Korea, Seoul, 19 September 2023 (ANC): the 6th International Religious Leaders’ Conference – Religious Peace Academy (RPA): Platform for Comparative Studies on Scriptures held in Seoul, capital of Korea 2nd day program addresses different global religious leaders. Today, religious leaders gather for a world peace summit forum to search for answers to the daunting challenges of our time. Here, Maulen Ashimbayev, the Speaker of the Kazakh Senate, explains why it’s time to work together for peace.
According to religious leaders’ messages, Imam Ibrahima Doumbia, Imam of Mosque Ashaboul-kissah Odienne, Côte d’Ivoire, presents Expansion of Comparative Scriptural Knowledge: HWPL WARP Office and Religious Peace Academy.
Our world, besieged by war and conflict, desperately needs the message of peace and tolerance. Battles take lives, destroy schools and homes, and devastate fields and factories. But they also divide and polarize entire regions, continents, and the world. This is why HWPL established and hosts Korea, the world’s religious and spiritual leaders, every year. The 6th International ReIigious Leaders’ Conference issues an appeal for peace, understanding, and inter-ethnic and interfaith harmony in the name of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other world religions.
HWPL introduced a new form of religious peace dialogue for the world called the Religious Peace Academy. The Religious Peace Academy is a comprehensive program and sustainable approach to deeper scripture-sharing that came out as a product of the WARP Office that facilitated the detailed presentation of the philosophy, practices, beliefs, and cultures that are based on the scriptures of the Muslim, Christianity, and the Hindu, specifically, the Hare Krishna Movement religions. Religious Peace Academy began during the height of the pandemic. Instead of slowing down, we doubled our efforts to contribute to peace in the field of religion. This platform has been critical in building bridges between Christianity, Islam, and other religious communities when terrorism and religious extremism threatened a deeper rift.
According to world religious leaders’ message
Furthermore, we need to enhance education about different religions, raise a young generation not afraid of the differences between faith communities – and manage political differences in a civilized and respectful way.
Religious Peace Academy, Imam Ibrahima Doumbia, Imam of Mosque ashaboul-kissah Odienne, Côte d’Ivoire address. RPA aims to educate religious leaders about the teachings of different scriptures to look for the truth, in which scripture clearly explains the will and plan of God according to what was written and how it came to be a reality. RPA has institutionalized the approach to understanding God deeply according to the scripture. RPA will soon become an educational institution that will educate the people about God’s truth according to the scriptures.
“Fostering the Culture of Studying Other Scriptures to Achieve Religious Peace and Roles of Religious Leaders” raised by Venerable Phra Sithawatchamethi, Deputy Abbot of the Royal Monastery Wat Pa Lelai, Thailand. According to Wat Pa Lelai, most of the parts about salvation in other scriptures are recorded in parables. It made me more interested in exploring the different scriptures and determining their commonalities and intersections. This opportunity to have comparative knowledge of other scriptures allowed me to interact better, communicate, and bridge the gap between the members of other religions and our congregation, who enthusiastically attended weekly RPA meetings, listened attentively, and asked meaningful questions about the lessons presented.
“Expanding Mindanao Peace Activities among Religions Through the Philippine Religious Peace Academy,” The Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, Archbishop-Emeritus of Archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro, Philippines, presented. We enshrined these same principles in the forum for religious dialogue in the world, the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions: to establish peace, harmony, and tolerance as the unshakable principles of human existence; to pursue mutual respect and tolerance between religions, confessions, nations, and ethnic groups; and to prevent the manipulation of religion to escalate conflicts. We believe this is a positive experience worth learning from.
HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee said, “I became convinced that we truly believe in the same one God, and that the ultimate goal of the human life is to get to know the Supreme Creator and learn how to love Him above all. Furthermore, I also realized that all bona fide religions should teach the highest goal of life, which is to know God and learn how to love Him. I was able to understand how God works. A trustworthy scripture must teach the truth. And it expanded my realization and embraced my brothers and sisters of other religions.
Through RPA, I found that the basic concepts of God, who is the cause of all causes and the Creator of everything in all religions, are the same but different in how the details are explained. According to the HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee, the Supreme Godhead, who is omniscient, knows the past, present, and future. Who is also called omnipresent, present in everything, and everything happens due to His supreme will.
In the Bible, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. The Quran states that everything Allah says will happen according to his will. As a result, only one God is known by many names, including Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Buddha, Elohim, Krishna, and many more.
According to HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee, its strong message is heard around the world to remind societies that what unites us is more significant than what divides us – that every human being needs freedom of belief and mutual respect for us together to build a lasting peace.
Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and other world religions were represented at the the 6th International Religious Leaders’ Conference – Religious Peace Academy (RPA): Platform for Comparative Studies on Scriptures. This year, world religious leaders and politicians were among the renowned guests.
“The main result is that we are sitting together, we are speaking together, and we understand that to find solutions for the problems in the world is not by fighting, is not during by war, but sitting together and speaking,” The Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma Archbishop-Emeritus of Archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro, Philippines said to the conference.
One of the conference’s goals is to reintroduce the language of reconciliation and peace to a world shattered by conflict and tragedy. It also strives to put religion in the spotlight as a tool to help defuse confrontations.
The final declaration of the conference calls upon world leaders to abandon all aggressive and destructive rhetoric that leads to destabilization in the world. It demands a cease from conflict and bloodshed in all corners. It says that extremism, radicalism, terrorism, and all other forms of violence have nothing to do with authentic religion and must be rejected.
The conference participants describe the program as a symbol of hope for the interfaith dialogue to grow and bring about change, unite different communities across the globe, and inspire people to join their efforts in the name of peace.
“We talk about global peace, but I would say those steps begin at the local level,” says Sheikh Haji Ibrahim Tufa, president of the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council’s special representative. “They begin in every small town where Christians and Muslims perhaps [live] together; they seek to feed the hungry. So, we have a common goal, but we are no longer looking at our differences, but are recognizing our common concern for those who struggle or suffer.”
The conference participants hope their appeal for global dialogue, reconciliation, and peace based on common values of humanity, shared by all world religions, is heard globally. Finally, the Appointment Ceremony of HWPL Solidarity of Religions’ Peace Committee was recognized on the stage.