News Release

Church, Interfaith Leaders in Davao Celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week

To foster friendship and advocate for peace among the different religious sects in Davao City, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized a Uniharmony Luncheon in celebration of the annual World Interfaith Harmony Week.


Held on 27 February 2019, religious leaders from different faith beliefs and traditions gathered at the Saranggani Function Room of Marco Polo Davao to share messages about “Celebrating Truth, Sincerity and Forgiveness” as the main theme.

Pastor Jaffet Ligario of the Seventh Day Adventist church imparted the keynote message, saying, “We come from different perspectives, upbringings, and spiritual cultures and religious disciplines. Add up our respective temperaments and personalities. We may discuss and debate, we may even fight- at the end of the day, and the dust is settled, we are one family. Just like the Hebrew people differed in their understanding of truth with the Midianites with Jethro, even with the patriarchs of old, with the fundamental beliefs uniting them, we, all too, are God’s people, united under one faith in Him, one love and one brotherhood of growing in His truth.”

Other leaders also shared a short message. Elder Michael John U. Teh, a member of the Philippines Area Presidency of the Church said that one thing in common among everyone present is that “we all believe in a Supreme Being. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we follow Jesus Christ as our example. We consider everyone our brothers and sisters and we love each and everyone despite our differences in our faith practices and traditions.”

He added that he is hoping that the meeting will be the start of a “productive cooperation among good people with sincere desires in their hearts to spread goodness and love.”

The objective of the luncheon was to form an interfaith core group with the hope of bridging the gap between different faith groups and uniting common interests for the benefit of the communities they serve.

The realization of this objective proved promising as the activity had a positive turnout, which showed a high interest among the religious communities for creating such a group.

“As an initial attempt at interfaith dialogue, the Uniharmony luncheon was both promising and challenging. The number of participants present, the faith communities represented, the genuine desire of each one to bridge the cultural gaps through the search for commonalities, and the openness for future encounters gives me hope for a fruitful and mutually enriching dialogue among peoples of different faith here in Davao,” said Alvi Viadoy of the Focolare Movement.

Meanwhile, Marielle Macapawa of Brahma Kumaris shared, “It was such a good gathering represented by each faith. Even if it's a gathering of different faiths, I felt we are one in accepting and respecting each other. I feel it is the beginning of a good working relationship on the grounds of brotherhood belonging to One Supreme Father.”

Leaders and members from the Islam faith, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Episcopal Church, Brahma Kumaris, Sikhism (Davao Sikh Indian Temple), Focolare (representing the Roman Catholic), Seventh Day Adventist, Pathway to Jesus, Buddhism (Long Hua Temple) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended the historic event.

Moreover, Davao City Councilor Pilar Braga, officials from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos XI, officials from the National Commission on Indigenous People XI, and friends from the media were present.

The event ended with a positive note thanks to the participants present and the desire to continue the interfaith dialogue among other faith groups.

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