An inter-continental online peace conference will be held on January 24th, 2021, in attendance with about 2,000 participants from 17 countries, including the Philippines, India, Australia, and South Korea.
The host of this conference is a Korea-based international peace NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) affiliated with the UN DGC and the UN ECOSOC.
This virtual peace conference is organized in commemoration of the 7th Anniversary of the January 24th HWPL Peace Day which was designated by the Province of Maguindanao in the Philippines to celebrate the peace agreement in Mindanao on January 24th in 2014.
The agreement was suggested by Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL and signed by government, religious and civil society leaders to engage in collaboration of peacebuilding efforts to end the decades-long conflict.
Since then, the annual commemorative event such as a grand peace festival, international peace walks, exhibitions of peace in local museums, and inter-faith conferences has taken place to celebrate the peace agreement and raise awareness of peace among citizens in the region.
The event has discussed the history, current issues, and plans for long-term peace in Mindanao as a set of peacebuilding models based on the cooperation of actors in different fields with events that raised awareness of the need for securing sustainable peace.
With the theme of "The Role of Peace Education in Building a Peaceful World”, this year’s celebration, in line with the International Day of Education, aims to establish a global platform for peace educators to implement peace education in the educational system of each country.
Although the event is open online this year due to the COVID-19, more than 2,000 participants, including politicians, religious leaders, social figures, and educators are expected to attend.
The inter-continental conference will include the graduation of peace education students, the peace pledge ceremony, and various addresses regarding the value of peace education.
An official of HWPL said, “Through the 7th Anniversary of the January 24th HWPL Peace Day, we aim to raise awareness of the importance of peace education and culture of peace. It will be an opportunity to revitalize people around the world who are currently experiencing various violence and conflicts, especially since the onset of COVID 19, with a hope and spirit of peace.”
Anyone interested in the event can join by signing up at https://tinyurl.com/HWPLPeaceDayZoomReg until the 23rd of January. The event will be live-streamed through https://www.facebook.com/hwplph/ from 16:00 (KST) on the day of the event.
During the 2018 HWPL World Peace Summit: 4th Anniversary of the WARP Summit around 100 religious leaders from 37 countries who have been participating in the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Offices up to now met on September 19th and held the HWPL Intercontinental WARP Office Meeting. The first 2 Intercontinental WARP Office Meetings were held online, but in honor of the 4th annual commemorative summit major participants from the WARP Office meetings gathered in Korea in a single location and took time to compare their scriptures.
The 1st Intercontinental WARP Office was held under the theme of ‘What is the method to eliminate evil in the scripture?’ and the 2nd Intercontinental WARP Office focused on the ‘Beginning and Origin of All Things’, so representatives of different religions compared their scriptures in these areas. The 3rd Intercontinental WARP Office focused on the founder of religion, which is one of the core topics among religions and faith communities, and a passionate discussion ensued. Also, the live online broadcasting that was streamed in 4 languages attracted the attention of many people.
Around 100 guests from Korea and abroad participated in the meeting and a panel of representatives from Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism discussed the main topic as well as responded to questions from the audience members. The focal point of this discussion was regarding “God”; however, the discussion was not limited to the god of a particular religion but rather expanded to encompass the transcendental existence of any being that is in control over all creation. In relation to the subject of “God” a number of questions were explored, such as ‘Who is he?’, ‘What is the law, cause and origin of nature?’, ‘If God exists, what type of existence does he have and what is his purpose?’, and ‘Why is there no direct communication with God?’.
This discussion first started with an O, X question being given to the panelists regarding ‘Is there a record of the existence of God in your scriptures?”. In response, the representatives of Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism answered with O and the Buddhist representative answered with X. The panelists who answered O were then given time to share about the Creator and how all of creation was first created according to their respective religions. The Buddhist panelist who had answered with X explained that in Buddhist scriptures “the origins are not explained about in terms of a Creator, but rather about human life.”
Second, the question was asked regarding ‘Is the place where God is dwelling recorded in your scriptures?’, to which all panel representatives answered O aside from the Buddhist representative who answered X as with the first question. The Christian panelist explained that at the time of Moses God dwelt in the tabernacle and at the time of Solomon he resided in the temple. Also, the scriptures record that when Jesus came 2,000 years ago he himself was God’s temple and that we are also the temple. The Islam representative stated that, “It is said that there is a throne, but there is no telling where that throne is, but the angels are supporting it. Also, it is recorded in the scriptures that God is closer to you than your jugular vein.”
Third, time was given for audience members to ask questions to the panelists. It was stated that, “in Hinduism God is understood and personified as material things that we can see, and I think there is a problem in limiting God to human thought in such a way,” so the Hindu panelist was asked about his thoughts regarding this issue. The Hindu panelist answered, “God is named by each person individually.”
The final portion of the event consisted of a concert put on by the children’s choir where they sang “Heal the world, We are the world”, showing the heart that transcends religions, races and cultures. All participants promised that moving forward they would all participate in and further develop the WARP Offices in their own respective continents and countries.
These days there are many religions all around the world and disagreements and conflicts between such religions are continuing. Amid such circumstances, many religious leaders are regretful over this harsh reality and are thus putting in passionate effort into uniting and becoming one for the realization of world peace through active discussion. So far WARP Office meetings have been held online and offline in around 200 locations all over the world during the past 4 years. In the future as well, these WARP Office meetings will become the groundbreaking tool for citizens around the world to seek the truth and spread the true value of life, which is a culture of peace.