Spain: Peace Road 2017
By Maryvonne Jamois, UPF Spain
On September 2nd, 2017, in Spain we organized Peace Road, like an answer to the terrible terrorist attack in Barcelona two weeks before.
“When we look at human history we see that the most brutal and cruel wars were not fought between nations but those between races. Among these, the worst were between races where religions were used as a pretext.
What makes people hate and kill each other like this? Of course, there are many reasons on the surface, but when we dig deeper to find the underlying causes we come across religion in virtually every case.
Religious wars continue to occur because many politicians use the enmity between religions to satisfy their selfish designs. In the face of political objectives, religions lose their way and vacillate. Religions exist for the sake of peace.” True Father ´s autobiography
True Father has dedicated his life to build bridges of peace, between, races, cultures, nations, religions …
So, the idea behind this Peace Road was to become closer to each other even though we have different religions. And we planned to visit Toledo a small city in the south of Madrid, known as City of three cultures, where Christians, Muslims and Jews could live together in peace, maintaining their own traditions.
We rented two buses to bring around 80 people from Madrid to Toledo, including 26 guests from different religions (Muslim, evangelical, catholic…)
Our first stop was in el” Mirador” a famous place at the top of the city which permits us to discover the whole city and took a picture of the whole group.
The buses left us at the entrance of the city and we began walking inside the small and typical streets of this beautiful, historical and famous city.
We gathered near the only one Mosque which still exist in the city. We wanted to enter the gardens of the Mosque but could not have permission so we had some short recital of Muslim songs, prayers of Koranic verses, reading of Muslim texts for peace by our Muslim friends, in a small square not very far. We already could feel the presence of Heavenly Parent as we were listening to Arab poems and verses of Koran.
Then we walked up through the small typical streets of Toledo and arrived at the Chapel of the Discalced Carmelites (catholic church Order) and were welcomed by Brother Miguel, who explained us about the history of this congregation and his founder Saint Teresa of Jesus. We had some Catholic songs and Holy Songs together and then visited the place and especially the beautiful garden and shared lunch together in the dining room of this convent. Once again, we were moved by the spirituality of this place and the kindness of the Carmelites.
After the meal, we walked again through the streets of Toledo and arrived at the Synagogue of El Transito a famous and historic building now used as a museum. We organized inside a Sephardic song recital by Ana Alcaide and her couple who are very good friends of us, and thanks to her help we received permission as Ana is well known in Toledo.
Before embarking on the road back to Madrid with our bus, we had one-hour free time to enjoy this famous city in Spain and share with our guests this opportunity to know more about the history of this city and our country.
It has been a wonderful experience for our members and guests to share this experience together in this beautiful city.
We could feel how Heavenly Parent is really anxious to see all religions share together and live together in peace and harmony, and also True Parent´s spirit to help us to break down walls between different beliefs.
We really hope Peace Road will become bigger and bigger and next year we can get together more people to share this dream of one global family.