Interfaith Harmony Week
was celebrated on Thursday 7 of February at the City
Chamber of São Paulo thanks to the support of city Councilor Gilberto Natalini
and the partnership of the interfaith leaders.
Christian Lepelletier, UPF Vice-President was the MC and invited the following religious
representatives at the main table from left:
Disciple Robson Dias from the
Makadesh Evangelical Community,
Professor Sandra Santos, President
of the São Paulo State Umbandist Association,
Sheikh Mohamed Al Bukai, Director of
the Islamic Affairs of the National Union of the Islamic Organizations in Brazil,
Simão Ferabolli, President of the
Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), representing the
Universal Peace Federation (UPF),
Professor Samuel, President of the
Brazilian Association of Religious Freedom and Citizenship representing the Adventist Church,
Gilberto Venturas representing the
Paulista Israelita Association,
Bishop Marcelo Resende from the
Liberal Catholic Church and the Theosophical Society,
Reverend Mahesvara, representing the
Hinduism and the Hare Krishna Movement,
Ifa Boala representing the Yoluba
African Traditional Culture,
Pastor Nello Pulcinelli, from the
Institute Thomas Helwys representing the Baptist Faith and
Kyrilos Carlos from the Byelorussian Slav Orthodox Church who arrived after the
picture was taken.
dignitaries present were: City councilor Gilberto Natalini who said: “Religions
can play an important role in reducing violence, a major problem in our
megalopolis. In a city like São Paulo, a culture of peace, it is a
necessity. And all religions are fundamental to promote a culture of peace.
Councilor Laercio Benko said: “It is very important to promote Interfaith
Harmony, even though in Brazil, most religious followers are free to practice
their faith, I personally met intolerance because I belong to the Umbanda Afro
Brazilian tradition that receive persecutions from fundamentalist Evangelicals.
I will offer the full support of my office for the sake of Interreligious
people came, among them several leaders from the Civil Society including the
Paulistanos Movement for Peace that
started to meet at the city Chamber following recent waves of violence and twenty members of the FFWPU
Samuel coordinated the table and asked each leader to answer the following
questions: As a religious leader or follower of a religious movement (religion)
how can you support the city Councilors to build a Culture of Peace? Would you
be willing to cooperate with other religious leaders and join an interreligious
Council to support the city Councilors of São Paulo to build a Culture of
response was positive thanks to the good partnership already existing between
some councilors and the interfaith leaders. Everyone understands that the
Culture of Peace is rooted in spiritual and moral development and that is the
main responsibility of the religious leaders to provide education to their
from the Hebrews Evangelical community presented a beautiful song for a brief
interval. Then a UPF video was presented on the screen to introduce the
worldwide scope of the activities.
Simão Ferabolli presented the Interreligious Councils proposal that originated
from the UPF founder reverend Sun Myung Moon when he spoke at the UN in 2000.
That vision should be extended in order to provide religious leaders for the UN
Council, each nation should establish an Interreligious Council and to elect
religious leaders for the national Council, each states and even each city
should establish an Interreligious Council.
Paulistanos Peace Movement which includes several interfaith activists meeting
every first Thursday of the month at the City Chamber already we are building a
foundation for the future São Paulo Interreligious Council.