The Words of the Krasnosumova Family
St. Petersburg, Russia -- The cultural capital of Russia and home of notable Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist places of worship, St. Petersburg has the potential to become a +ACI-city of interfaith harmony,+ACI- according to local UPF organizers. They are planning a Religious Youth Service project in the city during the upcoming World Interfaith Harmony Week, from the end of January through early February 2012.
In 2010, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the first week of February each year as World Interfaith Harmony Week and called upon people of all religions, creeds and confessions to organize activities to promote interfaith harmony. The nine-day project is part of that observance.
There are places of worship of 42 religious groups in the city, including a historic mosque, Buddhist temple, and synagogue as well as Christian churches. UPF offers people living in such a multicultural city and nation opportunities to learn tolerance and respect for cultural differences and exemplify good inter-ethnic and cross-cultural interaction. This project will encourage local young people from diverse religious backgrounds to build good relationships among each other as well as with youth from other nations and other parts of Russia.
Project tasks will include making cosmetic repairs at the House of Writers and a children's sanitarium. Opened in the 1950s, the House of Writers has served Russian writers for decades. At various times, Anna Akhmatova, J. Herman, Joseph Brodsky, and many others have lived or worked here. The renovations to the House of Writers will be a clear illustration of the benefits of cooperation among people of different nationalities, races, and religions for the sake of peace and harmony. The children's sanitarium serves children with psychiatric and neurological disorders.
Local religious leaders will talk about how their religion promotes universal values. Participants will also have the opportunity to visit religious communities in the city, share experiences together, and get a taste of a culture of heart. Working together with other young people to achieve common goals, they will pave the way for lasting peace. Also included in the schedule are a concert and interactive learning experiences that promote tolerance, unity, altruism, harmony, and family values.
For more information about the schedule and fees, contact Tatiana Krasnosumova, Secretary General of the Northwest Branch of UPF-Russia.