving from an 80-day workshop in Cheongpyeong. It can be concluded that the development in Iceland was in conjunction and close cooperation and unity with True Parents. It will take too long to explain the many details, but it should not be unnoticed as well.
Prominent groups that are playing a significant role in other European countries like the Ahmaddiyya Muslims are not recognized here yet. It should be an encouragement to move ahead and introduce the Divine Principle to many people during this 100-day devotion.
The preparation for this event was a joint undertaking of many weeks before and the program that came out was really touching the heart of the audience of more than 100 people gathered.