News Release

Peace Camp 2014

Lay leaders from different religious groups who participated in the 1st Quarter Inter-Religious Round Table Discussion thought of coming up with an activity to strengthen friendship and understanding among the young single adults of different faiths.

Despite busy summer schedules, single adult representatives from Islam, Evangelical Christians and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints managed to put together a one day Peace Camp full of fun, friendship and activities which made them get to know one other and to find commonalities despite religious differences.

The camp was held at the LDS Buendia Meetinghouse in Makati on May 8, 2014.  Twenty participants, ages 18-25, represented each of the three faiths.

Participants’ misconceptions and stereotypes were addressed and discussed through faith presentations and group discussions in the morning.  

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More fun activities were held in the afternoon as participants were divided into small groups, each faith represented, to join “Minute to Win It” games.  Their problem solving skills and strength were tested to the limit as they tried to balance and catch 10 pencils on one hand, shoot the most number of tissue papers in a basket, blow a pingpong ball through a hurdle and many more hard to do stunts.

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As the day was closing, each was tasked to share his or her feelings through art.  With pencils, crayons and colored papers, feelings of happiness were reflected on the strokes and colors of their output.  

When sharing time came, the Muslims, Evangelical Christians and the Latter-day Saints (LDS) expressed the joy they felt that day as they gained precious friends. They also emphasized how mutual respect can help build bridges of understanding despite diversity in beliefs.

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Ayan Salva, a Muslim participant said, “The Peace Camp opened opportunities for me to know people of different faiths.  I would like to attend again.”

"Activities of this kind can help promote peaceful co-existence in this nation and will point towards a better tomorrow for the youth. We can prosper in every field of endeavor if we are united. In shaa Allah (God willing)," he added.

"The activity taught me that friendship and respect can lead to peace and harmony in our relationship with others and that we should always work towards it,” added Rizza Origines from The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS).

Shamira Japitana, a conservative Baptist and one of the organizers who helped create the program of activities, was happy with the total outcome of the event.  

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“The Peace Camp is an excellent avenue for understanding people of different faith backgrounds. It allows them to look beyond commonly perceived barriers in order to build relationships that can serve as bridges of peace and a foundation for future partnerships,” Japitana said.

Pastor Randolph Velasquez, a conservative Baptist leader who oversees several Evangelical Christian congregations in the Philippines, concluded the event by emphasizing the need to take extra care of friendship built during the camp and the need to continually work towards building peace and harmony in the community.


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