We are happy to tell you that the "Spiritual Forum of Santiago for Peace" (CC), based in the capital city of Chile, has organized and promoted annually since 2001 the celebration of the UN International Day of Peace in this country. This year the following activities were promoted:
Central Ceremony of Interfaith prayers for Peace in the World: It took place in the evening of 21 September at the Catholic University of Santiago. Representatives from fourteen faith and spiritual traditions (including Christians, Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Sikhs, Sufis, Bahá'ís, and BKs) prayed for peace using their own sacred languages, songs and rituals. Unfortunately this time the representative of Mapuche –the largest indigenous people in the country- couldn’t join us. A multi-religious audience of around 300 people participated in this ceremony. The event ended with all the participants reading in loud voice a Declaration for Peace in the World and singing for peace. Some pictures of this event are attached.
Praying for peace in the communities: communities belonging to various religions and spiritual traditions active in Chile were invited to meet in their own places (churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, etc.) between 21 and 25 September to pray from their own faith for peace, aware that other communities, built upon other faiths and spiritual traditions, will be doing the same in other places of our country and the world.
Celebration of IDP in the schools: This year, counting with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Education and the Chilean Association of Municipalities (which run the public schools across the country) and the active involvement of the civil society organizations grouping the private educational institutions as well as the catholic and evangelical confessional schools, the schools of the country were invited to celebrate the IDP with activities at the class room level and at the school level. Guidelines for the teachers, adapted to students of different ages from first grade of primary education to fourth grade of secondary education, were available at the website of the Ministry. This activity was value oriented, including religious or inter-faith components only if so decided by the educational community.
My wishes of love and peace for all of you
Dr. Gerardo Gonzalez, Coordinator
Spiritual Forum of Santiago for Peace (CCof URI)