Blood shortages due to COVID-19 are prevalent across the world. In January, the American Red Cross declared “a national blood crisis” poising a great risk to patient care. In March, a US-based non-profit organization Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) declared the blood “emergency” due to a lack of the stock of type O blood at only 1-2 day supply and appealed to the public participation in a single blood donation that can save up to three lives.
According to the Red Cross, blood is used for a variety of purposes, including serious injuries caused by accidents, surgical procedures, anemia, childbirth, and cancer treatment. But since blood cannot be artificially produced, experts say the only solution to the blood supply lies in donating blood.
In South Korea, in cooperation with Heavenly Culture, World Peace and Restoration of Light (HWPL), 18,000 members of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and HWPL participated in blood donation for two weeks from April 18th. This number was recorded as the largest group blood donation in the country.
Namsun Cho, head of the Korean Red Cross Blood Services, said, “When the impact of the Omicron reached its peak, Shincheonji Church of Jesus launched a large scale of blood donation. It was like rain during a drought. We are surprised that the number of donors exceeded 6,000 in 3 days and more people participated. We appreciate their life-saving dedication.”
“They did a really great job in the life-sharing movement. This scale is equivalent to one army corps donating blood for a year. The number of blood donors is nearly four times the number in a normal day, a great help in overcoming the current blood supply crisis,” said an official from the Blood Services.
“We also appreciate the members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus who participated in the nationwide plasma donation for the development of a treatment for COVID-19 back in 2020,” he added.
In South Korea, blood donation certificates are issued to blood donors. The certificate can be used when paying for a blood transfusion so that the transfusion fee to patients is deducted. All the donors of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and HWPL also donated their certificates to alleviate the financial burden of patients who need blood for treatment.
Shincheonji Church of Jesus, headquartered in Gwacheon, South Korea, is contributing to the communities through volunteer activities including plasma and blood donations, although the church suffered greatly from the initial stage of COVID-19 pandemic.
HWPL, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, is a non-governmental organization under the UN Economic and Social Council and Department of Global Communication is carrying out long-term peace projects through education, relief, and youth empowerment based on solidarity with civil society and international organizations in 193 countries.
Press-release of the HWPL
International NGOs Urge International community to Enact International Law for Peace to End Wars in UkraineFriday, 06 May 2022 13:21
Organizations from all over the world gathered at the “International Conference on the Restoration of Peace in Ukraine” hosted by international peace NGO, HWPL and Business Woman Magazine
As Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues for more than 50 days, the international community is seeking and proposing ways to end the war from various angles.
At 11am (GMT+0) On April 21, 2022, Ukraine branch of Heavenly Culture World Peace Restoration of Light (HWPL) and Business Woman Magazine co-hosted <International Conference on the Restoration of Peace in Ukraine> online in attendance with around 500 participants in 15 countries. The conference was held to share the results of humanitarian aid and call for collaborative efforts by the international community to restore peace in Ukraine.
HWPL is a Korea-based international peace NGO associated with the UN ECOSOC and the UN DGC. Since 2013, HWPL has carried out various peace activities for global peace and cessation of war. As a representative example, HWPL announced the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) in 2016 to enact international law for peace and received 'DPCW support signatures' from 176 countries worldwide.
The Business Woman Magazine, the co-host of the event, was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Ukraine, with 30 overseas branches in 30 countries. The magazine introduces business cases of women entrepreneurs worldwide and is certified as the only Ukrainian international magazine by the European Parliament and the European Commission.
At the conference, leaders from all walks of life in Ukraine in a state of war, professors, and journalists cooperating with HWPL, made presentations accusing the inhumane realities of the current war. It included Maryna Popatenko, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine who gave a speech on the topic of “The current situation in Ukraine and requests for international community support,” and Hanna Krysiuk, founder of the international magazine "Business Woman", Professor Rommel Santos Diaz, and journalist Igor Shevyrov.
HWPL introduced the ongoing refugee assistance projects of its partner organizations, International assistance headquarters for Ukrainians, NGO “Poruch”, Charitable Foundation “SWAN”, Women's Union of Ukraine, and encouraged attendees to raise funds for humanitarian aid.
Prof. Rommel Santos Diaz, President of the Dominican Federalist Foundation and Professor of international law at the Universidad INCE said, "HWPL has discovered the document that best complements the charter of the United Nations. Also with the charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), and the OAS’s Statute of International Court is the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)" and he announced the value of DPCW as "A transcendental document that, at this time, would exert a very positive influence as a foundation for the search for solutions in Ukraine."
“I would like to emphasize that there are now about 8 million young people left in Ukraine, of whom 2 million have become internally displaced, many are in hostilities, many have lost their homes, many have lost their jobs, businesses and forced to suspend their studies. They all need special attention and support.,” said Maryna Popatenko who is Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine.
“Right after the outbreak of the war, HWPL condemned Russia’s invasion, which resulted in countless civilian casualties, and urged it to uphold the principles of international law through an official statement,” said Maria Zakharchenko, coordinator of HWPL’s Ukraine branch. She added, “Through this event, HWPL shared humanitarian support and campaign activities to restore peace in Ukraine and will continue to carry out peace activities with the spirit of DPCW. We expect more attention and aid from the international community to support the Ukrainian people.
HWPL emphasized the need for international support for Ukrainian citizens as the war became protracted. HWPL has created an introduction page for fundraising information for partner organizations, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/ngo.HWPL.cis/.
Meanwhile, HWPL Ukraine branch sent groceries such as macaroni to help the students of HWPL Peace Education suffering from food shortages from April 1st. -The goods were provided by the raising funds from HWPL members in other countries. As a result, about 300 people -including faculty and staff- of the schools located in Kherson and Donetsk Provinces received the relief supplies.
From February 25, 54 educators from Iraq, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Yemen, and Georgia participate at the peace education training, twice a week online until April 9. Prolonged pandemic could not stop the peace educators from sharing significant moments together at the joint conference online.
Tamar Corzaze, a teacher at Georgia's Chervantes Aiges School, who completed HWPL peace education teacher's training last year, emphasized the role of educators in promoting students with the value of peace and humanity through peace-building activities, "We all have our own roles in making peace. You don't have to have a special ability or position."
Ethiopia Omort, who attended the training first time this year, emphasized that "the peace education platform is changing the culture of war into a culture of peace, and the corruption should also be changed to a culture of peace. It should be applied to each country."
Despite the growing education divide, HWPL, an international peace organization, held 59 peace teachers' training sessions in 26 countries in 2021, training a total of 392 peace teachers and signing MOUs for each educational institution and online peace education webinar.
HWPL staff who attended the education training said, "HWPL believes education should be a stepping stone for citizens to realize the value of peace. This year, teachers will systematically organize the curriculum and provide education to convey what they learned and felt through the training to students."
Six weeks of training will teach participants the role of peace educators and equip them with tools to tackle the problems such as war, starvation, and the economic and social disparity. Trainees who successfully complete the curriculums will be appointed as "HWPL Peace Educators" and carry out the peace education to students at their respective schools, universities, and institutions.
Department of Public Relations HWPL
In the present era where the safety of individual lives is constantly threatened by widespread conflicts, peacebuilding is currently demanded to develop into a system that promotes the values, norms, and culture of peace for all countries, communities and, individuals, based on the shared principles of coexistence and interdependence of the global community.
'HWPL's 6th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)' was held online on 14 March 2022 with over 5,000 participants, under the theme, Institutionalizing Peace: Building a Legal Foundation for Sustainable Peace.
An UN-affiliated NGO Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), has endorsed combined efforts of governments and civil society efforts that lead to the institutionalization of peace in each society. Its DPCW proclaimed in 2016 has provided a guide to citizen-led peace advocacy, in line with international organizations including the UN, the African Union (AU), and the EU that have stressed normative guidance as a standard for substantial conflict resolution with the participation of women and youth.
As for the need to "build a legal foundation for sustainable peace," Dr. Kamal Hossain, the President of International Law Association (ILA) Bangladesh Branch said, "The precondition for achieving peace is securing peoples’ inalienable rights, which include equality before the law, equal protection of the law, non-discrimination, freedom to associate, freedom to assemble, and freedom to express."
In addition, Ms. Anna Cervenakova, a member of HWPL International Law Peace Committee, mentioned "In the world’s ongoing crisis, governments question themselves, what kind of action would be the best action to take in order to overcome the emergency crisis. The need for human development, by overcoming the public health emergency, climate change, economic decline, restrictions on human rights, brings us to the point of how these burdens are solved by the institutions of the governments. Much of the burdens of the work is, therefore, on the side of the governments, so it is important what are the priorities in their institutional agenda."
As one of the speakers, Prof. Rommel Santos Diaz of international law at the Universidad INCE said that government offices including the Senate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Attorney General’s Office in the Dominican Republic have been working with NGOs for the purpose of the “state’s decision-making for public policies on citizen security and human rights” based on the DPCW.
Responding to prevalent threats from religious conflicts, Imam Moulana Shafiek Nolan in Westridge of South Africa expressed, "(T)he DPCW emphasises the importance of peace between religions and the cessation of religious conflict. The monthly scripture dialogue hosted by HWPL particularly aims to create a platform to break down misunderstandings of religious scripture and practices, mirroring the values expressed in the DPCW."
Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said that wars and conflicts continue to occur since “wars can be triggered if it is allegedly necessary according to the current international law, which is why this cannot put an end to war.” He highlighted that all members of the global village need to be united as one as “messengers of peace” to “certainly create a thing (international law for peace) that can bring about peace.”
On February 28, HWPL issued a statement on Russia's invasion of Ukraine that includes refugee protection and global youth solidarity against war and is delivering it to 192 countries. The DPCW presents principles of peace to be promoted by the international society such as prohibiting the use of force, fostering religious freedom, and civic participation to spread a culture of peace. It highlights that sustainable peace can be achieved through all members of the global society by identifying not only nation-states but also international organizations and all citizens as the main actors in building peace.
For the full text of the DPCW or Statement Regarding Russia and Ukraine, you may visit : www.hwpl.kr
Many parts of the global society is reacting to Russia's military invasion of Ukraine by denouncing Russian President Putin's decision of devastating attack and occupation of the Ukraine territory.
In his presidency, Putin used the military power to invade and control foreign territory including South Ossetia, Crimea of Ukraine, and now parts of the north, east and south of Ukraine, which all challenged the global security and stability.
On 28th, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a South Korea-based international NGO affiliated with the UN ECOSOC and Seoul Metropolitan Government, made a statement to advocate a global cooperation for peace.
Titled “Statement by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) Regarding Russia and Ukraine”, it demands that Russia withdraw all military to its own territory, international community protect and accommodate refugees, and global youth unite for an anti-war movement and peace.
“Military aggression against a sovereign state cannot be a solution to any problem, and the perils of such war and violent conflict hit innocent citizens the hardest, including women, the youth, and children. … Russia must withdraw its forces back to its country … (and we) request all nations to demonstrate their love for humanity by offering help to refugees.”
HWPL has been seeking to construct a global network for peace by building solidarity among leaders and representatives from the field of politics, religion, youth, women and media in the world. Written by 580,000 citizens worldwide, HWPL in 2018 sent out "peace letters" urging the heads of states of 192 countries to demand their participation in cooperation for peace.
On February 26th, the White House announced through a statement that the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States will cooperate to execute an economic sanction to exclude Russia from the international financial system by removing selected Russian banks from the SWIFT.
Ukrainian forces are currently resisting against the Russian military with effective defense, and anti-war protests and voices in support of Ukraine through social media become more widespread throughout the world.
Department of Public Relations (International) HWPL
Amid a global decline in the religious population, a clear explanation of the Bible has drawn more than 140,000 believers to the church and the attention of millions.
“Shincheonji Online Seminar: Testimony on the Parables of the Secrets of Heaven and Their True Meanings” is held by Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. This round of seminars focusing on understanding parables written in the Bible in the New Testament will be on Youtube live-stream on every Monday and Thursday on 4am(GMT+3: local time / 10am Korea Time) from January 3rd to March 28th.
“Parables are the key element to understanding the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. The prophecy of the Old Testament was fulfilled at the time of Jesus in his first coming. Now Jesus left his prophecy of the New Testament to be fulfilled “when the time comes” (John 16:25). We are heading towards the true meaning as the prophecy is revealed,” said an official of the church.
The previous seminars on the book of Revelation for the last three months on YouTube were released in 24 languages and reached 7 million views in 136 countries including 16,000 pastors as participants. Shincheonji Church of Jesus said that 1,200 global church leaders in 57 countries have signed MOUs with the church to boost international cooperation and exchanges for educational support.
As for the signing, Pastor Jerry Hagerman of Wayside Mission Church in Virginia, USA, said, “I want to be able to grow in the word and I want to teach out congregation ... and help bring them from death to life. I want to be one with God's kingdom and have open communication."
In a recent report in December 2021 from Peu Research Center's National Public Opinion Reference Surveys, 3 out of 10 adults in the United States are now religiously unaffiliated. The most affected in the fall in the religious population is the Protestant among Christian denominations that has shown steady decrease from 52% in 2007 to 40% in 2021.
This trend is also reflected by another investigation from Lifeway Research in Nashville that says most Americans consider Jesus as a historical fact but religiously have no biblical knowledge about why he came. According to the report, only 9% of the 1,005 respondents knew that his mission was to give open words (fulfillment) of the Old Testament.
On the other side of the globe, an increasing number of people are affiliated with religion. Contrary to the decrease in traditional denominations, over 140,000 people have joined the Shincheonji Church of Jesus after the Bible education course since 2019 and the subsequent COVID-19.
The official of Shincheonji Church of Jesus said, “Across the world, more and more people are experiencing diseases, disasters, and hardships due to COVID-19, thinking deeply about the meaning of life and suffering. Religion must be able to provide answers to these people. In the religious world where face-to-face activities are limited, education should reach out to every individual in local communities.”
“What the Shincheonji Church appeals to people is the clear explanation of Jesus' mission in the New Testament,” he continued.
(You can watch the seminar by searching “Shincheonji Online Seminar: Testimony on the Parables of the Secrets of Heaven and Their True Meanings” on YouTube or through the link https://www.youtube.com/c/ShincheonjiChurchofJesus)
Press-release of the HWPL
Amid the rise of uncertainty about the present and future of humanity triggered by the pandemic, COVID misinformation, including the lack of trust in the medical field and misunderstanding in the religious world, increases various concerns in daily life.
In the United States, rumors are circulating that the COVID vaccine is the “mark of the beast.” This apocalyptic biblical term is from Revelation 13 and is usually interpreted as being attached to Satan and subsequently diverging from God. Additionally, people regardless of religious background frequently encounter the question – does the COVID-19 signify “the end of the earth?”
Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, announced that it will hold a round of weekly seminars titled, “Testimony on Prophecy and Fulfillment of Revelation, God's New Covenant” from October 18th to December 27th.
The seminars, broadcasting live on YouTube, will provide explanation of prophecies recorded from every chapter of Revelation based on the 5W1H (who, what, when, where, why, how) method. The lecturers include Chairman Lee Man-hee, who has said that he is a witness who saw and heard all the events of the book physically fulfilled in the real world (Revelation 22:16).
Previously, the SCJ Word Seminar held in August attracted 1,700 pastors and 28,000 people globally. “The number of participants at this time reflects their interest and effort to understand the words of Revelation consistently with the words of the rest of the books of the Bible,” said Mr. Kim Shin-chang, General Director of the International Mission Department of Shincheonji Church.
The Shincheonji Church also added that the book of Revelation is written in parables and has not been explained through the real world, but instead only through human thoughts and non-biblical speculative theories which has misguided believers and instigated social disorder. The church also emphasizes that understanding the true meaning of the book of Revelation is to see how the prophecies expressed in parables have been physically fulfilled in the world today according to the Bible.
(Seminar on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/ShincheonjiChurchofJesus)
On September 18th, 2021, the 7th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit was held online. This year's event dealt with the progress of international efforts and the plans to promote the peace agenda in the 'New Normal' era shifting from the post-Covid to the with-Covid.
The organizer of the event, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), has been conducting citizen-centered peacebuilding activities to create “a culture of peace” advocated by the UN and international community to set up an environment of peaceful coexistence since the World Peace Summit in 2014.
This event presented the concerted action for sustainable peace with cases from various sectors such as international law, religion, education, and the media. Also, it addressed international cooperation to overcome the current crisis that threatens the coexistence and harmony of mankind, which has come to the fore during the pandemic.
Peacebuilding efforts led by HWPL to establish legal foundations and international norms for peace through connecting global actors are embodied with its effort to advocate the international law for peace by drafting the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
“The DPCW Handbook enables us to systematically teach international law and the essence of peace to these students and others. It enables them to become lecturers in the following course,” said Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Chief Advisor of Asian Association of Law Professors (AALP) as well as Former Chair of National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh (NHRC-BD), highlighting the need to encourage public discourse on peacebuilding by academia.
In addition to the basic principles of peace assigned to nations to uphold, the DPCW has presented principles that should be dealt with in the present era, such as prohibiting the use of force, fostering religious freedom, and civic participation to spread a culture of peace. In particular, it states that efforts for peace come from all members of the global society by identifying not only nation-states but also international organizations and all citizens as the main actors of building peace.
“We know that it will be hard to achieve peace if we are not all working for it. This is why we need to encourage children, the youth, and adults to prevent verbal abuse and work towards reducing inequalities and eradicating disparities to achieve a more equitable, stable, and peaceful world,” said Former President of Ecuador, Dr. Rosalia Arteaga Serrano.
Hon. Octavia Alfred, Minister of Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training, and National Excellence of Dominica, said that the students learn the necessity of mutual coexistence and cooperation through HWPL peace education and pass on to their friends, parents, and teachers what they have learned. She addressed it also deals with concepts that can develop psychosocial competency skills, such as respect for diversity, order, conflict resolution, and negotiation, so it is being used for teacher's training.
“Our objective is to end wars in the global village and establish peace and make it a permanent legacy for future generations. Without peace, everything that we managed to build would be destroyed. … We should not let this happen. So, to achieve peace, shouldn’t we achieve our objective with the same spirit?” said Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL at the event.
Press-release of the HWPL
On 28th August, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) held “2021 MENA Webinar: Monitoring Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa” to present human rights violence cases throughout the region and find ways to a constant human rights watch. It especially highlighted cases of the vulnerable and minor social group falsely blamed on being a perpetrator of Covid 19.
Honorable. Essam Shiha, chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) shared human rights issues in the Middle East during the pandemic like inadequate healthcare to detainees, vaccination inequality to Palestinians, and suggested a role of all levels of society to build more resilient societies.
And Mr. Mogues Worku, Executive Director of Lem Ethiopia stressed the necessity of education to minimize the gap between the poor and the “Violation of human rights should be stopped be it at national or international level for peace and security of the planet. Education that coined respecting human dignity and human rights should be applied from the lower to the higher level of education system to let the coming generations enjoy peace and security”.
HWPL has stressed the role of states and civil society to ease the tension caused by the pandemic. To find solutions to protecting from violence, HWPL has endorsed international cooperation for sustainable development and raising awareness of peace building, including voluntary work, webinars on human rights in the Middle East, and peace education for students and citizens. Its recent joint statement on Myanmar’s human rights crisis advocated seeking peaceful solutions without armed conflict.
Following this event, there will be the 7th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit for peace and the cessation of war sharing results of a year that help emphasizing the role of civil society to build sustainable peace in a pandemic-hit new normal like this event.
Press-release of the HWPL
“Land of Changes” – After the Civilian Peace Agreement in Mindanao
On 24 January 2014, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) achieved peace to show as proof of their sincerity in their peace work to strive for sustainable peace through peace education and peace culture activities even after the peace agreement. This article will cover the process of HWPL’s civilian peace agreement and its aftermath.
A culture of peace is being fostered in Mindanao, Philippines, a land that has been group-led peace agreement that was signed on 24 January 2014 is being implemented and is raising awareness for peace among the residents. This agreement largely contributed to creating an atmosphere of peace for a peace agreement between the government of the Philippines and the Moro people.
HWPL and Peace in Mindanao
Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL, Chairman Lee Man-hee) has held various events and activities in the Philippines since June 2013, including bringing relief for the slums, holding conversations with religious leaders for interfaith harmony, and establishing a youth network for peace. Amid these efforts, Chairman Lee Man-hee was invited to Mindanao by H.E. Antonio J. Ledesma, Archbishop of Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.
At the time, Mindanao was a battleground of bullets. It was not an easy decision for Chairman Lee Man-hee, an 84-year-old man, to take his life. However, Chairman Lee thought, “I cannot deny this request when I was asked to come for peace as a peace activist,” and transcended national borders, ethnicities, and religions to travel to this region.
January 2014 in Mindanao, General Santos, Philippines. Over 1,000 people, including believers from both religions, students from of the International Peace Youth Group, participated. After the peace walk, Chairman Lee spoke about the necessity of peace to Catholic and Muslim leaders, youth groups, and university professors at a hotel in General Santos.
“God’s will is peace, not war.” He then asked the attendees, “Do you want peace or do you want war,” and had them raise their hand if they wanted peace. When all the attendees raised their hand, Chairman Lee called the Catholic and Islamic representatives to the stage while saying, “Then sign the peace agreement.”
H.E. Fernado Robles Capalla, D.D, Archbishop Emeritus of Archdiocese of Davao, and Esmael G. Mangudadatu, Governor of Maguindanao, signed an agreement for the creation of peace and the cessation of war as the representatives of Catholicism and Islam, respectively, during the spontaneous peace agreement signing ceremony.
The Mindanao peace agreement that was mediated by HWPL proposed a “civilian- centered awareness improvement and action”- based approach to peace. In line with this approach, HWPL began peace activities across the Philippines, including Mindanao, to raise public peace awareness on the universal peace principles of mutual understanding, respect, and harmony. HWPL is also carrying out peace initiatives centered around civil society, including education, religion, youth, and women, in order to eliminate the factors that are sources of conflict and also to strengthen the core values for peaceful development.
Press-release of the HWPL