Celebrating Peace and Unity at the Mandela Day Forum in Harlem
An interfaith forum at the Church of Scientology Harlem Community Center honors Nelson Mandela’s dream of a society where all may live in peace and dignity.
The Church of Scientology of Harlem Community Center celebrated Nelson Mandela Day, July 18, with a World Prayer for Peace forum, bringing together faith leaders and officials, kings, chiefs, and leaders of cultures and traditions from across the globe in a celebration of cultural harmony. Among the faiths and cultures participating were African traditional and Native American religions, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Scientology.
Faith leaders delivered sermons, each touching on their fundamental religious principles, issues of common concern, and their efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in keeping with the legacy of Mandela.
This forum was an initiative of the African Views Organization, an American nonprofit with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council that focuses on cultural sustainability and harmony. Other organizations represented included the Institute for Peace and Leadership, Inc., Spirit of Peace, the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, World Yoga Community, International Youth Fellowship (I.Y.F) Manhattan Branch, Interfaith Alliance, and International Human Rights Commission Relief Fund Trust.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted Mandela Day in 2009, honoring Mandela’s role in transforming Africa’s struggle for liberation and unity and his outstanding contribution to the construction of a democratic South Africa that honors the human rights of all. Mandela believed, “It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.”
Diversity, religious freedom and human rights are central to the Scientology religion, which includes these principles in its creed and supports programs that forward their accomplishment.
Throughout the afternoon, guests were invited to tour the Church’s Public Information Center displays including The Story of Human Rights, a short film presenting the history of human rights, and brief videos illustrating each of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Church’s Public Affairs Director presented each attendee with a copy of What Are Human Rights? that describe each of these rights in terms anyone can understand.
Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is the youth component of United for Human Rights (UHR). It is a global nonprofit organization founded in 2001 with the purpose to inspire youth to become advocates for tolerance and peace by educating them on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
UHR is a global movement with over 150 chapters and its educational materials, translated into 27 languages, bringing the message of human rights to 195 nations. The Youth for Human Rights public service announcements and The Story of Human Rights educational film air on the Scientology Network in 17 languages and on hundreds of other television stations around the world.
The Church of Scientology and Scientologists support United for Human Rights and make their educational materials available free of charge.
To learn more about the Church of Scientology Harlem and its outreach in the community, watch Destination: Harlem on the Scientology Network.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
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