Over the course of many years, the Stuttgart and Düsseldorf branches of UPF through their interreligious outreach work, have built a close relationship with the Muslim-Sufi MIHR Foundation. This culminated last year with their participation in many Blessing events.
Now it was the turn of the MIHR Foundation to invite the Frankfurt branch of UPF to cooperate with them in organizing a peace forum in Saalbau, Frankfurt-Griesheim. Also on board was the Frankfurt ‘Forum for More Integration’, as well as two other groups working for peace.
The topic of the event, decided on after many preparatory discussions, was “steps towards peace: inner peace, peace in society, peace through and with God”.
On Saturday 13 April, an audience of 300 guests, mostly of Turkish origin, filled the room. To start off with, dancing Dervishes with swirling gowns purified the spiritual atmosphere.
Then the leader of the group in Germany, Dr. Abdulcabbar Boran, with Ender Eker translating, explained mankind’s ongoing struggle between Allah and Shaitan (God and Satan). Dr. Boran, a retired atomic physicist repeatedly emphasized that the Torah, Bible and Koran basically contain the same message.
The presentations continued after two wonderful songs from Lirio Bellabarba. Claus Dubisz, representing UPF Frankfurt, introduced the five principles of peace as understood by UPF, and especially emphasized the central role played by the family as the school of love. Just as children experience unconditional love from good parents, so also is mankind’s relationship with the creator of the universe deepened by a concept of ‘heavenly parents’.
A further two presentations from the other groups followed, before a break in which tasty Turkish delicacies could be sampled.
After the break, the participants had the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers; however only the representatives of MIHR and UPF remained available to answer.
What will surely remain as a lasting memory was the call for repentance in a special ceremony in which all could participate.
All in all, this was an important contribution for peaceful cooperation between religions, a better understanding of certain rituals and ceremonies, and above all, deeper relationships with each other.