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Unity and Harmony in Asia: The 8th ACRP General Assembly Opens
450 Religious Leaders from 25 Asian Countries Participated in the Conference, Praying for the Resolution of Conflicts and World Peace.
The 8th General Assembly of the ACRP (Asian Conference of Religion and Peace), a festival for religious people of Asia, opened on August 26, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. The festival was held at the Songdo Convensia, the Incheon International Convention Center with the theme “Unity and Harmony in Asia”.
Approximately 450 religious people from 25 Asian countries, including Venerable Jaseung, President of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, as well as the Chairman of the KCRP, and William F. Vendley (Secretary General of WCRP) participated in the general assembly hosted by the ACRP and KCRP.
The religious leaders began the official event by praying in memory of the victims of the capsized Sewol ferry, the victims of the massive earthquake that hit eastern Japan, and also the victims of religious conflict. Moreover, children, youth, women and senior citizens from seven religious orders prayed together for peace in Asia and around the world.
At the opening ceremony, Ven. Jaseung, President of KCRP stated, “I believe that collaborative bodies representing different religions, such as the ACRP, play a more important role than anything else in attaining peace.” He then added, “This general assembly is not only for the meeting of Asian religious leaders, but has a very important significance because it can play an active and effective role in settling conflicts in Asia and contributing to world peace.“
President Park Geun-hye and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a congratulatory message which stated that they wished for the general assembly to establish momentum for the dissolution of conflict and the establishment of peace. They also asked that religious leaders work together to achieve these goals.
Meanwhile, the ACRP general assembly consisted of seminars with the theme, “Education, Peace and Reconciliation, Human Rights and Happiness, and Development and the Environment.” There was also a special workshop, “Reunification of Korean Peninsula and Peace in East Asia.”
A declaration was announced at the closing ceremony held at 5 p.m. on August 28, 2014 for peace on the Korean Peninsula and East Asia, as well as peace between Palestine and Israel, and increased efforts by religious leaders to settle conflicts.