Church encourages youth to foster unity and peace despite religious differences

“The young people should foster unity and peace despite the differences in religion.”

This was the message of the Peace Camp 2024 held last Saturday, February 3, at the FSY Facility of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tanay, Rizal.

The one-day event was participated by more than 100 young people with various faiths and beliefs, and is part of the 2024 Interfaith Harmony Week with the theme, ‘Celebrating the Spirit of Solidarity and Peace.’

Among those who participated were young people from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Parokya ng Ina ng Laging Saklolo, Archdiocese of Manila Social Communications Ministry, Focolare Philippines, Holy Apostles Senior Seminary (HASS), Fo Guang Shan, and Iglesia Filipina Independiente.

In his message during the Peace Camp, Rev. Fr. Richard Babao of the Archdiocese of Manila Ministry on Ecumenism, explained the importance of the Peace Camp and how it helps them become a family amidst diversity in beliefs.

“We are here to bond, to become friends, and hopefully, to realize that we are all brothers and sisters. After that we realize that we are members of a huge family, where there is no boundary,” said Fr. Babao.

Aside from the usual meet and greet of the participants, the youth underwent team-building activities, which tested their physical, mental, and emotional strength.

Jeirald Somera, 17, of the Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Makati shared that differences in belief is a way of connection to become one in faith.

“What I learned in this peace camp is that, every person (young or old) came together to connect with our brothers and sisters in the faith.”

He further added that, “It made my heart grow fonder because even though we did not know each other personally, we were able to socialized with each one and became one, as we cultivate our talents, and nourish our faith in God. This shows how the Lord loves his children.”

“Love and Harmony treats the cold hearts of anybody,” this was what Migz Ramiro, 18, from Parokya ng Ina ng Laging Saklolo, shared after attending the Peace Camp.

“It was a great pleasure for me to be part of a one-of-a-kind event, whose goal is to promote solidarity and unity of all religions in the world. I learned that no matter what your religion is, ‘a brother’s deed is to help his brothers in need,’ just like how Jesus helped the people around him. Helping one another despite their appearance, beliefs, and culture, is a basic principle, but one of the most humane things to do while we live here on Earth,” he said.

The annual Peace Camp was organized and sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in coordination with the Ministry of Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Affairs (MEIFA) of the Archdiocese of Manila, in partnership with Fo Guan Shan, FOCOLARE Movement, PCEC, NCCP, Quiapo Silsilah, Imam Council of the Philippines, UP Muslim Affairs, Guadalupe Parish, URI, IFI, Religions for Peace, UST, and UCCP.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is known for its advocacy for peace, love, and service. The group also engages in various activities to promote understanding and cooperation within communities. (By Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC | Photo by Beth Marie Cruz-Federigan/Minbistry on Ecumenism | Photogallery )




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