Saturday, August 26, 2006

Confronting Violence and Advancing Shared Security -- WCRP 8th World Assembly, Kyoto, Japan

I am privileged to be among over 2000 religious leaders attending the World Conference of Religions for Peace 8th World Assembly in Kyoto this weekend. I am attending as a Business Delegate representing Religions for Peace - USA where serve as a Board member.

Among the more interesting presentations today was that of His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan who serves as the Moderator of WCRP. The Prince began with an apology to Buddhists on behalf of Muslims for the destruction of the Bamian Buddha statues by the Taliban in Afghanistan. He said that he had offerred to the UN to go to Afghanistan in a delegation of Muslim leaders, but the UN sent other representatives in stead. He regretted that, he said, because had he gone, that would have created an opportunity for a public disagreement among Muslims. This he says is very necessary at this time. He called moderate Muslims the silenced majority.

He addressed many other issues. We have a law of war he said, why don't we have a law of peace? He also proposed multi religious councils of conflict transformation. Economic justice, he suggested, is the biggest issue facing humanity and needs urgent attention. He also decried child soldiers. Children holding weapons is an abomination, he said.

Among the other speakers was Catholic theologian Hans Kung. Speaking of security, he said --
There will be no security without a culture of non-violence and reverence for life;
There will be no security without fairness in global markets
There will be no security without a culture of truth
There will be no security without a culture of partnership based on dignity between men and women.

More on the WCRP assembly and its actions in the coming days....


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