TO PROMOTE harmony and peace between all people regardless of their faith, several religious leaders, members of the academe and the city government gathered at Limketkai Luxe Hotel to join the Cagayan de Oro Interfaith Luncheon last Saturday, February 9.
Hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Uniharmony Partners Manila, the interfaith forum was one of the activities in celebration of the 2019 World Interfaith Week which is observed during the first week of February.
With the theme: “Celebrating Truth, Sincerity and Forgiveness,” the participating religious leaders, officials and academe members had a dialogue on important dimensions of the culture of peace, mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people.
In his keynote message, Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro shared the six dimensions in promoting the culture of peace, namely: Personal and Family Integrity; Human Rights and Democracy; Poverty Eradication; Intercultural Understanding and Solidarity; Disarmament and Recession of Hostilities; and Environmental Protection.
“Ang tuyo sa kining mga seminar bahin sa culture of peace na mapamalandongan nato ang kahulugan sa kining unom ka dimension,” Archbishop Ledesma said.
The archbishop also talked about the role of forgiveness in attaining peace and harmony, saying that “there can be no peace without forgiveness.”
Likewise, Monsignor Rey Monsanto, parish priest of Eco Church, said that “forgiveness is the way to attain peace and as all of us make mistakes, embrace and forgive one another.”
Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a took the time to express his gratitude for the contribution and support of the various interfaith groups during the City Government's move to help the evacuees who were temporarily relocated in Cagayan de Oro because of the Marawi siege.
Edwin Sacay, president of the Cagayan de Oro Philippines Stake of the Latter-day Saints, in his message, said that peace should start within the family.
“Ang mensahe nga matag-usa kanato nga ang kalinaw nga pwede nato mapaabot sa uban kung kini magsugod sa atong kasing-kasing sa matag-usa kanato kay dili kita kahatag og kalinaw kung walay kalinaw sa atong kaugalingon. Pero kini magsugod gyud sa diha sa atong pamilya,” Sacay said.
“Tagaan nila og kahigayunan or kung pwede lang, magkatigum ang ilang pamilya bisan lang kausa sa isa ka semana. Magtigum ang ilang pamilya ug maghisgot sila kun unsa'y ilang mga aktibidades nga nahitabo sa mga nanglabay mga adlaw,” he added.
The World Interfaith Harmony Week is an annual event started in 2011 as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly.
Various interfaith groups and peace advocates in Metro Manila formed the Uniharmony Partners Manila to celebrate the World Interfaith Harmony Week by organizing series of activities highlighting best practices and deepening friendship between and among people of different faiths and cultures.