Lisbon, Portugal—In recent months UPF representatives have visited two main associations of the Hindu community of Portugal.
In preparation for the launch of the Portuguese chapter of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), UPF has been contacting some of the major religious communities in Portugal, particularly around the capital, Lisbon.
UPF representatives have met with the leaders and have participated in events held by these religious communities.
Following the "Prayer for Peace and Moderation" event on May 4, 2019, promoted by the Odivelas City Council, to which the UPF was invited, we had several meetings with the Hindu community.
On May 24, the UPF president and secretary of the national board met with the leaders of one of the two main Hindu associations in their magnificent temple in Lisbon.
We were very well received by one of the board members and also the board secretary. They explained about their backgrounds and main work, and also the auditorium for about 1,000 people that is under construction. We got to know each other and left as friends with the mutual hope for an excellent future partnership. We left for the leaders of the association some recent UPF publications and the autobiography of UPF founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon.
On August 24 and 30, we were invited by the other main association, located in the municipality of Loures, to participate in the celebration of the birth of Krishna and in an important celebration of their mighty god Shiva, respectively.
At both events we were very well received. We were announced as an entourage (president, vice president and secretary of the board) from an internationally connected UN NGO, UPF-Portugal, and considered a friend of the community.
They showed us a major project to expand their temple with the help of the municipality, which offered them a large amount of ground around the building for the construction. We left some UPF publications and the founder’s autobiography for the president, who was traveling, with the hope for a meeting at a later date.
It was an excellent opportunity for us to take part in these celebrations, so important for the Hindu community, to understand their traditions, to be invited to enter into their most holy place at the temple, to participate in their religious rituals, and, above all, to make ourselves known in peace and friendship, so that in a future partnership we can help each other in the immense work for peace that UPF is doing in Portugal and the world.