Moldova: A Dialog rather than Debate
Interfaith Harmony Week – Meeting of Unification Church and Christian Orthodox Church
By Sabina Nadejdin, FFWPU Moldova
First week of February is declared interfaith harmony week by UN. The main religion in Republic of Moldova is Christian Orthodox Church (90% of population). In 2017 a group of priests and students at theological academy started organizing interfaith meetings, visiting minority religious groups. On 7th of March 2017 Unification Church hosted the first official interfaith meeting with Christian Orthodox Church. Regular meetings with orthodox priests took place since then. Based on this on 31st of January 2019 Unification Church of Moldova opened interfaith harmony week 2019 with a meeting with Christian Orthodox Church.
Representatives of Christian Orthodox Church proposed the topic “Messiah and the completeness of Salvation”. In total 27 persons participated, 7 members of Unification Church and 20 representatives of Christian Orthodox Church (4 priests, professors at theological academy and 16 students, future priests).
President of Unification Church Moldova insisted to have a dialogue rather than a debate so we get to know each other better and don’t try to show who is right and who is wrong. In this way we shouldn’t have the conclusion that one church is good and another is bad at the end of the meeting.
The meeting started with presentation of chapter 4 of Divine Principle by President of Unification Church Moldova. Followed by Questions from representatives of Christian Orthodox Church. Afterwards Priest and professor at theological academy presented theology of Orthodox Church on this topic. Followed by questions from Unification Church members. Some concepts where difficult to understand from both sides, but we tried to understand each other and maintained peaceful atmosphere and mutual respect. The most difficult part for orthodox believers was the concept about spiritual and physical salvation in Unification Church. The hardest point for Unification Church representatives was to understand logically the concept that Jesus is God Himself.
First conclusion is that at this type of meeting when we have dialogue rather than debate creates a peaceful environment and is very constructive. It was clearly expressed by both sides. Second conclusion is the need and benefit of continuing this kind of meetings on other topics. Third as a result of this meeting orthodox representatives accepted to participate at the conference on Interfaith Harmony Week on 7th of February 2019, financed by Universal Peace Federation.
At the end everybody agreed that this was a real interfaith dialogue that is very important for creating culture of Peace in Moldova.