Over 700 religious leaders and 50 heads of states attended the “World Alliance of Religions: Peace Summit” held on Sept. 17-19 in Seoul, South Korea. The event theme was “The Enactment of an International Law for the Cessation of Wars and Legacy of Peace and the World Alliance of Religions.”
Hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light and its Chairman Man Hee Lee, the three-day summit presented a new approach for a world alliance of religions as a concrete proposition of peace building, involving both political and religious leaders. The summit was expected to serve as a foundational starting point for multilateral socio-political programs and treaties.
“Each religion claims to be based on the Creator, yet there are hundreds of different religions with different scriptures and practices,” said Lee in his opening remarks. “These religions then have disputes with each other, bringing disgrace upon God. It is through this that corruption has manifested itself throughout religious denominations.”
“All scriptures are telling us that religions must unite,” said Giani Gurbachan Singh, head of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib (the supreme religious authority of the Sikhs). “A religious leader who speaks of division and conflict is not a religious leader.”
The opening day ceremony of the WARP Summit began at the Seoul Olympic Stadium, showcasing a card section performance and fireworks involving over 12,000 members of different youth organizations, each holding cards synchronized to music while displaying stadium-sized images and messages.
On the second day, religious leaders proclaimed they would transcend religious denominations and embark upon the establishment of the unity of religions in order to bring about world peace. Twelve religious leaders, including Antonio Ledesma, archbishop of Cagayan de Oro, Swami Chidanand Saraswati, president of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Martin De Jesus Barahona, bishop of the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador and Giani Gurbachan Singh, jathedar of the Akal Takht, participated in the signing ceremony of “The Unity of Religions Agreement,” declaring that all religions must unite as one under the name of God.
Following the signing, five panel discussions allowed for government officials, prime ministers and chief justices to discuss and enact “The Agreement to Propose the Enactment of an International Law,” a pledge to be on the frontline of raising awareness for an international law to end war.
As youth and women are often victims during times of war, the summit also provided a platform for youth to address the conflicts in their home countries at the Youth Conference attended by 600 representatives of youth organizations. The subsidiary branch of HWPL for women, International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG), also held two sessions. IWPG’s representative, Chairwoman Kim Nam Hee, spoke on the role of women – whose sons, brothers and husbands are the soldiers of war – to stand together for peace with “motherly love.”
On the last day of the WARP Summit, a total of 200,000 people including summit participants, members of international NGOs and local citizens, participated in the “Walk for World Peace” near Seoul Olympic Park. This event, hosted by the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), commemorated the finale day of a successful “World Alliance of Religions Peace Summit.”
“This occasion where the heads of state and religious leaders came together for peace is unprecedented,” said Stjepan Mesic, former president of Croatia. “Mr. Man Hee Lee’s idea is really amazing and excellent. This wonderful event will definitely play a positive role in bringing wars to an end and achieving world peace.”