Peace Story: Music and cultural events to promote peace

Cultural expressions of peace that look beyond religion to the basic values all humans share can promote peace. Events can be designed to  appeal to a wide audience and form a meeting place for people of many different backgrounds to come together.

peace-poster-a4Retreat director and musician Peter Elmberg (center, vocals) set out to create a  music event that would reflect the universal quality  of peace and be appropriate to be performed in churches , mosques, synagogues etc. as well as at public halls and at events at his retreat center.

Peter created a concert based on the twelve poems chosen by representatives of the twelve different religions invited  to  meet in the Franciscan Monastery of Assisi  by Pope JOHN PAUL II in 1986, the UN year of peace.

The Peace Concert performs twelve songs and twelve prayers set to music. Each song transforms into a prayer that everyone is invited to join in singing.

The prayers for peace come from sources that are Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Muslim, Baha’i, African traditional, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist,  Native American Indian and Shinto.

Peter and his musicians have performed the concert many times in packed churches and halls. Concert-goers in Sweden and Norway have appreciated hearing the various strands of the peace message woven from a wide range of cultural sources. One called it “a beautiful manifestation of human goodness expressed by twelve of the world’s most prominent religions”.

Read more:

The Peace Concert

Mundekulla Retreat Center

Video Now is the time with Peter Elmberg

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Peace Story: Post-WW2 reconciliation

Frank Buchman

TIME AND PLACE: CAUX, Switzerland post WW2

THE PEOPLE INVOLVED: Frank ND Buchman was the initiator of Moral Re-Armament, now known as Initiatives of Change.

SITUATION: Buchman returned to Europe after WW2, conscious that lasting worldwide peace could only be established on the basis of a change in personal and public relationships. At this time any contact with the Germans was extremely difficult.

WHAT HAPPENED: Moral Re armament opened an international conference centre in Caux, Switzerland, made possible through the generosity and hard work of hundreds of Swiss citizens. Over the next four years more than 3,000 Germans and 2,000 French came to Caux, and their

CAUX Conference Center

encounters became the basis of a massive development in reconciliation and reconstruction.

END RESULTS: Buchman was later decorated by both the German and French governments for his contribution to European reconciliation. The story of one them, Resistance leader Madame Irène Laure, is told on video – and is also available as a book. The conferences at Caux, and similar ones at Mackinac Island in the United States, achieved further public recognition through several other major contributions to international developments in the post-war years, notably the part played in the reconciliation of Japan with her South-East Asian neighbours, and in the achievement of independence by several African countries without major bloodshed. By the 1950s, casts of plays presenting MRA’s ideas were travelling all over the world.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

See the IOFC website under history

PEACE EDUCATION

Even if we provide a roof over our own and our family’s heads, and even if we can food sufficient  food on the table, for our lives and for society to function we still need peace.

Peace Ambassador Prem Rawat set out to create a simple education program to help people discover their own inner resources—innate tools for living such as inner strength, choice, and hope—and the possibility of personal peace.

Together with a team from TPRF – the Prem Rawat Foundation – they created a curriculum that consists of 10 videos, each focusing on a particular theme. The videos form the main material for customized, interactive workshops that are are non-religious and non-sectarian. The content of each theme is based on excerpts from Prem Rawat’s international talks. The themes are: Peace, Appreciation, Inner Strength, Self-Awareness, Clarity, Understanding, Dignity, Choice, Hope, and Contentment.

The DVDs come with accompanying workbook and facilitators manual in many different languages.

Peace Education Programs have been run in many different situations including Civic & Government Groups, Community Groups, Corporations & Foundations, Correctional Facilities, Education, Health & Wellness, Police & Law Enforcement, Seniors, Special Groups and Veterans.

Participants have enjoyed the course and have been overwhelmingly positive. For example, a Peace Education Program run in the UK at London’s Thameside Prison volunteer Tony McLean says; “out of the 140 participants, four didn’t complete the course—less than 3%—so overall, it’s been a huge success”.

In a recent interview Tony went on to say, ” it’s had a wonderful impact. About 140 inmates have participated in all the sessions of the 10-week course. Many inmates have low self-esteem. They come from backgrounds where they have not been respected at all, and a lot of them feel they have never been listened to. Many of them have never really listened to anything either. With the Peace Education Program, they have learned to start listening. It takes less than a minute in any one session for the participants to calm down and pay attention. They are usually more than happy to make comments and many like to express themselves after having studied the materials. Their self-esteem seems to be increasing and many express themselves eloquently.”

The TPRF website lists a wide range of endorsements coming from different parts of the world and people in different situation.

Find out more here:

Peace Education Program