Rev Kato explained the religious tension in Nigeria during a comment in the Africa Day celebration, 'There are good, peace-loving people in our society. But many people think, "Why does Christianity want to overcome the Islamic faith?" or "Why is the Islamic faith oppressing the Christians?".
Africa Day was celebrated in a Universal Peace Federation (UPF) - UK organised event yesterday with a variety of perspectives in a packed House of Lords committee room kindly hosted by Baroness Howells of St Davids. The event was also graced by a visiting Nigerian UPF delegation. Speakers included Ms. Belinda Otas, a versatile journalist, writer, editor, cultural critic, and an independent blogger and Mrs. Charlotte Simon, co-founder of Mothers of Congo, who is from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr Aliu Bello, who worked for UNICEF for 25 years, commented on 'Less Than 1000 Days To Go to Fulfil MDG's and What Comes Next for Africa after 2015'. Hon. Salisu Ahmed Bara u, Commissioner of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Community Relations in Bouchi State, Nigeria also addressed the gathering on 'Countering Religious Tensions in Nigeria'. Mr Mark Brann, European Secretary General of Universal Peace Federation presented a UPF perspective on 'Africa Day 2013 and the Relationship of Europe and Africa'. Mr. Olaleye Alao, National President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, Nigeria also commented on the relationship of Africa and Europe entitled, 'Africa Day - The Work of God Can Never be Destroyed' concluding in song.
There was a brief consultation meeting on the 16th of May with a group of over 15 Ambassadors for Peace from several faiths. At the table, Robin Marsh, started with welcoming remarks and explaining a paper with a list of upcoming events. After discussing the programme of activities, each shared how to make the events successful. It was very inspiring. Then the talks became more profound as everyone gave short reports on what they do and their motivation for doing those activities. Andreas Bachofner, a Charitas Children Hospital - UK Trustee, told us how the hospital is going on. He emphasised that the doors are always open to serve the local people. He added that the Hospital staff are better off than most people in the area. Unfortunately, the major issues for us now are operational issues. – we need people that will work, and money to run it. At the moment they find money when there is a project or when we bring in something new, like a machine, but no one wants to help for day to day expenses that’s generally the challenge.
Universal Peace Federation (UPF) European Secretary General, Mark Brann, spoke of the relationship of Europe and Africa. He emphasised that UPF's vision of peace relies on '...the two most profound principles that we seek to live by and to promote are first, the need to think and act as "one human family under God" and to learn to "live for the sake of others".' He added that, 'UPF is based on the vision that humanity was created to be "One Family under God" in which there should be none of the divisions and barriers (of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality and culture) that currently separate and divide us and lead to such destructive conflict, but one in which all humankind can live as one, sharing all of its riches (both material and spiritual or cultural) for the benefit of all.' (Photo Link) (Smile Photos Link)
'I was not into women's issues when I was elected as an MP at age 29. I was passionate about global poverty, peace etc. That lasted until I was about one hour in Parliament. Then I realised I could not keep quiet', Baroness Oona King explained last night, as the Universal Peace Federation celebrated the International Women's Day 2013 in the House of Commons. There were a number of prominent women figures speaking including Lady Fiona Hodgson CBE, Baroness Sandip Verma, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Climate Change, Baroness Oona King and Baroness Meral Hussein - Ece OBE, Seema Malhotra MP, Charlotte Simon, Co Founder of Mothers of Congo, Cllr. Mrs Mimi Harker, Mayor of Amersham OBE and Brita Fernandez-Schmidt, Executive Director of Women for Women. We are grateful for Mr Virendra Sharma MP for hosting the event.