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Interfaith Programs

IAPD-Korea Joins Interfaith Assembly in Taiwan

Korea-2019-07-20-IAPD-Korea Joins Interfaith Assembly in Taiwan

Taichung, Taiwan—The Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) and Korea Religions Association participated in the 19th Religion and Peace Life Camp for religious harmony and peace, held in Taichung, Taiwan from July 17 to 20, 2019. The event, which brought together more than 300 religious leaders from eight countries—including Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, the Vatican and Thailand—was organized by the Taiwan Conference on Religion and Peace (TCRP).

Over 30 representatives came from Korea, including Mr. Hyeon-Yeong Lee, president of the Korea Religions Association; Mr. Dae-Bong Kang, president of the National Confucianists United; Sangsan Sunim of the World Buddhist Sangha Youth; Dobong Sunim of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism; Uryong Sunim of Yong Su Seon Won; Mr. Gwi-Sook Heo of Dangun Temple of Cheongdo under Daejonggyo; Mr. Jeong-Gyu Lee, regional chair of Korea Chollikyo, of Choongcheong Province; Seokjeong Sunim of the Korean Buddhist Taego Order; and Mr. Bu-Hee Lim, president of the Korea Council of Religious Women.

Twenty-some religious leaders came from Japan, including Mr. Eiji Tokuno, president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU)-Japan. Attending from Taiwan were representatives from Yiguandao, Buddhism, Catholicism as well as from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, and the Lord of Universe Church.

Mr. Yao Ching, chairman of the board of directors of the TCRP, said in his address: “If the purpose of religion is to light the world, it is up to us to join forces and make that light shine even more brightly.” He went on to express his hope that the camp would be an opportunity for everyone to find a way to understand and live harmoniously with one another.

Mr. Lin Ching-Chi, director of the Civil Affairs Bureau of Taiwan, stated in his congratulatory remarks: “I welcome you, coming from all parts of the world. The reality of politicians is that we have not been able to [make progress] because we have been unable to unite as one. [However, I see that] you religious believers have transcended everything under the single word, peace.” He also expressed his hope that the camp will continue and grow to become a great camp that can move the world.

Father Antonello Fanelli, who came from Italy as a representative of the Catholic faith, said: “My heart is ready to overflow at the thought that I am here with other believers of diverse religions. I believe that this gathering, which is not restricted to just one religion or ideology but transcends all for peace and is moving toward it, is truly a gathering of leaders required on this day and in this age.”

Next, Father Michael Roy of the Catholic Church, who came as the representative of the Vatican, stated: “Peace is the most essential requisite of the future. For that future, we need to continue our activities for peace. The fastest way for us to do so is to understand and accept one another. I hope that this camp will be an opportunity for us to make interspersed peace into one.”

Mr. Eiji Tokuno of FFWPU-Japan said: “In every century, the world faced certain difficulties and was in a state of constant tension. Under such circumstances, what always took the lead in bringing about peace was religion. When religions come together as one for a peaceful life, it gives hope to every person in the world. I hope every religious believer attending this camp will carry out their own small campaign for world peace, and become the world’s next great hope.”

Mr. Hyeon-Yeong Lee of the Korea Religions Association, who represented the Korean participants, said: “Although you may have diverse opinions, you have become one through this camp. It is my hope that you can come to understand each other’s religions and unite as one in your dream for peace, and that this camp will facilitate many future exchanges between you all.” In his remarks, he also introduced the activities of the Korea Religions Association and asked all the participants to pray for one minute for world peace and religious peace.

Sangsan Sunim, chairman of the World Buddhist Sangha Youth of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and who was representing different religions in Korea, emphasized the role of religion in realizing world peace and asked for religion to be actively involved in social activities and expand the value of peace by organizing activities with different religious groups and denominations.

When the camp began it had 30 participants and has since grown to become an international conference with participants from around the world.

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