On June 14, the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) and Ministry of Education and Culture co-hosted an interreligious forum in Paraguay. The meeting complemented the recent international conference on “Governance, Ethics and Development” that called on Paraguay to be an example of political stability and economic development based upon shared values.
The meeting focused on interreligious cooperation as a means to address pressing global issues through a spiritual awakening in the American hemisphere. Paraguay has a central role as a nation that has recognized the value and universal rights of all its citizens, including its indigenous population. Unlike other nations, Paraguay has embraced “Guarani” as part of its national heritage.
The meeting also keyed in on Paraguay’s vibrant and active spirituality. In his address Dr. Moon observed, “This is a nation that is not ashamed to recognize the centrality of God, or the importance of the spiritual principles and values that animate and articulate the life of its citizens.”
Dr. Moon went on to explain that this was why Paraguay was chosen to launch the 2008 Global Peace Festival tour, and why he has continued to invest in Paraguay. Dr. Moon believes Paraguay is poised to becoming a model nation in the Americas.
Dr. Moon emphasized the role of the religious as ones who should uphold the moral authority of the nation. He encouraged them to celebrate their differences and work together based on their common values and aspirations.
A primary pillar of GPF’s approach to peace is interreligious cooperation. Today, some of the world’s most volatile conflicts are rooted in religious extremism. At the same time, religion and spirituality are being cut out of public discourse in many developed nations.
Interreligious gatherings such as the one in Paraguay are essential to building consensus among religious leaders on common spiritual principles and values, as well as inculcate the voice of spiritual leaders into the public square.