The Second HWPL International Religious Peace Academy (IRPA)

 

The Second HWPL International Religious Peace Academy (IRPA) held lectures on March 2nd and 9th, with 1,456 religious leaders from 96 countries in attendance.

The IRPA lectures were divided into sessions for Korean and international audiences. The Korean sessions covered Buddhism, Protestantism, Confucianism, Anglicanism, and Islam, while the international sessions included Buddhism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism. These lectures, based on respective religious scriptures, were held over multiple sessions to accommodate different time zones and reach a wider audience.

Similar to last yearโ€™s IRPA lectures, each 15-minute lecture discussed common topics. Week 1 focused on “About Creation the Beginning of All Things,” while Week 2 centered on “About Birth, Aging, Illness, & Death.”

 

โ–ฒ Online attendees

 

โ€˜The creation of all things and birth, old age, illness, and death that is, where do people go when they are born, grow old, get sick, and die?โ€™ is a topic that every person of religion is curious about. Religious leaders from diverse backgrounds attended the lectures to explore such questions while learning to understand the different religious teachings, thus seeking common ground. Many of the participating religious leaders also applied for follow-up lectures on other religions in which they were interested in.

Unlike the online-only First IRPA, the Second IRPA included offline gatherings suggested by participants. Some of the participating religious leaders offered their places of worship as a space to attend the lectures together and discuss the topics, thus fostering camaraderie.

The positive responses from attendees underscores the success of the second IRPA:

 

“It seems like all religious leaders are trying to reach the top of the mountain. Although they are going their separate ways, they seem to be coming together as one to reach the top. It is a program with a very good purpose. I was happy to attend (the lectures).โ€

– Lee In-sook, Zen Buddhism monk, South Korea

 

โ€œItโ€™s so great and (Iโ€™m) happy to know everyone, all of you from all over the world. Within two weeks I learned a lot from other religions as well, and I saw that there are so many things that are very new and it promotes that all religions can be common one and get closer to each other. Also, that is the lesson for me for my own religion. And Iโ€™m Buddhist. So learning about other religions will help me to have more knowledge. And also, it will help me to see others in (their) own religion as well. And I want to say thank you to all of you.

Religion direct humans to good things, and if we spread good things to our congregation members, that is awesome.โ€

– Nguyแป…n Trฦฐแปng Thuแบญn, Hoang Phap Temple, Vietnam

 

HWPL plans to continue hosting IRPA lectures that focus on diverse religious perspectives, so that many can experience interreligious harmony and gain a deeper level of respect for people of different religious backgrounds.

For more information on IRPA lecturers and lecture videos, visit the official IRPA website (Korean: http://krpa.hwpl.kr/, International: http://irpa.hwpl.kr/).

 

โ–ฒ Photo taken in Madagascar

 

โ–ฒ Photo taken in Zimbabwe