Elin Jin, Seoul Korea.
Division, Department of Public Relations (International)
The 65th meeting of World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Office took place in Kiev to summarize the results of the interfaith dialogue in the first half of the year.
This global independent platform was initiated by the international NGO for peace HWPL under the UN DGC and ECOSOC with the aim of ending wars and conflicts through interfaith dialogue based on a comparison of religious scriptures.
During the dialogue on July 30, spiritual leaders Tariq Sarhan, Oleksandr Dukhovny, Viktor Usachev, representing Islam, Judaism and Protestantism, spoke about the work and practical results of this year.
For 4 years of regular gatherings in Ukraine, 27 representatives of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Islam, Hinduism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Judaism and Protestantism joined the interfaith dialogue meeting.
Tariq Sarhan, Head of the Department of Culture of the East Islamic Cultural Center ‘Alraid’ said, “Through the experience the WARP office, I cleaned up the misunderstanding about other religions. Now, representatives of different religions cooperate with us, and we plan to spread this culture of peacefurther, since there are many disputes between religions and confessions. ”
Oleksandr Dukhovny, Chief Rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine progressive Judaism communities added, “HWPL is a catalyst for understanding processes in the society where we live.
The global construction is not possible without peace in the family and the country; it begins with the impulse that we, spiritual leaders, received from WARP Office.”
Interfaith dialogue plays a fundamental role in conflict resolution, and also has practical results. Many countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, have strong contradictions between the two branches of Islam, the split between them lasting almost 1300 years.
During one of the HWPL World Summits in Seoul, a prayer meeting was held with the participation of a representative of the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia and the Shiites of Iraq.
One of the representatives, who chose not to disclose his name, shared that it was almost impossible to see the common prayer of the Sunnis and Shiites because of the conflicting relations, and if they knew about it in his country, it would have serious consequences.
He also added: “Being deeply touched, I burst into tears after such a common prayer. Thanks to regular meetings of WARP, I managed to overcome hatred and hostility towards other religions.”
Earlier, Father Stephen Yeremchuk, Orthodox Church of Ukraine, participating in the dialogue of the WARP office, said: “In our time, it is especially important to hold regular meetings and dialogue between religions.”
In 2013, through the dialogue and the signing of a peace agreement together with the HWPL chairman Man Hee Lee in Mindanao, the Philippines, the 40-year war that claimed the lives of about 120,000 people ended.
The first meeting of World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) office by HWPL was held in 2014 in Irvine (USA). To date, 219 interfaith dialogue sites operate in 126 countries.
Religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Baha’i, Taoism, Confucianism and others took part in 8,044 interfaith dialogue meetings around the world.
Religious leaders agreed on the need to search for trustworthy scripture, and plan through such inter-religious dialogue resolve misunderstandings, prevent conflicts and build relationships among different religions.