Portugal: 3rd Online Interreligious Forum

By Dr. Sérgio Vieira, UPF Portugal

Portugal—UPF hosted its third online interreligious forum, with the theme “God as Love and Compassion” from the book “World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon” (Page 41, “Divine Love and Compassion”) with its associated passages from various religious scriptures.

This forum had the purpose to make a difference in this particularly difficult time when, besides the Pandemic of Covid-19, unfortunately, there are also several Conflicts in our world, without forgetting religious Terrorism as a complete Opposition to Love and Divine Compassion (Hatred, enmity, anger, hostility, phobia // Indifference, coldness, insensitivity, apathy, impassivity).

Unlike the 2nd Forum, this time we invited fewer speakers to comment on their scriptures, i.e. explaining how their religion also sees God, as a Unique Being of Love and Compassion towards all created beings despite their many differences, so that in this way we could have more time for Questions and Answers; Comments or Discussion. However, in addition to the main Speakers, we also invited a range of other religious leaders to be on the forum, available also for the time of the discussion [Bishop José Barbosa – Lusitanian Church; Rev. Pastor Barros Banza – Anglican Church; Lecturer Jorge Silva – Seicho No-Ie (Japanese Philosophy)].

Before the beginning of the forum, there was a Video about the IAPD Project (Interreligious Association for Peace and Development) in the Korea 2020 Summit.

UPF national president opened the meeting to welcome the participants, but also requested 1 minute of silence in memory of the various victims of the current scourges of our time.

UPF MC presented António Sequeira (Prof. at the Brahma Kumaris Organization) for the initial Considerations on the Forum and the Theme.

Followed were the other main speakers: Cristina Carvalho – Advisor at the Hindu Community of Portugal; Brother Manuel Silva – Marist Congregation (Catholic Institution); Teresa Prim – Coordinator at Brahma Kumaris from Odivelas City and speaking on behalf for Unificationism (Father Moon Words) was Dr. Sérgio Vieira (UPF).

There were also readings of passages from other various religious spheres: Islam; Buddhism; Baha’i Faith; Sikhism; Traditional African Religions; Jainism from UPF Board Secretary and before end a very interesting time of Questions and Answers and Comments.

We conclude with some final considerations and the announcements of the next “Rally of Hope” with Mother Moon and about the South Europe Event on the Centenary of Father Moon.

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