UUA President Meets Hiroshima Dharma Center Members
Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association Congregation of North America (UUA), visited Rissho Kosei-kai's Hiroshima Dharma Center on March 8. He addressed 347 members at a ceremony welcoming him.
In his address, Rev. Morales emphasized the importance of work for peace and said he would spare no effort to promote world peace.
At a question-and-answer session after the service, he was asked how people can succeed in living in harmony with others. He said shunning people we dislike can breed hatred and violence, and that we should show them compassion and understanding.
During the worship service, a female member testified to her faith. She survived the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945, at a military facility in the city where she was working. She witnessed the city's destruction and lost her father and sisters. She said she had waited 60 years to describe the anguish these things caused her and that she hoped no more people would experience an atomic bombing.
After the service, another member said in an interview that she had learned a useful lesson about the importance of action as well as prayer for human harmony. She said she would begin putting it into practice at home by being more considerate of other family members.
Exchanges between UUA and Hiroshima began after the city was destroyed by an atomic bomb in the Second World War. UUA sent school supplies to children in Hiroshima. In return, children in Hiroshima sent paintings of their own to UUA. A recent exhibition of these paintings in Hiroshima was attended by many local residents, including Rissho Kosei-kai members. In October 2011, six Rissho Kosei-kai members visited UUA headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, on a mission from the Japanese chapter of the International Association for Religious Freedom.
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