Birmingham, United Kingdom, July 2, 2023
Around 150 of us met for an Interfaith Service at the Al Mahdi Institute in Selly Oak, which focuses on ‘The Healing Power of Forgiveness’, hosted by the Women’s Federation for World Peace and the Universal Peace Federation. We were such a diverse audience, representing so many of the religions, cultures and ethnicities of our Birmingham/West Midlands region. After 7 women offered prayers and readings from their faith traditions, we heard from Imam Shahed Tameez, Rev Marcia Levine, and Mrs Swaran Talwar, Muslim, Christian and Hindu perspectives on our main theme. These were followed by talks on UPF and WFWP activities, Father Moon’s visit to North Korea in 1991 to reconcile with his ‘enemy’, and youth activities for peace and reconciliation, particularly in the Balkan region of Europe. Five Ambassador for Peace awards were presented to men and women leading very public lives, and £300 was raised to support a Birmingham Mosque community’s efforts to support displaced women and children in Syria. The final hour was a time to enjoy refreshments, renew old friendships, and build many new ones. All in all, a very warm and meaningful occasion, filled with a genuine sense of our being ‘One Family of Humanity’.