News Release

Church, Interfaith Group in Cebu City Launch Celebration of 2020 Year of EIDIP


Religious diversities are facts of life but despite differences, young single adults of the Cebu City and Cebu Central Stakes (dioceses) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined together with other faith organizations in the inauguration of the 2020 Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous People (EIDIP).

Held on 24 and 25 November 2019 at Plaza Sugbu, more than 650 youth were in attendance. The next day, thousands of participants flocked to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral for the official opening.

Archbishop Palma, in his message, encouraged everyone to build unity and love with each other despite differences. Meanwhile, Tito Linao III, youth coordinator of the Cebu Diocesan Youth Coordinating Council, shared, “Friendship is really important. It serves as a gateway of deeper understanding and deeper relationship.” Linao further explained that when religious communities reach out to others and build friendship, understanding and respect foster.

The purpose of the event was to enrich the friendship between the interfaith leaders, build good relationships among the youth as well as to prepare for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021.

In addition to the youth delegates, religious leaders from different denominations attended the event, including President Conrado Ordesta, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Venerable Master Zhi Jing, Fo Guang Shan Chu-Un Temple; Rev. Alvin Jovita, United Church of Christ in the Philippines; Pastor Apriniel Salmon, United Methodist Church; Dr. Humaida Jumalon, Baha’i Faith; and Nizamuden Ali, Islam. Rev. Fr. Alvin Raypan, Archdiocese of Cebu, hosted the guests on 23 November while Archbishop Jose Palma, still of the Archdiocese of Cebu, led the official opening on 24 November.

President Christian Yongco, a member of the Cebu Central Stake Presidency, expressed his feelings on the importance of building friendship with those of other faiths. “Instead of creating walls, we can create bridges of love and support regardless of what faith we belong,” he said.

Also present in the activity was Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella. He said, “When it comes to our faith and beliefs, there is no division, we are one together.” Mayor Labella then expressed his appreciation to the interfaith group for the example of building a community of unity and respect in the religious community.

Vivian Sabillo, a Latter-day Saint youth from Cebu City Philippines Stake described her experience as “pure and innocent friendship.” She also added, “Despite our differences we became one as if we all have known each other even before and it served as our reunion.” She is grateful that she  attended the event and met new friends.

About the Panaghugpong: Enriching Friendships “A Festival of Faiths”

The event was the result of fruitful years of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue among the Roman Catholic church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, United Methodist Church, Buddhists of the Fo Guan Shan Chu Un Temple, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Baha’i Faith, and Iglesia Filipina Independiente.

Additional Resources

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