Religious leaders make peace in Japan

Monday, August 21, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
More than 500 religious leaders will meet this week in Kyoto, Japan for the international conference of the inter-religious organization “Religions for Peace” held once every five years. One of the goals of the conference is to draft a moral code of conduct to deal with violence and conflict around the world. The conference will host delegates from countries such as Israel, Iraq, Sudan, North and South Korea, Sri-Lanka, and others.

“Religions for Peace” has achieved results over the past few years in places such as the Balkans, Africa, and the Middle East in regard to issues such as the rejection of terrorism and a fight for peace; efforts against weapons of mass destruction; dealing with AIDS in Africa and more.

The starting point is that violence is made out of different elements: Religious fanaticism, poverty, discrimination based on gender, natural disasters, and more. The conference deals with all of the above causes, finds the common denominators, and acts on that basis.

Rabbi David Rosen, head of inter-religious relations in the American Jewish Conference (AJC), and representative of the International Jewish Committee on Inter-religious Consultations and a leading member of “Religions for Peace” said:

“We have seen in the past and even today that religion can be a devastating and dangerous tool in the hands of extremists. But we want to prevent religion from being part of the problem, and make it part of the solution. This conference of religious leader from around the globe in the largest multi-religious gathering in the world can contribute greatly to that effort.”

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