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September 21, 2016, 12:08 PM

International Day of Peace 2016

International Day of Peace 2016

Events are taking place around the world. Add yours here!

See how the URI community throughout the world is celebrating the International Day of Peace 2016.

Read an International Day of Peace message from URI Executive Director Victor Kazanjian.

 

Skip directly to IDP 2016 celebrations from: 

Asia

North America

Southeast Asia and the Pacific

Multi-Region

Africa

Middle East and North Africa

Latin America and the Caribbean

Europe

 


UNITED NATIONS IDP 2015 CELEBRATION

LOCATION: United Nations Headquarters, New York, United States

The United Nations Student Observance for IDP includes UN Speakers, Messengers of Peace and SDG student projects. The day opens with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ringing the UN Peace Bell as the flags of all the nations are held by 195 students sending their message of peace to each country. The SG opens the student conference with presentations and performances from UN Messengers of Peace and Nobel Women Peace Laureates.

The 2016 theme, "Sustainable Development Goals - Building Blocks for Peace" will be shared by student presentations and by UN Peacekeeping Missions in Cyprus and Liberia. Mrs. Ban will ring a peace bell and call for The 12 noon Minute of Silence. (The Minute of Silence at noon is encouraged on Sept 21 to create a Wave of Peace Prayers to circle the planet on the International Day of Peace!) This UN program will be webcast live from UN TV,webTV.un.org. (live webcast begins at 9 am EST on 9/16)

This event will include about 700 students and is organized by the UN Department of Public Information with NGO partners including URI, World Peace Prayer Society and Pathways To Peace. This is a special event because Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mrs. Ban have been a part of each International Day of Peace Student Observance since he took office! A new SG will be elected in Oct and take office on Jan 1. Special thanks to Mrs. Ban for always ringing the 12 noon Peace Bell and the Minute of Silence.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLES: Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons CC and The United Religions Initiative at the United Nations CC

LOCATION: New York, NY, United States

Alongside the United Nations International Day of Peace, the UN held an event titled “Sustainable Peace - Sustainable Development” at United Nations Headquarters in New York, NY, USA. Five hundred people attended in person, and video of the event was posted on the UN website for many more people to enjoy around the world. Read more and see the video here.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLES: Lahore CCGlobal Mission Awareness CCWake CCCOPE CCPeace and Development CCBhatta (Kiln) Workers CCAnglo-Asian CCTehreek-e-Insaniat CCYouth Revolution CCABC 4 All CCNational Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism CCTravel Agents CCNational Muslim Christian Dialogue CC, Lahore MCC, and URI Regional Office Pakistan

LOCATION: Lahore, Pakistan

The URI Pakistan Regional Office is celebrating International Day of Peace along with Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holy day. The Archbishop of Lahore, Sebastian Shaw, will preside over the event, and Muslim religious leader Allama Zubair Abid will be the Chief Guest along with twelve other Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Sikh leaders. The main theme will be the same as IDP: “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace”. There will be speeches, peace songs, poetry, and tableaux, with over 100 men, women, and young people scheduled to attend. There will be cake to celebrate Eid, and online and print media outlets will be invited to cover the event. The program is jointly organized by URI’s Regional Office in Pakistan and Peace Center Lahore, with input from the Cooperation Circles listed above.


COOPERATION CIRCLES: Ektaan CC, Muslim Taraqqyati Wa Falahi Adara CC

LOCATION: Asansol, West Bengal/India

The two CCs are planning to distribute school bags among children in need. Children from different faith backgrounds and very impoverished communities have been selected on the basis of their need, and the CCs are uniting families and motivating the community to support children’s education.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Karickam International Public School CC

LOCATION: Kottarakkara, India

Children from Karickam International School were inspired to work toward a community and world at peace by participating in the "we want peace" parade. Learn more, and see many more photos here.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Community Organization for People Empowerment (COPE Pakistan)

LOCATION: Renala Khurd Okara, Pakistan

COPE PAKISTAN CC is organizing the International Day of Peace with the collaboration of like-minded interfaith organizations (Christian Ithad Group, Ahmad Welfare Organization, Dost Foundation, Light of Hope, Catholic TV, Catholic Church, Franciscan Sister) in Renala Khurd Okara, Pakistan. For this IDP 2016, we are inviting the youth, children, women and different religious and political leaders from different religions to participate and talk on peace. In this program, we highlight and talk about how we can work together on the Sustainable Development Goals with all communities from different religions.

Cooperation Circle COPE Pakistan want to create positive thinking between the communities of different religions through this IDP program. Together we want to promote peace and interfaith harmony among different religions in Pakistan. We want to share Love, Respect, and Honor with other people through this program and spread the message of Peace. 


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Pakistan Council for Social Welfare & Human Rights CC

LOCATION: Sialkot, Pakistan

Pakistan Council for Social Welfare & Human Rights CC observed the International Day of Peace on 21st September 2016 and organized the Interfaith Peace Conference at the head office of PCSW&HR in Sialkot. Distinguished speakers addressed the assembled: "Religion desires peace, tranquility and social harmony. Acts of terrorists' violence destroy the moral prin­ciples meant for the welfare of human beings." Read the full report here.


URI PARTICIPANTS: URI South India

LOCATION: Meen Pidippara Falls, Kottarakkara, India

It was an historic IDP celebration for us on 21st September 2016. URI inaugurated the River Rights Campaign in South India. Rev. Dr. Victor Kazanjian, URI International Executive Director, launched the campaign in the presence of Traveling Peace Academy participants from different parts of the world, and a host of other invitees, at a beauty spot named "Meen Pidippara" falls at Kottarakkara. All of us took a pledge to protect our sweet, flowing rivers. We partner with our ally All Kerala Balajana Sakhyam, as they are also envisaging year-long projects to save water. Read more and see more photos here.


 

URI PARTICIPANTS: URI Korea

LOCATION: Gyeongju, Korea

Here in Korea we have a Peace Forum on the IDP. The photo below shows an IDP community event including dinner. In addition, I have joined a Buddhist assembly in which about 2,500 people had a lecture on Lotus Sutra with a exhibition regarding its message for peace and coexistance. May peace prevail on Earth! - Jinwol Young H. Lee Regional Coordinator, Korea


COOPERATION CIRCLE: COPE PAKISTAN

LOCATION: Lahore, Pakistan

COPE Pakistan CC is working with the regional office in Pakistan for the promotion of peace and interfaith harmony between different religions in Pakistan. IDP will be celebrated as an interfaith collaboration between Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs and with like-minded organizations working on youth, women and children’s issues in Renala Khurd, Okara Punjab, Pakistan. These include: Hand in Hand, Joy Foundation, Catholic Sunday Schools, Catholic TV, AM Welfare Society, Wake Sewing Center, Catholic Church Renala Khurd, URI Pakistan, Renala Cable Network, and Dost Organization.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: University of Rochester Interfaith Chapel

LOCATION: Rochester, New York, United States

Our chapel and Interfaith student group hosted a wonderful Labyrinth Walk for Peace on Wednesday.  We had a wonderful turnout of students, enormous diversity among them. They read poems, prayers, and essays on peace from many perspectives, while accompanied by a student playing the piano, and while others walked the labyrinth. In all, around 45 students participated, walking the labyrinth and listening to the readings. Ten students and one staff member served as readers.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: Rothko Chapel

LOCATION: Houston, Texas, United States

Join in contemplative practice of music, readings, and silent reflection during Rothko Chapel’s Twilight Meditation for IDP! Ordained in 1996, Father Tullio Proserpio has served as Chaplain at the National Cancer Institute in Milan, Italy since 2003, and is currently doing research at the Methodist Research Institute on hope in cancer patients. He has authored scientific articles on the topics of hope and bioethics. Father Tullio will be accompanied on harp by Pat Flores, who is a member of the Greater Houston Chapter of the American Harp Society, Gulf Coast Harpers, and Houston’s Orchestra on Call. The program will be followed by a reception.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: SARAH Spiritual and Religious Alliance for Hope CC

LOCATION: Rancho Santa Margarita CA, United States

URI's S.A.R.A.H. CC posted love notes on car windows, bathroom mirrors, mailboxes, and other public places to encourage people to share a little compassion, peace, and hope. We cherish these moments of #TangibleHope from our global community! See the video on our Facebook page.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Muncie Interfaith Fellowship CC

LOCATION: Muncie, Indiana, United States

Members of the Muncie Interfaith Fellowship CC will be observing the United Nations International Day of Ceasefire (otherwise known as the International Day of Peace) the evening of September 16 in Muncie, Indiana with a poetry reading and house concert hosted by a local activist named Shari Flanders.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Abbey of Hope

LOCATION: Portland, Maine, United States

Abbey of Hope CC is throwing a “Pizza for Peace” party, a combination of different types of events they usually do. The event will be more casual, inviting community members to have pizza together, discuss peace in the city, and brainstorm ideas for how they can work together in the coming year to achieve local peace.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Nashville Cooperation Circle

LOCATION: Nashville, Tennessee

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Celebration of Cultures, an interfaith service of worship will be held at Scarritt Bennett Center. The theme is “May Peace Prevail on Earth” and representatives of seven different faiths will share readings from their sacred texts or music that speaks to peace in communities and the world. Celebration of Cultures started at the Center as a celebration of the diversity of culture and religions in Nashville. The event will take place in Centennial Park, sponsored by Metro Human Relations Commission and featuring the cultures in our community. Let us come together to pray for peace as members of the world’s religions. 


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Interfaith Cooperation Circle of Central Virginia

LOCATION: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

The CC invites all to participate in a Peace Meditation and discussion on IDP events around the world as well as hopeful and inspiring efforts for peace and issues of peace and justice. 


COOPERATION CIRCLE: University of Rochester Interfaith Chapel

LOCATION: Rochester, New York, United States

Students will gather at 8:30pm in the university’s Interfaith Chapel to engage in quiet walking meditation in the Labyrinth, accompanied by student readings on the subject of peace. Various student groups will participate, including religious communities, the Student Association for Interfaith Cooperation, the Pride Network, and other groups involved in advocacy, justice, anti-racism, and similar work for peace and justice. Some will read their own original material, while others will read from scripture, poetry, or inspirational writings.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: URI Northeast Tennessee Cooperation Circle

LOCATION: Jonesborough, Tennessee, United States

The CC’s “Candles for World Peace” event will be a time for prayer and song, reflecting on peace and building bridges among all religions.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County

LOCATION: Danville, California, United States

We Pray, We Dance, We Talk, We Eat, We Laugh, and God Hears Our Prayers! The keynote address will be given by Elby Salazar, and the agenda will be full of activities such as a spiritual walk through the labyrinth. All faith will be represented in discussions on practicing compassion.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: Interfaith Cooperation Circle of Kaua’i  

LOCATION: Kaua’i, Hawaii, United States

The CC held an IDP celebrate in Lydgate Park on September 18, sponsored by the Interfaith Roundtable of Kaua’i (IROK). The program featured cultural performances, an open mic, free food, information on sustainability and conflict resolution, and crafts and activities for children. The event concluded with peace prayers around the Peace Pole followed by the release of peace dives. In 2007, Hawaii became the first state in the US to officially commemorate IDP, and IROK has sponsored an annual celebrate every year since. 

Joyful Noise kicked off our program with their powerful performance. Aunty Hana blessed us with her Pule.  The song of peace and address by Mayor Carvalho (with his good-natured handling of the sometimes on, sometimes off microphone!) led us into a time of community singing and the release of the peace doves by our keiki. The open mic brought uplifting music to all while the activities at the many tables took place and an abundance of food was served. Closing the festivities, we joined together for a community dance for peace and prayers at the peace pole and prayer flags.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: The United Religions Initiative at the United Nations CC

LOCATION: Bethlehem, PA, United States

There will be a rededication of the Peace Pole planted at our local PBS Station on 9/11/11 when the new building opened. This 5 year anniversary will include local schools and a World Peace Flag Ceremony. Partners include PBS39, World Peace Prayer Society and URI UN CC.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County CC

LOCATION: Danville, California, United States

Friday night the 16th at 7:30 to 9:00 pm. Shabbat Service at Congregation Beth Chaim. Saturday the 17th, Retreat and Programs on Compassionate Listening and Interfaith Dialogue:

  • Speaking in peace. Nonviolent Communication & Compassionate listening with Meganwind Eoyang.
  • Presentation on International Day of Peace with Father Tom Bonacci.
  • Sacred Story Telling and Spiritual Practices.
  • After-dinner presentation from recent refugees & Universal Dances for Peace. Review of the day and next steps.
  • Sunday morning Prayer Service led by Father Tom Bonacci and Will McGarvey.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County CC

LOCATION: Livermore, California, United States

Come join us and our partners (Interfaith Interconnect; Tri-Valley, Alameda County, California) as we eat, play, and converse with people from our diverse communities, including Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Unitarian Universalist, and more. Children and adults of all ages are welcome! Bring yourself, your family, your friends, a dish to share, and also lawn chairs and games for kids if you wish. We ask that you include a list of ingredients for your potluck item; no pork, please. Plates, utensils, water and lemonade will be provided.
Optional: bring a non-perishable food item for donation to one of our local food pantries.
No RSVP is necessary. We look forward to sharing in your company!


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Unity and Diversity World Council CC

LOCATION: Los Angeles, California, United States

We are honoring positive, local-to-global transformations at every level, with speakers, musicians, and workshops on the theme of sustainability.

DR. SADEGH NAMAZIKHAH, Director, IMAN Cultural Center, Welcome; MORNING STAR FOUNDATION, Opening Blessing, Songs, and Drumming; SUSANA REYES, Senior Analyst, Sustainability Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti; PROF. ZAMAN STANIZAI, Active Member, IMAN Cultural Center; THEODORE CLARKE, Team member, Juno Project, which just arrived at the planet; Jupiter after five years in orbit; SCHOOLS PROJECT -- Led by DIANE BURTON & RINI GHOSH; INTERNATIONAL PEACE CHOIR, Led by Pamela Aki; FARZAM SALAMI, Musician and Composer; REV. STEPHEN L. FISKE, Singer/songwriter, author UDC Executive Director; WORKSHOPS highlighting authors of "Building Cultures of Peace" book; Introduction by REV. DR. LINDA GROFF, Book Committee Chair


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County CC

LOCATION: Walnut Creek, California, United States

Start the Days of Peace Together in Prayer and Song: The Days of Peace run from September 11th to the International Day of Peace on the 21st. After a summer of violence and divisiveness, join us for an informal time of sharing peace songs, hymns and readings from various traditions. You can join us in prayer, walk the labyrinth and sing along.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: Interfaith Peace Building on Natural Resources Management

LOCATION: Kampot Province, Cambodia

Our interfaith network in Kampot Province, Cambodia, planted 650 mangrove trees at Trapaeng Sangkae community. We brought together 95 participants (including 33 ladies) who were Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, students, and community members. We collaborated with the Kampot interfaith network, with the Department of Religion and Cults in Kampot, and with commune council members, district officers, religious leaders, and environmental officers jointly for this event. We also collaborated with a local volunteer youth group called Cambodian Youth Association.

Learn more and see more pictures here.

See a video here.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Cultural Infusion CC

LOCATION: Melbourne, Australia

Cultural Infusion staff volunteered at Peace Day activities being run by Australians for Peace at Federation Square in Melbourne's CBD. The activities have aimed to bring attention to the importance of peace to individuals in the City of Melbourne.

“Much of the conflict we are experiencing in the word today is culturally based. Culture, whilst not always the underpinning factor of conflict, is often used as a divider, discrimination comes about due to a lack of understanding of other cultures and that through the discovery of others we not only reinforce our self but build bridges towards understanding," Peter Mousaferiadis, Cultural Infusion CEO and founder, said in his speech.

Read more here.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: CARAVAN CC

LOCATION: New York, NY, United States

CARAVAN invites you to the US premiere of “The Key” exhibition at The Riverside Church in New York, which will be an artistic celebration of peace featuring special guest speakers and performers. The Key is a peacebuilding art exhibition/installation featuring 40 premier and emerging Egyptian, Middle Eastern, and Western artists using the world’s most ancient symbol of harmony, the Egyptian Ankh (Key of Life) as a message of hope for a harmonious, peaceful, and tolerant world. Special guests include: Ambassador David Saperstein, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom; Ambassador Ahmed Farouk, Consul General of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Ambassador Michelle D. Gavin, Managing Director of The Africa Center; and Sufi music by Amir Vahab and ensemble.

The Key was launched on the banks of the Nile in Cairo in March, and was showcased in London at St. James’ Piccadilly this summer. The exhibition at The Riverside Church will run from September 21-November 6, 2016. 


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: Women Interfaith Network (WIN) CC

LOCATION: Alphington, Australia

The CC’s event, “First Steps of Peace: COMMON and WIN”, will celebrate IDP with a picnic in the park and a walk through Darebin Parklands in Melbourne. The Darebin Spiritual Healing Trail is a gift from the Aboriginal community as a reconciliatory gesture, and promotes good health by improving our emotional and spiritual wellbeing and sense of connection to the land, others, and ourselves. There will also be a brief ceremony commemorating all victims of genocide and other atrocities. The CC is partnering with Center of Melbourne Multifaith and Others Network (COMMON) for the event.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Hope in Life Foundation

LOCATION: Irvine, California, United States

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the attack on America's iconic World Trade Center in New York. Many lives were lost that day and many more were devastated by the loss of their loved ones. This year on 9/11, Hope in Life Foundation is co-sponsoring this event with One Global Family Foundation and Council of Interfaith & Indigenous Women-Youth. There are 3 parts to the program being held at 3 different locations:

(1) Memorial Program at COR AME Church in Irvine
(2) Interfaith Leadership Luncheon at Pacifica Institute in Irvine
(3) Benefit Concert at Temple Beth Shalom in Tustin

Organizers: One Global Family Foundation and Councils of Interfaith & Indigenous Women-Youth. Sponsors include: Orange County Interfaith Network,COR AME Church, Pacifica Institute of Orange County, Temple Beth Shalom, Orange County Sheriff's Department, A Country called Syria. Co-Sponsors include: Hope in Life Foundation, Jewish Collaborative of Orange County, South Coast Interfaith Council, Council of Muslim Women, Love & Gratitude, All Paths Divinity School, Morning Star Foundation and others.

The Memorial Service at COR AME Church from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm will be profound and may bring back memories of the dispassionate and dastardly act from 15 years ago. This type of gathering reinforces love and solidarity in our community. By coming together we reestablish belief and faith in ourselves and in our communities.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Hope in Life Foundation

LOCATION: Long Beach, CA, United States

Hope in Life Foundation is collaborating with Shirdi Sai Temple and Healing Center, One Global Family Foundation, and Councils of Interfaith and Indigenous Women to celebrate IDP by feeding our homeless brothers and sisters in Long Beach on September 25. The groups hope that the event allows members to connect with the community, serve those who need love and a decent meal, and reinforce the idea that different faiths and traditions practice, peace and respect.

Read more, and see more photos and videos here.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: Nkhata Bay CC

LOCATION: Nkhata Bay, Malawi

Collaboration and cooperation among people are the backbone of unity and peace, and the CC’s IDP event will encourage exploring this through sports like football, netball, volleyball, traditional dances, and more. The CC is working with World Vision Malawi, health centers, churches, and other active groups in the community.


URI GROUP: URI Horn of Africa 

LOCATION: Djibouti City, Djibouti

With the collaboration of the State Secretary of Youth and Sport, we held a sensiblization meeting with young people in two community centers in Djibouti City. On 21 September, we held a conference in a Sheraton Hotel, and in the afternoon we held a relay race with the previous marathon champion, Mr. Ahmed Saleh Ahmed. We also held a football match between the members of the government and the MP's.

At the conference, the following were present: The Minister of Education, the Minister of Communication, the Minister of Decentralization, the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, the Chief Cabinet of the President of the Republic, the Adviser of the President on Youth Issues, the Communication Chief of IGAD, Representative of the Executive Secretary of IGAD, the Coordinator of UNECO in Djibouti, and of course, many youths and intellectuals.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: Mulapnen Capacity Building Initiative (MUCABI)

LOCATION: Jos, Nigeria

The CC is holding a classroom engagement activity at a school that has Christian and Muslim students in Tudun Wada, Jos, Plateau State in Nigeria. They will interact with the students with the aim of advancing their knowledge of peace and the need to tolerate each other’s opinions irrespective of religion. 


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Global Compassion CC

LOCATION: Santchou, Cameroon

It is unfortunate that these days it is rare to see meaningful, open dialogue amongst the different faiths. Clement Awanfe Ngueto is based out of Santchou, Cameroon and is working towards raising the awareness of young people through his project, Peace With You. This campaign includes a peace walk and dialogue that will promote love, compassion, tolerance and peaceful coexistence among varying religious demographics, including Christians and Muslims living in a community affected by the actions of Boko Haram.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: The Quiet Voice CC

LOCATION: Limpopo, South Africa

We cannot have peace on Earth until we make peace with nature. We are asking children globally to think about the plight of lions and to ROAR for the lion. The lion is the apex predator, so it represents the wellbeing of the entire ecology: we can create balance between lions, land, and people. Children can win a trip to South Africa with a guardian by uploading their video clips to http://woobox.com/ajgvba


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Council of Religions CC

LOCATION: Port Louis, Mauritius

IDP coincides with the CC’s annual conference on September 27, which will bring together leaders of several faiths as well as ministers, ambassadors, academics, civil society, and the media. The National Conference of Religious Leaders aims to present the achievements of the Council of Religions over the past year to key stakeholders, review the status of interfaith and inter-ethnic relations in Mauritius, and to develop common strategies to addressing persistent challenges to peace. This event will feature workshops, speeches, and engagement activities. Partners for the event include 18 faith leaders, the Anglican Diocese, the Catholic Diocese, the Arya Sabha, the Muslim Citizen Council, and the Kwan Tee Pagoda. 


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: URI MENA Office

LOCATION: Baqaa Palestinian Refugee Camp, Jordan

Today URI MENA office celebrated the International Day of Peace with over 50 handicapped and orphaned children in Baqaa Palestinian Refugee camp. The camp is home to around 100,000 Palestinian refugees who are registered as such with the United Nations. It is the largest refugee camp in Jordan.

We spent a wonderful time with such talented children, playing with them, listening to their hopes… drawing smiles on their lovely faces. We talked about the spirit of the IDP, explaining to them how the world is celebrating this day with hope for a better future for all. We prayed and chanted for peace and justice.

Despite the harsh conditions in which they are living, the children were cheerful and optimistic about the future. We learned from these children that nothing can disturb happiness and hope will never die. Thanks for URI folks who contributed to the success of this event.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: URI MENA Office, Naya CC, Mercy CC, Quested Peace CC

LOCATION: Jordan

The URI MENA office, in cooperation with Naya CC, Mercy CC, and Quested Peace CC, organized a recitation of holy texts and prayers session for the International Day of Peace. Naya CC assembled 14 prayers and verses (ayat) from prevailing religions in Jordan that teach us to live together in peace and harmony.

Learn more and see more photos here.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: TRUST WIN CC

LOCATION: Ranaana, Israel

Seventy-five women, from 12 to 93 years old, of Christian, Druze, Jewish, and Muslim faiths, met to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

"For some, it was the first opportunity to meet with the Other and there were intense interactions of women coming together for the first time. The youngest girl, 12 years old, told me she had never attended such a gathering and she felt shy and happy to see everyone together. The oldest woman, 93 years old, from Furedis, simply kept hugging and smiling and radiating love from her beaming face. A Jewish woman said she felt healed to be in such a gathering. A Druze woman said she'd never been in Ranaana and was moved by the warm welcome. A Muslim woman said it was the first time for her to be with Jewish women like this and she was eager for more."

Read more, and see many more photos, here.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Volunteering for Peace CC

LOCATION: Bethlehem, Palestine

For the 9th year, Volunteering for Peace CC organized an activity for the International Day of Peace. This year it was held at Wi'am Center, next to the Israeli Apartheid wall as a message of peace that we should build bridges instead of walls, and peace will prevail on Earth. The meeting took place with the presence of the Grand Mufti of Bethlehem, Father from the Greek Orthodox Church at the Nativity Church, and heads of local NGOs. Our partners included HWPL (A Koran organization working for peace in partner with Volunteering for Peace and URI MENA), peace activists, non-violence leaders and local media groups who covered the activity.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Volunteering for Peace CC

LOCATION: Gaza

Participants from Volunteering for Peace Cooperation Circle celebrated the International Day of Peace with children living in Gaza, who held up signs proclaiming peace is the way.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: URI Lima CC

LOCATION: Ciudad de San Miguel, Lima, Peru

On Wednesday, 21 September, we held an event of encountering, reflection, and prayer for the International Day of Peace. The event was organized in the environment of an institution of theological education (the Theological Community of Peru) with the presence of a group of students and faculty members of different Christian churches.

Lima CC partnered with several organizations: the Institute of Latin American Studies Wesleyanos-Diaconal Peace and Hope Association; ASHANTI - Red Peruana de Young African Descent; the Buddhist Community "Dharmadatta Community"; and the Theological Community of Peru. 

The event caused us to meet some institutions who are now very interested in being part of CC URI Lima. The development of the event had a very important effect on theology students, as well as members of different churches. For several of them, it was their first experience in interfaith dialogue; an experience that will cause them greater interest in dialogue and peacebuilding. It will encourage learning from value differences that do not prosecute or exclude, but rather values that humanize and unite.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Círculo de Cooperação URI Goiás

LOCATION: Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil

Every year, the CC URI Goiás holds the “Religions and Peace” meeting to celebrate the International Day of Peace. This year it took place on September 18th, and we had a very rich and varied program. We had a very beautiful interreligious ceremony, conferences, debates, music, dance, theater, workshops, meditation and prayers. The meeting was attended by approximately 50 people and had representatives of many different religions and traditions.

Read more and see many more photos here.


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: Campinas CC

LOCATION: Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil

On September 25, we had the "Peace Festival" with several workshops, peace flags, preparation of tree seeds for reforestation, Reiki, Yoga, circular dancing, celebration the day of St. Hildegard, presentation of the goals of URI, and presentation of religious traditions: Islam, Buddhism, Baha'i, Hinduism and Christianity. It culminated with a community meal and a rich festive table of eating and drinking organic and natural foods and beverages, offered by the participants.

Read more, and see many more photos, here.

 


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: Rio Inter-Religious Movement CC (MIR)

LOCATION: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In response to the current scenario of deconstruction of the principle of equality among all people and nature - based on prejudice, xenophobia, discrimination, patriarchy and withdrawal of universal rights, and the use of the influence and force of the State for this purpose - the Brazilian and international civil society promoted, on August 1st, a great Dignity Vigil, in Rio de Janeiro, the city that welcomed the 2016 Olympic Games. Creativity was our floor; hope was our food; solidarity was our strength! Read more and see more photos here.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Foro Espiritual de Santiago para la Paz CC

LOCATION: Santiago, Providencia, Chile

The heart of this event was a participative "prayer for peace" ceremony in which representatives of each of the religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions that responded to the call prayed for peace, one after the other, from their own faiths or traditions. We had members of the Bahai faith, Brahma Kumaris, and Mapuche Spiritual Tradition. We have been repeating this event for several years now and we believe it has an impact in our community.

 


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: Escuela de Amor CC

LOCATION: Olivos, Buenos Aires, Argentina

We gathered pupils from Northlands School, from ages 5 to 11, in the playground, shared about IDP, and asked them to organize in pairs. They had to share a moment in which they had been peace makers. They all were involved in a rich, noisy conversation at the end, in which all of them expressed their wish for peace in the world through singing.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Rio Inter-Religious Movement CC (MIR)

LOCATION: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Brazilian state and society have witnessed, for some years, a growing manifestation of religious intolerance, including physical assaults and destruction of temples and places of religious services, particularly against religions of African origin, an incontestable demonstration of disrespect to the constitutional principles which support Brazilian society. For this reason, took place on September 21, 2008, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the "1st Walking for Religious Freedom: I have Faith", in order to raise awareness. This event was the result of six months of work of a commission established from the evidence of extreme cases of religious intolerance that took place not only in the state of Rio de Janeiro, but also in other states. Learn more and see more photos here.

 


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: Rio Inter-Religious Movement CC (MIR)

LOCATION: Nowa Cumig Native Traditions Center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Here in Rio de Janeiro on September 22nd, 2016, in celebration of the Spring Equinox, we had a beautiful ritual at the Cumig Nowa Native Traditions Center which is coordinated by Athamis Barbara Barbosa. This center is one of MIR CC's partners. We thanked the winter that was gone to welcome the spring.

Learn more, and see more photos here.

 


 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: URI Brasilia CC

LOCATION: Brasilia - Distrito Federal, Brazil

Experts from five continents, emphasizing concrete experiences and actions in favor of peace and human development culture, shared various preventive, intervention or restorative practices. The event honored the pacifist Mahatma Gandhi, bringing his first grandson and accomplished peacebuilder, Arun Gandhi, as a speaker among other honored attendees.

Read more and see more photos here.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Kuxkatan CC

LOCATION: Caluco, Sonsonate, El Salvador

This activity is part of the spiritual approach that is driven from the CC Kuxkatan with First Nations and the Christian Church. The ecumenical activity took place in the midst of a serious climate of violence suffered by the local native community. Just a couple of days prior, the displacement of the indigenous community "El Castano" was threatened by a local gang. Two kilometers from the parish of San Pedro and San Pablo, 65 families were housed in a temporary shelter about 100 meters from the ceremonial activity. More recently, other evictions of entire communities took place in Pachimalco and Cojutepeque; both places with a native population.Therefore, we dedicated our prayers to pray for peace and for the protection of Ajaw (Lord) to the community especially.

The ceremony began at 6 am, followed by breakfast and a screening of the documentary "The Word Maya 2012", a film which remains current in the indigenous world. This was followed by a discussion with the Pastor Loca, the Tribal chief Nahuat Pipil, and leader of the CC Kuxkatan, as host of the documentary.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Circulo De Cooperación para el Diálogo CC

LOCATION: Caracas, Venezuela

Wednesday, September 21, radiocomunidad.com supported us with a special two-hour program, where we talked about how different religions bring values to generate tranquility and peace in their communities. The program allowed us to spread the work of URI in the world and place more emphasis on the Latin America and the Caribbean region. We introduced the main values of the different religions that are in URI as a sign of the respect, tolerance, and dialogue for peace we need in the world.

The guests were: Sahadi Mahfouz Parvati (Raja Yoga), Rabbi Issac Benzaquen (Jewish), Jimmy Rodriguez (Mormon), pictured with Patricia Sotelo (Baha'i Faith) and Fernando Alban, committee chairman cult Caracas (Catholic), and Marina Shinji Tirado, Zen Buddhist nun and host of the Today program.


 

 

COOPERATION CIRCLE: Faith 2 Faith CC

LOCATION: London, England

Faith 2 Faith is participating in Peace One Day’s live Facebook broadcast, “Who Will You Make Peace With?” The broadcast will feature a diverse group of inspirational individuals brought together for IDP to unite global peacemakers and demonstrate the world’s commitment to peace. URI Global Council Chair Kiran Bali will talk about the ways that different sectors of society are utilizing International Day of Peace to raise awareness of their work and to manifest action on the various interpretations of IDP.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Interreligioses Team Osttirol CC

LOCATION: Lienz, Austria

The CC invites all people who do anything good for the world to come to the URI bell of peace and friendship on the local mountain. The event will encourage community and CC members to get to know each other and share information about their work.


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Youth for Peace, Bosnia & Herzegovina

LOCATION: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Youth for Peace organized a Peace Summer School, which brought together 25 participants from Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as 10 trainers from the Cooperation Circle.

In the first part of Peace Summer School, participants had the opportunity to attend different workshops, which were about assertive communication, active listening and inter-religious dialogue. Additionally, participants had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the religious traditions which are present in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

They had a workshop about Islam and Islamic holidays, like Eid, and they had an opportunity to taste baklava, Eid’s traditional dessert. During the workshop about Judaism, participants found out what a wedding ceremony looks like. At the workshop on Orthodoxy, participants had a chance to see an Orthodox wedding. Guests from Italy prepared a workshop about Catholicism.

Learn more and see more photos here.


COOPERATION CIRCLES: URI GermanyDMLBonn CC (Deutsche Muslim-Liga Bonn e.V)Interkultureller Kreis URI Bonn CC

LOCATION: Bonn, Germany

On September 22, 2016, German URI members came together for a peace meditation. They recognized the UN International Day of Peace and prayed for peace and harmony around the world. While dusk was falling and a beautiful Indian summer day gave way to the night, the flowers and manifold plants of the garden as well as the wonderful illumination created an atmosphere of deep peace. Participants were from several German CCs.

"A photo of some of the participants of the URI Germany General Annual Meeting that we had last Sunday, September 18, 2016, in Bonn. We exchanged lots of good activity news and inspiring projects. And of course we also commemorated UN Peace Day. The photo was taken at the midday snack with which we ended the assembly." - Karimah Stauch, Regional Coordinator, URI Europe


COOPERATION CIRCLE: Interkultureller Kreis URI Bonn CC

LOCATION: Bonn, Germany

At Bonn, we celebrated the International Peace Day with a week of and intercultural and interfaith events. "Interkultureller Kreis" CC organized, and also in the name of URI Germany, a gathering in Bad Godesberg City on the 23rd of September. Our Cooperation Circle also invited other groups in Bonn who are working in interfaith and intercultural affairs. 

In the late afternoon we met on the Theaterplace. Twenty-five people stood around the fountain in the center and meditated or prayed in silence for about ten minutes. This action attracted people, who were passing. Then we turned around and explained to the people, why we were doing this: It's the International Peace Day. We are representing a global network of people working for peace and justice between the different religions and cultures.

We invited them to join us at the end to sing all together "We Shall Overcome". When we did this, we again stood in a circle and held hands. This event lasted about half an hour. The guests of a near by coffee house, who sat outside because of the nice weather, sang loudly with us and were very interested in what we were doing. When singing "We'll Walk Hand in Hand," we took the hand of our neighbour. When singing: ""We Shall Live in Peace", we lifted our hands up. That was like a common prayer.

They took our flyer and information, as well as those people who walked along the pedestrian area. This event gave all participants, including those from other organizations, a strong feeling of belonging together and having a common target. The feedback of the participants was overwellming. So I decided to continue with this action every year on International Peaceday, also in other parts of the town of Bonn.

 


 

URI Brasilia CC

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