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Group photo of faith representatives and members of the Odivelas Municipal Chamber
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Group photo of faith representatives and members of the Odivelas Municipal Chamber
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A diverse audience attends the interfaith event in Odivelas, a small city near Lisbon.
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Representatives of various faiths express themselves in prayer, music or dance.
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Representatives of various faiths express themselves in prayer, music or dance.
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Representatives of various faiths express themselves in prayer, music or dance.
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Dr. Vera Jardim, the president of the Religious Freedom Commission in Portugal, addresses the audience.
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Group photo of faith representatives and members of the Odivelas Municipal Chamber
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WFWP-Portugal President Marta Rodrigues (left) and UPF-Portugal President Sérgio Vieira (second from left) with event participants
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Interfaith friendship
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UPF-Portugal President Sérgio Vieira (left) with event participants
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A conversation with Dr. Vera Jardim, the president of the Religious Freedom Commission in Portugal (second from left)

Odivelas, Portugal—UPF and an affiliated organization were invited by the city’s Municipal Chamber to be its partners in an interreligious event.

The Portuguese chapters of UPF and Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) were represented by their national leaders, Sérgio Vieira and Marta Rodrigues, respectively. They also invited the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), another affiliated organization, to be present. Moreno and Paula Berto represented FFWPU on behalf of its national leader.

The theme of the May 4, 2019, event was "Prayer for Peace in the Name of Moderation," and the Municipal Chamber brought together nine religious communities of the county: Sikhism, the Bahá'í Faith, the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the World (Tocoists), the Catholic Church, Evangelical Christianity, Hinduism, Adventism, Buddhism and Islam.

The opening session was led by the town councilor, and the program consisted of each of the religions presenting itself to the municipality and to each other and discussing the theme of the event. Representatives of each faith also were given the opportunity to express themselves in the form of prayer, music or dance.

At the end of the program, a prayer for peace was recited jointly. Finally, a group photo was made of the religious representatives as well as members of the Municipal Chamber.

After the closing, refreshments were served and there were opportunities to meet with various religious leaders to discuss preparations for the national inauguration of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD).

During this event we also met the president of the Religious Freedom Commission in Portugal, Dr. Vera Jardim.

We are very grateful for the good collaboration between the three organizations that were present in this event and to the Municipal Chamber of Odivelas, which sought to fulfill its commitment as a partner and to collaborate toward the meeting, while maintaining good relationships with UPF and the various religious communities in the county.