Seven Denominations held combined event for freedom of religion, peace
On February 18, 2019, an international peace NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) under the UN ECOSOC held a conference called ‘Religious World Without Discrimination, Religious Leaders Becoming One’ at the International Convention Centre, Cockle bay room in Sydney, Australia. In attendance were about 370 participants, as well as 30 members of seven denomination religious leaders of Christian, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Caodaism.
After the opening video urging eradication of religious discrimination, four speakers delivered messages on the issue of religious discrimination and action plans for religious leaders in promoting religious harmony.
Nelson Pervaz, a pastor of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, read a letter that will be sent to United Nations Human Rights Council.He said: “I am a Pastor working in Australia and Pakistan, which is a predominantly Muslim country, where religious tension and discrimination exist. I understand how we must all work to bring about true harmony between people of different faiths and cultures. The act of the Christian Council of Korea (CCK) about Ms. Gu Ji-In, who was killed in the aftermath of coercive conversion in Korea, should never be ignored and what they do should stop.
“Coercive conversion in South Korea has raised the issue of human rights violation, as the number of victims, especially women who are threatened by pastors and families to give up their religious faith, is now 1,000. After the death case of Ms. Gu from kidnapping, confinement and physical violence, there have been rallies to establish legal protection for freedom of religion and women rights.’
Participants urged the dissolution of religious organisations that engage in politics and persecute other religions or denominations by forcefully converting individuals. They signed statement denouncing Coercive Conversion Programmes and Religious Discrimination and proclaimed to support the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
Regarding the role of religious leaders for establishing a world peace, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said: “I came to Australia to say that 10 articles and 38 clauses of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) are necessary to make a world peace and leave a legacy of peace for future generations. This is more important than anything else, and we have to become peace messengers.”
HWPL proposes such peace initiatives as the establishment of international law for peace, an interfaith dialogue meeting for religious harmony and peace education, among others.
The interfaith dialogue meeting called World Alliance of Religions Peace (WARP) Office is currently in operation in 129 countries. The DPCW addresses principles of conflict resolution and international cooperation for peace building, such as respect on the international law, peaceful dispute settlement, and spreading a culture of peace.
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