The 1st HWPL Religious Youth Peace Camp in Zambia
Religione: Breaking Boundaries
On September 22, the first Zambian Religious Peace Camp, hosted by HWPL, was held at the Taqwa Islamic Center Trust located in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia under the theme of “Religione: Breaking Boundaries.” Religious leaders and youth organization members gathered in one place to resolve conflicts through religious and cultural exchanges.
Around 140 people, including 7 leaders from Islam, Catholicism, and Hinduism who support religious peace, attended the camp, and experienced and learned the scriptures and culture of Islam.
The camp started with the greetings of each religious leader, then people were split into groups regardless of their religion. Then there were ice breaking and peace-related recreational activities, an introduction to Islamic religion, and a mosque tour. The participants were able to personally experience the Islamic religion and culture. There was also a program to broaden the understanding of religions, such as learning the history of world religions and finding solutions to the root causes of religious conflicts.
Swami Guneshananda, the Spiritual Director of Ramakrishna Vedanta Center in Lusaka, said in an interview, “Each and every religion is talking about peace, love, and cooperation. People in the world are fighting about the small things, as well as geographical and economical gain. Let us love each other, and to do that, we must become one. WE ARE ONE.”
Another participant, Father Benjamin Itungabose, a Priest at Good Shepherd Kabawata Parish Church, shared, “For me, the most wonderful moment was when I met with my colleagues at the online WARP Office meeting. Also, what is more important is the warm welcome we received in this amazing mosque. Communication between the religious leaders was good, especially the host who taught us about Islam shared many things, including what Islam is. Spiritually, it is like a religion, because we all teach peace, mercy, love and harmony.”
Christian Nation Radio reporter Betty Kakoma said, “Today, I was very happy to see religious leaders and believers gathered to talk about peace and how to work together as one humanity. I learned that together, we can have a stronger voice. I learned a lot from other religions. These are some of the things that I can collaborate with HWPL as a journalist.”
Most religious scriptures all contain the values of peace, justice, human dignity, respect, and harmony. The Religious Peace Camp was more meaningful in that religious people can achieve harmony between religions by focusing on and understanding the values contained in different scriptures.
The Zambian Religious Peace Camp was hosted to promote the importance of religious harmony emphasized by HWPL to end the ongoing religious conflicts, eradicate discrimination and persecution by resolving misunderstandings and conflicts arising from ignorance between religions, and spread the culture of peace based on a correct understanding of each religion and ideology. Aside from the Religious peace Camp, the HWPL WARP Office Meetings, a scriptural comparison discussion to achieve religious peace, have been hosted once a month in Zambia since 2015.