Lisbon, Portugal—The International Day for Tolerance was commemorated with an interfaith discussion of ecumenical issues.
The meeting was held on November 17, 2018, in partnership with Monsignor Alexandre Bonito (Orthodox Mission in Portugal), in a university room kindly provided by our partner the Lusophone University.
The meeting also served to prepare for the next UPF major objective: the Portuguese inauguration in the spring of 2019 of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD).
The distinguished guests included our Ambassador for Peace and partner Professor Alberto Araújo of the International Platform of Civil Society Lusophone Diaspora (PISCIDIL) and Dr. Ricardo Pessoa, an Adventist and president of the Association of Brazilians in Portugal.
The informal meeting had the following presentations on the theme of the International Day of Tolerance:
- Monsignor Alexandre Bonito (Orthodox Mission Portugal): "Dilemmas and Limitations of Minority Churches and Confessions in Portugal (Differentials and Constraints)"
- Father Adelino Ascenso (Catholic Missionary of the Good News): "Testimonies about the Experience in Interreligious Dialogue in Japan"
- Sérgio Vieira (president of UPF-Portugal) read from his own academic work on "Ecumenism in Portugal: A Selective Dialogue."
In addition, there were presentations about the inauguration of IAPD in Europe and the world. An explanation about IAPD was followed by an appeal for the participants’ support in the upcoming inauguration of IAPD in Portugal.
After a session of questions and comments, and suggestions for upcoming meetings, the conference staff led the speakers and participants in a toast and prayer for tolerance and for ecumenical and interreligious peace in the world. All the participants were presented with a copy of the autobiography of UPF founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon.
UPF gives great thanks to the university rector, the university chair, and to our great friend Professor Dr. Esmeraldo de Azevedo, a member of the administration and coordinator of European Studies. All of them are Ambassadors for Peace and were our partners in the inauguration in Portugal of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), a UPF initiative.