World Interfaith Harmony Week Observed at a Forum in Japan

Tokyo, Japan - About 25 religious leaders attended the 60th Interfaith Forum hosted by the Council of Religious Ambassadors for Peace.

Leaders representing Shintoism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity attended the forum, titled "The Mission of Religious Leaders at This Critical Juncture," which was held on Jan. 29, 2015, in the Shinjuku special ward of Tokyo. The vice chairman and board members of the Council of Religious Ambassadors for Peace also attended.

Mr. Sotoji Maeda, adviser for the council, described the significance of the forum by saying: “In order to create a culture of peace in the world, different religious traditions need to pay respect to each other, promoting mutual dialogue and collaboration. This is the proposition of UPF’s founder, as well.”

The forum opened with “Prayers for Peace” in commemoration of the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week. Ven. Taishu Nara, a Shinto priest and vice chairman of the council, offered the first prayer, followed by representatives of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. The session concluded with the recital of a prayer of UPF Founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon.

Mr. Seiichi Kikuya, secretary general of UPF-Japan and the Council of Ambassadors for Peace, reported on the organizations’ activities in 2014 and plans for this year. He stressed the roles of religious people within the vision and mission of the Ambassadors for Peace movement. He emphasized this year’s nationwide campaign toward rebuilding families under the slogan: “Nurturing people! Building families! Establishing the nation!”

Some of the participants’ responses: “At this critical juncture we need to deepen our understanding of the world’s religions, especially Islam, associating with moderate Muslims. Let us invite more Muslim participants!”

“This forum is indeed precious, as it is one of the very few opportunities to communicate with other religious leaders. We hope to expand this sort of forum, even to the world!”

The participants decided that the Religious Ambassadors for Peace should offer a “World Simultaneous Prayer for Peace” at noon on the first day of each month, no matter where they may be. Moreover, they said they will study UPF’s ideas, making the council more proactive toward the common vision of interfaith harmony.

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