Copenhagen, Denmark—In honor of the public holiday known as “Great Prayer Day,” UPF-Denmark held an interfaith prayer meeting for religious leaders.
In Denmark the fourth Friday after Easter is a public holiday which is celebrated as Store Bededag (“Great Prayer Day”) by the Lutheran state church. This day was established in 1686 to gather several weekdays of penance and prayer in one day.
Therefore we decided prayer was a relevant focus for our interfaith gathering on May 6, 2017, which was held in the headquarters of the Danish chapter of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), an organization that is associated with UPF. Eight religious leaders participated, as did eight Danish members of the FFWPU.
Gertrud Vad, in the role of emcee, welcomed everybody to the 18th interfaith prayer meeting in Denmark and introduced the topic.
Everyone briefly introduced themselves and their background. Before the presentations Mrs. Vad read several passages from the World Scriptures.
Pastor Ole Skjerbæk Madsen, the founder of Areospagos and In the Master’s Light, spoke about God as a personal God who takes the initiative to reach out to us. He referred to prayer as a meeting and safe togetherness with God. The experience of God’s presence must be emanating from being in the will of God, he said. We need to realize that we are not just individuals and do not manage everything ourselves.
Clara Frederiksen, the founder and leader of the Danish Interfaith Forum, is a Catholic but has a rather humorous approach to faith in God. Our own point of view is not as important as God’s point of view, she said. She mentioned the importance of learning about faith from following our natural longing for a deeper meaning in our life.
Nobuhiro Igarashi, a Unificationist, gave a very deep explanation about prayer from the point of view of his faith. Prayer, he said, is like an honest report to our Heavenly Parent. He also said that it is important to pray for God’s providence and public things before we pray for more personal matters.
Karolin Keyghaldi-Østergaard from the Assyrian Christian faith gave her personal testimony of how God entered her life and led her to deep faith and trust in God. She has a strong conviction that God is guiding our lives.
After the presentations Pastor Lene Skovmark, a Christian spiritualist, led the participants in unison prayer and comtemplation.
All the guests were moved and very happy about the format of our meeting, and there was a deep discussion and a very good atmosphere during lunch. Several participants commented that they felt strongly that our FFWPU headquarters is a house of prayer.