FFWPU Norwey, By Steinar Murud, Oslo, Norway, February 5, 2015: Together with one of the local Lutheran churches in Oslo, UPF organized a program around the topic «Religion and Human Rights» on Thursday 5th February. The event was a a part of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.
Around 70 participants, mostly new guests, filled the hall to its maximum. The evening opened with a candle light ceremony for peace. Religious leaders from the Shia-Islam, Lutheran Church, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sunni-Islam attended. Our Catholic vicar was however forced to stay home due to sickness.
Sacred texts from the respective Holy Scriptures were read by the MC, as the candles were lit. A panel of three speakers followed the opening ceremony.
The editor in The Oslo Times stated that Human Rights should be integrated in all religions.
The shia-imam spoke of the rights; freedom, respect and justice. With a quotation from the Quran; «there is no compulsion in religion» he stated that all people should live in freedom.
The vicar in the Lutheran church, as well as the evening’s host, stated that blasphemy is not only to insult God. Even breaking God’s principles, in the form of Human Rights, can also be termed blasphemy.
There were scheduled good time for questions and comments, giving the audience a chance to be involved in the evening’s theme.
The evening closed with a solo song «Let there be peace on earth», before the refreshments and social mingling. The event was covered by the Iraqi Media Office in Norway, by a correspondent from an Indian Newspaper (Scandinavia Samachar) and also from the internet news network The Oslo Times.