On November 28th, the “Peace Conference of Religious Leaders in Seoul, Gyeonggi, Gangwon Regions” was held by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) at the HWPL Peace Training Institute in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province.
This event was hosted three days after the successful completion of the “1st Peace Conference of Religious Leaders in Southeastern and Southwestern Regions for the Reunification of Korea” that was held on November 25th in Daegu, and it allowed religious leaders from Seoul and Gyeonggi Provinces to gather together for the common goal of peace.
Mr. Man Hee Lee, the chairman of HWPL, presented about the comparison of scriptures meetings that are currently being held in the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Offices as a solution for interfaith peace, stating “We are all people of the same country and we are all religious people. The religious leaders should not only speak together with their mouths, but we must actually create a history of peace. If we do not receive acknowledgment from God, then the purpose of our walk of faith cannot be achieved. I hope that we can all become messengers of peace and work together.”
He continued by proclaiming that, “Religion is truthful and practical. Religions may have become mutual enemies, but now they must become one based on the will of heaven. We must set aside the individual differences in worship and become one.”
Ho Sun Jung, a Former member of the National Assembly of Korea, celebrated the gathering of the Korean religious leaders for the sake of peace on the Korean peninsula, saying that “This inter-religious conference is important because it is a movement towards achieving a lasting peace that will come after the end of this era of extremism. I truly believe that the WARP Offices are the answer to peace. Moving forward, I hope that the HWPL WARP Offices will become a bridge leading to a future of peace and I sincerely welcome this event.”
Religious leaders who had participated in the meetings of one of the 60 total HWPL WARP Offices located in the Seoul, Gyeonggi, and Gangwon Provinces in the Republic of Korea gave presentations based on their personal experiences. All of them praised the work of these offices as a sure way to bring about peace and reconciliation between religions, and emphasized that this type of gathering was truly essential for the country as well as all regions of the world.
Won Taek Kim, the Secretary General of the Korean Islam Culture Association Corporation, even stated, “I believe that the goals and activities of HWPL are the most effective in achieving peace between religions. The WARP Offices are very important and effective in contributing to both domestic and world peace, so I am currently involved in their activities.” Through this speech, the crucial need for the WARP Offices was understood by all in attendance.
Yoon Sung Choi, the President of the Korea Future Religion Forum, expressed his own experiences, stating “I have been looking for many different opportunities in the church with the expectation of peace, but I thought that it would be too difficult to cooperate even within Christianity. However, after attending the scripture comparison meeting of the WARP Office, I believe that my mind has been changed. I believe that these meetings will become a part of history not only in Korea, but also in the whole world as they are already being conducted worldwide.”
Yong Gi Bae, the Vice President of The Senior Sungkyunkwan Class of Confucians, explained “We have been attending the meetings of the WARP Office for the past year and a half as a representative of Confucianism.” He continued by saying that, “80 million Koreans have crossed the time of the Cold War and they now have become the arena of a Hot War. In such a reality it is time for all the religions to stand together hand-in-hand in order to stop conflicts and slander and bring an end to war in order to build a peaceful global village.”
Finally, HWPL, an NGO registered under the UN ECOSOC, in combination with the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) and the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) introduced the process of building a network of cooperative governance linking governments, civil society and international organizations for the purpose of international peace and security.
At the end of the conference the participants joined hands and raised them together and then concluded the event by pledging to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula as well as all around the world.