On February 18th, 2019, HWPL held a conference called‘Religious World Without Discrimination, Religious Leaders Becoming one’in Sydney, Australia. Along with about 370 audience members, 30 religious leaders representing 7 different denominations, including Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Caodaism, are gathered to discuss the Role of Religion.
Regarding the role of religious leaders in establishing a world of peace, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said, “I came to Australia to tell that the 10 articles and 38 clauses of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) are necessary to make a world of peace and leave a legacy of peace for future generations. This is more important than anything else, and we have to all become peace messengers.”
During the conference, the theme of ‘religious discrimination’ was also discussed. 4 keynote speakers delivered messages regarding unfortunate cases of religious discrimination and the need for concrete action plans.
Especially, one pastor read a letter that will be sent to the United Nations Human Rights Council, “I am a Pastor working in Australia and Pakistan. Pakistan is a dominantly Muslim country where religious tension and discrimination exists. I understand how we must all work to bring about true harmony between people of different faiths and cultures. The acts of the Christian Council of Korea (CCK) in relation to Ms. Gu Ji-In who was killed in the aftermath of coercive conversion in Korea should never be ignored and what they do should be stopped.”
30 religious leaders signed the Statement Denouncing Coercive Conversion Programs and Religious Discrimination and proclaimed their support for the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
A religion has its role that should spread love and peace. But Destorying individuals and families with powerful authorities is our reality. Furthermore, it induces conflict between religions and countries. Religious people are doing violence and oppression in the name of God and making the global future darker. If we want true peace now, we must stop.
Man Hee Lee, Chairman of HWPL, emphasized “There’s nothing more shameful than knowing that the majority of wars are caused by religion. And not only that, but should fighting and taking people away by force and beating them be happening? This is not a religion. In order to achieve peace, even our religion should become one.” The Chairman Man Hee Lee strongly proclaimed religions must become one in order to achieve peace for humanity.
Religious leaders are not people with little influence. Every word of them is powerful. Religion and ideology are the key reasons for world wars. Once religious leaders have a good heart, the world is at peace. But if religious leaders take the wrong mind, who can take responsibility for the deaths of those countless people?
What is the Answer to Peace?
First, Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)
Do you think peace can be achieved? When we are making a living, spending my personal time, there are people who risked their lives for peace. They are the messengers of peace of HWPL. Especially, despite being over 80 years old, the chairman Man Hee Lee is ahead of all others in work of peace. This is why he is called “the Father of Peace” and why he is supported by 1.6 billion Youth and 3.7 billion Women.
To prohibit the discrimination between nations and religions, HWPL proposed great peace plan called the DPCW. It is a powerful bill that prevents war caused by religion. The Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) has articles to be able to end the war. Article 8 – “Freedom of religion”, Article 9 – “Religion, ethnic identity and peace” and Article 10 – “Spreading a culture of peace” are examples. For this reason, Religious groups are strongly urging for the DPCW legislation.
Second, HWPL WARP Office
At HWPL’s WARP Office, approximately 20 religions and 2,410 people attended. They find the right path for religion through Scripture Comparision and Confirmation.
The chairman Man Hee Lee emphasized “There will only be fighting if there are two or three, or hundreds of religions. But if the scriptures become one then so do the religions. In order for us to be born anew and to become one, we need to know some things that are wrong in our own religion, and to grasp reality.” HWPL is to eradicate social problems caused by religion. Establish international cooperation and solidarity.
He continued “Anyone who received the order of God will have a purpose. We have been running around the world with the answer given from above. At this point, we must work to become one in God as promised. When we come with an answer that can achieve peace, and if everyone is working together by becoming one, it will be done.”
What happened all over the world?
There are numerous religious problems in the world. As you can attest, you can see from the story of Nadia Murad, the winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. She is a victim of Coercive Conversion to ISIS. Also in South Korea, two people were killed by coercive conversion. Religious leaders who support world peace strongly criticized this incident. In particular, peace activists around the world protested for the 27-year-old Gu Ji-in who suffocated of coercive conversion in January 2018. Foreign media such as The New York Times and the Washington Times also helped the victims like Ms.Gu.
One religious leader said “Unfortunately at times as an advocator of one religion, we start enforcing our beliefs on others. These actions are a violation of basic human rights and must be stopped!”
Another religious leader emphasized “Recently, very recently, one young lady was killed by a hard attack while she was taught by a preacher who converted her religion by compulsion. It is too bad that this accident happened among Christians who spread the spirit, just as the spirit of love. First, religions should respect and love one another, then this whole humanity will become one.”
Religious Leaders Peace Conference, Sydney 2019
Religious World Without Discrimination, Religious Leaders Becoming one
Peace has always been a distant future for us. However, if religious people all over the world become one, “Peace” will become reality. Let us all work together with the mission of peace. “WE ARE ONE! WE ARE ONE! WE ARE ONE!”
The International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) held several memorial services across the world in honour of the late Ji-In Gu – a young South Korean woman who passed away while being forced conversion. The memorial service took place 49 days after Gu’s death (December 2017) which is a Korean tradition and was held in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Harare, Zimbabwe, as well as in Windhoek, Namibia. On January 28, 120,000 South Koreans also protested in major cities against coercive conversion program by the Christian Council of Korea. (More info) Not only in South Africa, the memorial service has been held in the LA, United Kingdom, and other parts of the world for a year.
Especially during November and December this year, New York Times and other leading press reported with the headlines “Ban Coercive Conversion,” and shared the events of the late Ji-in Gu.
As we celebrate the first anniversary of memorial, why is it reported by the leading foreign press? Why is the memorial continuing? That’s because nothing has changed in a year and the government hasn’t responded. Why?
First, the Coercive Conversion Program is still underway.
Sometimes religious suppression occurs in war and emerging countries, but no one would think that Murder by coercive conversion occurred in the South Korea, K-pop’s home country. So far, the number of victims is over 1,000. 52 percent of them claimed they were imprisoned. (The AVCCP statistics) In addition, 42 percent of the victims were taken to coercive religious conversion program by kidnapping. After this anti-humanitarian act, one conversion pastor of the CCK even received up to $894,425 USD. How can this illegal thing still happen?
Second, Conversion pastors cowardly evade the law by using the excuse of ‘counseling’.
They claim that these consultations on “cult issues” are carried out voluntarily at the request of the family members of the victims and with the consent of the victims. However, victims report that the “conversion education agreements” are written by force while they are under confinement. So Human rights activists and IWPG members around the world have continued to petition for the Korean government to enact a special law against coercive conversion program.
In a similar case, 1,000 Pakistani girls are kidnapped and forced to change religion every year. Muslims only just said “It was to encourage cults to accept the Islam.”Many human rights activists spoke out, and in the end the government made a anti-conversion law.
In November 2016, the Sindh province passed a law criminalizing forced conversions to, according to the law, ‘provide protection for those who are victims of this abhorrent practice.’ Under the law, those convicted of forcibly converting others receive a punishment from five years’ imprisonment to a life sentence.
Because the Christian Council of Korea (CCK) is trying to hide the truth, not only by neglecting the law and looking the other way, but by supporting its affiliated pastors’ illegal activities. Politics and religion have the cozy relations, which violates Article 20-2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, “Religion and politics are separated.” Who will console the pain that 1,000 victims of coercive conversion in Korea have experienced? Who can compensate for Ji-in’s death?
Furthermore, HWPL has already vehemently protested against the CCK, which has abandoned its function as a religious organization, and its affiliated pastors for conducting anti-nation, anti-society, and anti-peace acts that violate human rights. The CCK must to be disbanded for throwing the Korean people, as well as the international community, into chaos, and the pastors who took part in coercive conversion must receive the proper punishment for their actions.
Reverend Thamsanqa Mvambo, President of the NICSA, said, “This is a terrible outrage that such people who claim to be believers in Jesus Christ would act in this way using the weapons of the devil against fellow Christians. The CCK and Conversion Pastors should repent immediately.”
He added,“I ask the CCK and pastors who practice and profit from the conversion programmes to immediately and permanently cease such activities. We also call on the lawmakers in the Republic of Korea to make a law prohibiting the coercive conversion programmes and holding pastors who profit from this unaccountable action.”
A person at birth can not choose a country by himself, but he has a right to choose a religion. But in some countries, someone has to trade life for one’s belief. The countries that have been under religious persecution are the China, Iran and Myanmar. Some countries have civil wars because of other religions. This led to the loss of many precious lives.
Even in Korea, where religious freedom is believed to be guaranteed, two people have already died of coercive religious conversion program. More than 150 people a year suffer human rights violations during coercive conversion program. What’s worse is that more than 1,000 victims were confirmed. There must be a good reason to keep her religious beliefs under life-threatening coercive conversion program(CCP) and her choice deserves to be respected. Human rights and security of minority religious people are not protected against those who are inclined to kill them.
Because they can’t admit the faith of minority religious people. Moreover, narrow religious discrimination, that believes only his religion and doctrine are right, causes serious religious extremism and drives all the world into terror and violence beyond some regional conflict.
International efforts to promote
As a result of these, 80 percent of the wars that panicked the world in fear are religious wars. If you are a religious person, you should have to work for peace and prevent war. Instead, the fact that religious people are more at the center of the conflict is shameful and it means that they have no qualification as a religious person.
Despite international efforts to promote religious freedom, restrictions on religious freedom and religious discrimination are still on the rise around the world. To solve these problems, a strong international law is needed to eradicate religious discrimination and ensure religious freedom.
The Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) presented by HWPL, which has become a key issue in the international community, has a provision for freedom of religion. The solution for sustaining peace is to enact an international law (10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW) to end war and implement it to the letter.
DPCW Article 8 – Freedom of religion
States should activate and participate in systems to enforce and protect fundamental human rights, eliminating discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, and should refrain from and prohibit the usage of religion by governments, groups, or individuals in order to justify or to incite acts of violence against others. (omitted below)
DPCW Article 9 – Religion, ethnic identity and peace
Recognising the threat to peaceful coexistence that violent religious extremism may cause, states should implement, in good faith, legal measures against individuals or groups attempting to perpetrate or assist in gross and systematic acts of violence in the name of religion. (omitted below)
If the leaders of every country love their country and their people, they have to sign the International Law for peace. To do this, we must complete peace with the spirit of that moment when the United Nations begins.
“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration,
without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion,
political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” – Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
A New York Times advertisement space on November 28th dealt with women human rights issue. I will introduce you to New York times Human Rights News!
On November 25, it is the ‘U.N. International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women‘. It was the day in 1981 when three sisters of the Dominican Republic protested against the dictatorship of the government. The Day was started to remember that sisters were killed by violence, and many people from all over the world including Spain are participating in demonstrations and holding campaigns. Despite these efforts, a 25-year-old woman died in a pension in Korea on January 18, 2018.
Why did she have to die of suffocation when she had so many dreams? Why did parents keep their adorable daughter in custody? # New York times Human rights
Human Rights is still alive?
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings. It’s the right to live like a human being. The Article 1 of UDHR, ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood‘, shows the spirit of human rights. Human rights should not be discriminated against for any reason, including race, skin color, sex, language, religion, etc. UN http://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/human-rights/index.html
The United Nations Charter confirmed people’s beliefs about basic human rights and promised to keep this human rights. To make sure that we keep this promise, we have to define ‘what human rights are and what freedom is’ that everyone can understand. It is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is now the most recognized.
Thus, on December 10, 1948, 50 of the 58 member states of the United Nations declared the Declaration of Human Rights in favor of it. This was unprecedented in human history. Therefore, “THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.” http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
A flower falls
But despite these efforts, there are still many incidents of serious human rights violations.
On December 30, 2017, a 25-year-old girl left her friends with a message saying, “I will travel with my family.” Then on January 18, 2018, she returned to us as a ‘cold and blue corpse‘. According to one friend’s testimony, the late Ms. Ji-in Gu was a ‘nice friend who spent time with his family when she was busy and she had many dreams and was so passionate.’ And her friend continued “I’m so sorry and angry. I miss her terribly.” She was imprisoned in a pension in South Korea. After a scuffle with her parents, she was presumed to have choked to death.
There is a message left by Ms. Gu in her lifetime. “Hello. I’m Ji-in Gu. Mr. President, Please listen to my story. Stop the painful kidnapping, detention and endless assaults in 44 days.” Yes, that’s right. It was not the first time that Ms. Gu was kidnapped and detained. She was imprisoned for 44 days in a monastery on June 2016 and she had a really painful time both soul and body. I mentioned it in my posting, but a year later, nothing has changed. Maybe she’s crying in the sky.
“She petitioned the president for help, but nothing changed and she died. Will you take action after I die?” said Ji-in’s friends.
You can feel the depth of sadness in their memorial songs.
Want to be a warm star to people swaying in the night winds Born as a flower, you always said you would be a star
Want to give them warm warmth, who bear heartaches How lonely you are in the darkness, not open even when you pat.
Even in our dreams, we meet again. Because always we dream the same dream. You’ll pray for us in the sky
To you now being a star, The beloved in tears give you a white flower that has your scent We’ll meet again in the sky
You and I are glittering in longing Even when you close your eyes, you didn’t let your desire go Now we’ll make sure your wishes come true
There are still two questions left in this poignant story. Why did she have to die of suffocation? Why did parents keep their adorable daughter in custody? Let’s look at the next posting. # New York times Human rights
What is the world like now? Jungle? Heartless modern society? Of course, it is. But I heard there are people who pray for the world. In fact, I have been having a hard time these days. In the news, murders, accidents, and crimes are never stopped, and What if I become a target of crime? Whenever I think of this, I pray. Today I saw this YouTube clip, when this fear was coming. What were they doing? They were praising. Also they danced and danced. They danced for themselves. Don’t care others, and It seemed happy to get together. The dance with beat was very natural. It was not fancy. But The Liveliness of Africa!!! They shared the prayer points, joined hands and prayed together.
ForThe Worldandthe Continent
America – China, Europe etc.
Effects will be global (Economic, Socio-political)
Rain – countries facing the droughts
Just governments – promoting people’s rights, freedom and responsibilities. Entrenching equality and security for all
Strife – created by greed, hate, religious intolerance and political rivalry, consequently creating refugees and resistance movements.
“Thanks God. Giving us Opportunity to gather. we want to change the world better place. And we together pray. Africa will be saved. “
All the leaders of Africa Gathered
The ministers of all denominations and all the leaders of this community came together to bring peace. They said, “This is a historic moment!!! It is really so amazing!” (The master of ceremony made a bit of a fuss) They cried out “Please bring peace to our community! Please bring peace to our country!” Peace seems to be so precious to them. So, what is the current flow of the world?
Once Again the World is looking at the Korean Peninsula
The international community is paying keen attention to the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula because of the 2018 inter-Korean summit and the US-North Korea summit. When the North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in met for the first time, the whole world was moved and shed tears. There is also a highlight video on CNN. (http://www.peacestep.com/2018/05/09/resolving-conflicts-between-north-and-south-korea/) Kim Jong Un wrote “a new history begins now” and “an age of peace, at the starting point of history.”
But suddenly clouds are gathering on the horizon. President Donald Trump sent an official letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to cancel the summit. President Trump said he knew the anger and public hostility of North Korea’s recent remarks. Especially, he said “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” This was a warning remark. However, the US-North Korea Summit was held!
Who is the hero of peace? Real Peace?
Some say that North Korea is the winner, the U.S. is the loser&winner, and South Korea is the loser. However it is clear that the Moon Jae-in is the midwife of the US-North Korea Summit in many ways. Mr. Moon persuaded Chairman Kim to engage himself in dialogue with the U.S. President Moon persuaded Chairman Kim to engage himself in dialogue with the U.S. By turning all the credit to President Trump, Mr. Moon made him an active participant in the North-Korea USA Summit. Bill Clinton, former president of the United States assessed it “Moon Jae-in the president is a true hero”. In the process, President Moon left a famous saying in Korean diplomatic history that “the Nobel Peace Prize is for Trump and we only need to bring peace.”
But the nation could not protect its people
The President Moon Jae-in said, “When the nation fulfills its role, the people can live without losing hope. The reason for a nation to exist is to reassure its people. It will protect them in difficult times. In order for a single person to live like a decent human being as a citizen in the Republic of Korea” But the government has turned away from their desperate appeal. Do you know the story of the late Gu Ji-in?
Earlier this year, an adult woman in her 20s died on a family trip. There was a hidden secret in the family trip. Its purpose is for coercive religious conversion program, not real travel. Sadly, the late Ms. Gu was choked by blocking her mouth and nose at 5:40 p.m. on December 30 2017.
South Korea is a country where freedom of religion and thought is guaranteed by the constitution. But it was a sad event in which she was killed by her beloved family during a coercive conversion program, just because she was not a member of the mainstream religious body. Unfortunately, these conversion programs have happened and continue to increase.
The victims of coercive religious conversion program are 1,000 people and 77.4 percent of the victims suffered extreme trauma
According to Human Rights Association for Victims of Coercive Conversion Programs(HAC), The victims of coercive religious conversion program numbered about 1,000 from year 2003 to 2017. 96 victims were confirmed in the first half of this year alone. In a survey of 900 people from 2003 to March 2015, 52 percent claimed they were imprisoned, 42percent of the victims were taken to coercive religious conversion program by kidnapping. It was even reported that 10 people were hospitalized in psychiatric hospitals for not being converted. More seriously, their pain didn’t end there. 77.4 percent of the victims felt extreme fear caused by a violent environment. And 65 percent of the victims suffered from mental disorders and stress due to the coercive conversion program process and the environment.