The 1 st HWPL Short Film Festival provides the platform of a culture of peace
Tbilisi – June 4 th , 2016 – The 1 st HWPL Short Film Festival will be held featuring theme of peace at the Amirani cinema. Through the short film festival, anyone who want to express their thinking about peace issue would have chance to present their film works and this opportunity will be culture platform for victory of peace. This is organized Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light(HWPL) which is an international peace organization based on the South Korea.
Many short films are now underway actively and anyone can participate in the contest regardless their age, gender, faith, ethnic bondaries and so on. They are requested to submit from 3 to 10 minutes films until the end of May. The winner of the three nominations will be awarded the Best film, Best director and Best actor prize and there will be special nominations like HWPL Award, ICC Award, Refugee Award and so on. The festival will award all winner statues designed by Mr. George and all participants will get the certificate also.
Through discussion of jury members of the festival, about 10 works will be decided to be screened publically. Every day, a number of artists, film professionals and sponsors are growing with expectation. This film festival is practical achievement of the culture of peace that is specified in Article 10 of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War. As the cultural form of event: It will suggest a turning point in the history of humanity that has commemorated war until now, and it will inspire the public with mentality of HWPL is an international peace organization and leaders from all levels along with the youth and women all work together. HWPL hosted the HWPL World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Summit in September 2014 with around 2000 leaders worldwide and held the ‘Signing Ceremony for the Agreement to Propose the Enactment of International Law’. The HWPL International Law Peace Committee was established and the draft of the international law was proclaimed within a year. Six months later, on March 14, 2016, the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War was proclaimed. The Declaration contains contents such as proposal of answers to religious conflicts and spreading of the culture of peace, and urges for the support of current heads of states. This declaration will also be sent to Giorgi Margvelashvili, the current president of Georgia.
4,000 Recovered COVID-19 Church Members in South Korea Declare Donation of $83 Billion Worth Plasma for Cure
A South Korea-based religious group named the Shincheonji Church of Jesus said that over 4,000 members of the church recovered from COVID-19 are willing to donate plasma for developing a new treatment.
The amount of blood will be about $83 billion worth if the 4,000 patients donate 500ml individually, according to the current transaction in the United States. “It is difficult to accelerate developing a medicine for COVID-19 with only 200 recovered patients who expressed their will to donate blood. The massive donation from the recovered patients in the Shincheonji Church will solve the problem of the lack of blood for research,” said an official from Green Cross Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company in South Korea.
For the first quarter of this year, the rapid virus spread hit the church members in Daegu of South Korea, where the early signs of the crisis appeared with the controversy over the massive visitors from China before the infection of church members.
Mr. Man Hee Lee, founder of the Shincheonji Church, said that members of the church are advised to donate plasma voluntarily. “As Jesus sacrificed himself with his blood for life, we hope that the blood of people can bring positive effects on overcoming the current situation,” said Mr. Lee.
“We had a discussion with the health authorities and tried to establish a plan with details for donation. Some of the recovered members have already donated individually, feeling thankful for the assistance from the government and medical teams. They expressed their will to make contribution to the society,” said an official in the church.
Some local governments in South Korea recently brought lawsuits against the church with allegations that the church did not cooperate with the authorities by not submitting the full list of church facilities and members.
“No evidence has been found that Shincheonji supplied missing or altered lists. And there were only minor differences,” said Kim Kang-lip, vice-minister of Health. Academic researches on Shincheonji and COVID-19 stated that the church “provided the list of its South Korean members six days after it was requested” and “it was initially unclear whether shut down facilities and properties should be included” when the government asked for the lists of real estate.
(Shincheonji and Coronavirus in South Korea: Sorting Fact from Fiction - A White Paper https://www.eupoliticalreport.eu/covid-19-and-the-shincheonji-church-in-south-korea-a-white-paper-reveals-the-truth/)
A Shincheonji media coordinator said the church will cooperate fully with investigations from government agencies.
South Korea reported 12,535 confirmed cases and 281 deaths from COVID-19.
Press Release of the HWPL
Peace Education for Future Generations: Workshop for Educators in Cotabato City
Representatives from the government and educators in Cotabato City from 55 public and private schools gathered at a workshop from January 17 to 18 targeting introduction and expansion of peace education for students.
The workshop was hosted by HWPL, an international non-government organization registered as the consultative status in the UN ECOSOC and affiliated as a partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Philippines.
85 educators from 55 public and private schools in Cotabato City at the workshop developed teaching guides appropriate for each educational level, based on the curriculum drafted by HWPL to provide peace education worldwide and the collaboration of participant experts in the field of education including CHED and the DepEd Schools Division Office Cotabato City.
“We can achieve peace, first in our home, inside our classroom, in school, in our division, in our communities. That's why we are here because we want to promote peace through education,” said Dr. Concepcion Ferrer-Balawag, Cotabato City Schools Division Superintendent.
As for the need for a workshop for educators with international cooperation, Agney C. Taruc, the Regional Education Program Supervisor of Region XII, pointed out the opportunity for “joining the different cultures, different voices and different kind of people that are working to achieve peace in this world” and “bringing people together to work and to move more to achieve peace in Mindanao especially in Cotabato City.”
Teachers at this workshop wrote their lesson plans based on the DepEd guidelines and 12 HWPL Peace Education Lessons implanting such values as diversity, harmony, coexistence, respect and understanding. As HWPL’s global project of “spreading a culture of peace”, the academic sources based on pilot training programs have been applied to 214 educational institutions in 36 countries.
“All students should be taught peace from the textbooks they learn every day, and the teachings of war must be changed and discontinued. How can we achieve peace? Peace begins by teaching students about peace,” said Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL at a press conference, Manila, back in 2018.
Prior to this, a pilot testing was held last November 2019 in 7 participating schools. Since 2016, dozens of schools including the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College established partnership with HWPL for peace education targeted to youth. In 2018, HWPL and CHED signed an MOA to integrate peace education in the curriculums of universities and colleges.
HWPL is an international organization headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea - committed to advancing peace through DPCW (Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War), associated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC). After proclaiming the Declaration of World Peace in 2013, HWPL expanded its peace movement in 70 countries. A few years later, HWPL has reached 127 countries.
The Project to Foster Peace Citizens, Implemented by HWPL Peace Education
Kotebe Metropolitan University implements the peace education to train peace-building citizens in Ethiopia
In December, the professors and students at Kotebe Metropolitan University participated at the ‘Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) Peace Education’ sessions which are also joined by 214 schools in 36 countries. The sessions provided platforms for students and professors to express the significance of peace education and discuss the process of implementing peace education with the visions laid out by HWPL.
Ethiopia is the melting pot country, enriched with the diverse cultures, peoples, and religions. However, such diversity sparked many conflicts in the past, some of which are still ongoing. These conflicts have stripped the country and people apart emotionally, and the Ethiopian government is actively working to peacefully resolve them for the better future of the country.
To bring the peaceful reconciliation in the country, the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia and 9 other states had previously signed MOA with HWPL to implement the HWPL Peace Education. The curriculum is designed to empower citizens to properly recognize the value of peace and take the pioneering role of spreading the culture of peace. Implementing Peace Education is also the practical step toward implementing visions laid out by the Article 10-Spreading a culture of peace, out of 10 Articles and 38 Clauses of the ‘Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)’. Citizens are carrying out the popular peace movement to present DPCW to the United Nations to make it into the international law of peace in the form of a legally binding document. This global movement aims to fundamentally cut off vicious cycles of war and support citizens to promote the value of peace as the universal culture for humanity.
A student who participated at the peace education said, “I learned why peace education is important for resolving conflicts in Ethiopia. It taught me to act as a messenger of peace. It is also important to present 10 Articles and 38 Clauses of the DPCW to the UN to fundamentally eradicate war and conflicts. To this end, we must continue to participate in peace education,” emphasizing the need of peace education in order to peacefully resolve the conflicts in Ethiopia.
After signing MOA with HWPL, the Ministry of Higher Education in Ethiopia is currently reviewing the ‘HWPL Peace Education’ to incorporate and implement it as formal curriculums in all the universities. Addis Ababa School of Science and Technology (AASTU) also held the peace education sessions right after the Kotebe Metropolitan University.
After an initiative to pursue HWPL Peace Education was publicly announced in September 2017, HWPL began signing MOA with every Ministry of Education in need of peace education.
So far, HWPL has signed MOA with the corresponding ministries of 10 countries, as well as MOU with 214 schools in 36 countries, most of which are officially implementing peace education curriculums.
Forced Conversion that Violates Human Rights Becomes an International Problem
On 29 November, Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) from Italy and Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) from Belgium hosted a seminar on human rights entitled “Intolerance and Discrimination Against New Religious Movements: An International Problem”.
This seminar, held in Seoul, South Korea, was devoted to the protection of the rights of religious minorities targeted by the majority groups, particularly in the context of anti-human rights situations such as the forced conversion that occurred in Korea.
Forced conversion, also known as “Deprogramming”, is a social issue that causes human rights violations by kidnapping and detaining the members of religious groups labeled as “cults” by their opponents in order to compel them to abandon their faith.
More than 80 participants including legal experts, journalists, and civil society representatives reviewed the current situation of forced conversion and discussed solutions to defend the freedom of faith and human rights that have become the norm of the international community.
Massimo Introvigne, Managing Director of CESNUR as well as an Italian sociologist, stressed that forced conversion is conducted through the mainstream by saying, “Korean deprogrammers are specialized pastors from the mainline churches, most of them Presbyterian."
"The protests that commemorate the victims from forced conversion were mentioned in the 2019 U.S. State Department Report on Religious Freedom, including violations of religious freedom in the year 2018. However, there were new cases of deprogramming even after their death," he criticized.
Regarding the multi-dimensional strategy to solve such phenomenon, Willy Fautré, Founder and Director of HRWF stated several suggestions; pointing at the responsibility of the leadership of the Presbyterian Church which tolerates, endorses, and maybe encourages such a practice; developing advocacy at the UN and in organs defending freedom of religion or belief; prosecuting those who encourage people to perpetrate an act of abduction and confinement.
In an open letter, signed by 15 international NGOs including CAP-LC and HRWF, to the South Korean President Moon Jae In on July 24th, it said, “South Korea may well be the last democratic country in the world where deprogramming is still tolerated” and asked the President to “investigate in-depth accusations of forcible deprogramming, put a stop to this obnoxious practice, and hold those responsible fully accountable.”
Meanwhile, South Korea was elected to serve the 5th term on the United Nations Human Rights Council on October 17th. South Korea’s mission to the UN said that it plans “to participate in the international efforts to respond to human rights crises around the world.” Participants urged the Korean government to respond to the issue of forced conversion which is still threatening the human rights of its people.
"France Peace Media Network" establishes as an important leverage for global peace
“Journalists, as we are, will now work alongside national, regional and international institutions to make peace an important leverage for global balance.”
On July 27th ‘France Peace Media Network’ was launched at the Ibis Porte de Bercy hotel for providing a media platform for active communication among journalists and media persons who have agreed to contribute to the realization of peace journalism. About 20 French citizens and journalists attended in the ceremony and Mr. Makaila N'guebla from la Maison des journalists who proposed the peace media network made the above announcement as a congratulatory speech about establishment of the ‘France Peace Media Network’.
This network has been organized by an international peace NGO called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) in cooperation with journalists who participated in the last two media forums held in France. Journalists participating in the network will increase the number of regular reports based on ‘peace journalism’, contribute peace contents through a sharing platform for articles and hold regular meetings to discuss ways to implement ‘peace journalism’.
Hamid Chriet, a political commentator of BBC and RT (Russia TV) said, “I do lots of intervention on BBC and RT. It is not easy to talk about Peace in the powerful countries with many interests in it. To make this network goes on we need an online platform that is autonomous and accessible in order to promote Peace. We can develop networking with other nations like gulf countries who are interested in and directly related to the subject of Peace, not just in France.
HWPL the host organization of the establishment of this network is an international registered peace NGO based in the United Nations Department of Global Communications and has consultative status with ECOSOC. With peace and respect for life as fundamental values, HWPL is engaged in a worldwide peace movement through international legislation, peace education projects and providing forums for inter-religious conversation. In particular, peace forums by HWPL have been held 40 times since November 2016 to facilitate peace journalism and peace-related news coverage with 176 journalists from 22 countries.