Where does war come from? Unfortunately, 80 percent of the causes of the war are religion.
Scholars say that violent acts of extremism have the basis on the misinterpretation of religious scripture as means to mobilize the public and incite angers in the mass number of people.
Imam Anas Hajjar, Head Imam of Finland Islam Community, pays a closer attention to religious scripture and points out that “Because many people interpret the scripture with their own thoughts and ideologies without correctly knowing what is the will of God inside the scripture, and if laymen continue to interpret without true knowledge and study, the problems caused by extremists will continue to occur.”
So, what can we do?
The role of leaders in reflecting on religion through scripture to discourage religion as means of violent conflicts
The role of religious leaders is so important. Regarding the role of religious leaders, Imam Anas Hajjar, Head Imam of Finland Islam Community emphasized, “Although political extremism and the hate-speech have been in the rise in Europe, NGOs have a critical role in resisting and opposing this type of breakdown in respect of the laws of religious freedom, peace and harmony in the country. The best way to combat all types of extremism is knowledge and this part of the job is given to scholars and religious leaders.”
“In order to find the truth all the humanity wants religious leaders need to put away the thoughts that only my religion is the best and do the comparative work based on Scriptures without dividing themselves and saying ‘your religion’, ‘my religion’,” said Swami Veetamohananda, Swami (religious leader in Hinduism) of Ramakrishna Veda center.
BIG Questions: “Is what I know always right? Is the other religion always wrong? Or is there something in that religion that mine doesn’t have?”
Let us find the best truth and achieve the ultimate value of peace. 🙂
On July 19, the HWPL held the 16th WARP Office in Daejeon. They invited leaders of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity to hold a forum under the theme of “God’s Promise.” Participants discussed the record of God’s promise to make and whether it was recorded in the scripture.
The Buddhist leader said, “The teachings of Buddhism are not dependent on the absolute but on the fulfillment of one’s salvation and wishes through training and enlightenment himself.”
“God promised blessings and salvation in heaven if we kept the word written in the Quran,” the Islamic leader said. “He confirmed our faith by keeping his word.”
The pastor said “There are two testaments of old and new in the Bible. The content is the liberation from sin and the return of the Creator God. The prophecy of the Old Testament came about 2,000 years ago and Jesus had achieved Old Testament. And he gave us a new testament.” Lastly, he emphasized that “the true faith of the believers is to believe that a new testament will be fulfilled and to believe what has been achieved when it is done.”
Theme: What is the truth? in Busan
On July 21, under the theme of “Truth,” leaders of Cheondoism, Buddhism and Christianity gathered to announce “the truth and standards in each scripture” and “the process and purpose of seeking the truth written in each scripture.”
“It is not easy to learn the true truth in a world where lies are played these days,” said a 40-year-old woman who attended the forum. “After listening to the truth of each religion at the forum today, I came to the conclusion that the ultimate purpose of truth is ‘LOVE’.”
Meanwhile, HWPL has continued to host the WARP Office for Inter-religious Harmony since the 2014 WARP Summit and currently operates offices at 250 locations in 127 countries.
The Seoul, Gyeonggi and Southern branches of the HWPL held the fourth round of the Suwon WARP Office Meeting Interfaith Dialogue, which strongly demonstrated their commitment to world peace measures and religious unity. Leaders of the three religions, Cheondogyo, Buddhism, Christianity attended as the panel to discuss the topic of the issue, “Peace.”
The questions were: ‘Is there a record of peace in the annals?’ and ‘What role should I play as a religious leader for the sake of world peace?’ The panel had heated debates based on each of the statements.
A Cheondogyo leader said “As a religious leader, we should not perceive each other as “wrong” and can coexist and symbiosis from mutual respect.”
A leader of Buddhism said “The teachings of the Buddha towards peace are the basis of Buddhism. Charity is unconditional love and sharing and companionship, and the attitude of respect for the life of the unknown, as explained in the first law of Buddha’s reign, will lead to peace.”
The Christian minister quoted the Bible as saying, “Peace is the restoration of the global village to its original form, where all mankind created by God is saved and free from death and pain.”
The HWPL’s Seoul and Gyeonggi Eastern branches had a heated debate among the “Buddhist, Confucian and Christian” promoters. This is the 23rd Seoul WARP Office.
Question is “Is there a case in your scripture that one truth is interpreted in many ways?”
The Christian panel said, “It is the present reality of Christianity that the interpretation of the Bible is rampant. The reason for this much interpretation is God’s concealment of his future, which is difficult to interpret. When the Holy Spirit tells us the truth, we can see the true meaning of it.”
The Buddhist panel said “This place is so beautiful and blessed.” And the Confucian panel said “I’m really surprised that the HWPL WARP Office has reached its 23rd anniversary. I was grateful to be with young people and I should have studied more ways to implement the truth, but I’m sorry for the lack.”
“About the Beginning of Man”, 6th Inter-Continental WARP Office
On June 15th, with the theme of “About the Beginning of Man”, “The 6th Inter-Continental World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Office Meeting” was held to discuss religious teachings on human life written in scriptures through YouTube by religious representatives from Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism.
Regarding the importance of interfaith dialogue based on scriptures, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL says, “Many conflicts bring the destruction of our globe. Wars and conflicts must come to an end in order to achieve peace, but wars break out more frequently because of religion. It is said that God had creation not to kill, so there should be zero conflict caused by religion. This is why religious leaders become one for peace.”
Did you see session 1? It was very exciting. I had hoped on the one hand that they wouldn’t fight, but this was a useless worry. They answered honestly and sincerely.
Let’s look at the first question for a rich explanation. “Is your scripture recorded about the first person?”
“From a Christian point of view, we believe that it began 6,000 years ago, and Moses wrote it 2,500 years after the beginning of history, which was recorded in Genesis, and in Hebrews 3. But then creation and the first human perspective changed within Christianity, causing internal division. We can divide man into physical and spiritual creation.
On Genesis 5:1, Adam’s genealogy came out, and that’s where the first human being was recorded. Many humans have been born, but only one descendant has been recorded, because God has chosen one from history to work. I’m putting more emphasis on spiritual creation. It’s not just because it’s physically created, it’s because it’s talking about people who can talk to God.”
“Yes, it’s written in a book written before 500 B.C. and difficult to understand because of the language. And it’s hard to fully understand because one word contains many meanings. The first person named Gayomat (Keyumars) is recorded. He was the first man on Earth, the first king of Iran, and ruled for 30 years, born in Iran. The Iranian atmosphere, ethnicity, began with Gayomat.”
Moderator: “It’s interesting to have a first person named Gayomat (Keyumars). So did he start a man, or did he already rule people?”
Zoroastrianism: “He is also listed as the king of the earth, Gilsha. Today, in the eyes of the spirit, it’s very interesting, he could hear Auramazda. It was recorded that human beings Gayomat was created by the demise of evil spirits, and he ruled for 30 years.”
“It’s not just about religion, it’s about evolution written in the scriptures. Because scriptures deal with everything, not just religion. In Sikhism, God created the world and man. It’s written in the scripture, and it says that one made many things. It’s proof of God’s creation of the universe. And he made everything. Of all animals, we are listed as having sovereignty. And the book also records how people have evolved. And it’s recorded that he is reincarnated through his actions.”
“Let me answer the first question. Yes, it’s well documented in the Koran. As for the first person, he is Adam and he is recorded in many places. Allah said to Muhammad, he created a man. It’s not written in the Koran about a person’s appearance, but you can guess from the records. The scholars wrote a note that Adam modeled after Allah, but not Allah. It doesn’t look exactly the same, it’s just what it looks like, and the details of the eyes and ears are different. He made Adam out of Allah’s image, but he never looked the same.”
How is it? It’s exciting, right? 🙂 Various views aroused the curiosity.
The second session will be held by a total of seven people, including the host, moderator, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity. What impressed me most in Session 1 was the “attitude” of the panels. They didn’t think the knowledge they knew was all, and they didn’t attack their opponents. It’s so cool to see such gentle religious leaders.
<Session 2> Question List
Is your scripture recorded about the first person? So, what is his name?
Does your scripture record what the Creator did for him after he created the first man?
Is there a record in your scripture of the first person’s genealogy and the solidarity of the descendants?
The number of viewers at the same time was over 200. I’m more curious about Session 2. The wind of peace is blowing!