Monday, July 26, 2010

Asian Conference of Religions for Peace

7th Assembly at Manila , Philippines 2008.
Theme: Peacemaking in Asia. Sponsored jointly by ACRP Philippine Chapter, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and University of Santo Tomas. It attended by 350 delegates representing twenty countries.

Abe V Rotor

What is ACRP?

I am presenting this capsule information about ACRP, per request of our readers and a number of inquirers. I had the opportunity as one of the editors of the proceeding of the 7th conference - Peacemaking in Asia - held in Manila, October 17 to 21, 2008.

Asia accounts for one third of the world continent and half of the global population and is the home of many outstanding civilizations, including those of ancient Mesopotamia, and the Indus and Yellow River valley. Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam all originated in Asia. ACRP has the mission of using Asia's spiritual talent to serve as model in showing the rest of the world what it means to live in harmony, and to bring out the best of our human nature.

The aims and aspirations of ACRP are: 1. to re-vitalize Asian religious heritage and to promote a creative and critical awareness of religious people in Asia in pursuit of peace, justice and human dignity; and 2. to motivate the people of Asia and the Pacific region to make concerted efforts in promoting peace.

Foundation of ACRP

The idea of ACRP started in September 1974 at Louvain, Belgium, among Asian delegates attending the Second Assembly of the World Conference on Religion and Peace. The ensuing two years' laborious preparation gave birth to the Organization. With ACRP having been formally formed, Asian religious people now have a visible manifestation of their own fellowship and concern for peace.

General Assemblies of ACRP

1st Assembly at Singapore in 1976. The Assembly attracted 400 participants from 17 countries representing 10 religions under the theme "Peace Through Religion." Soon after the first assembly, the Boat People Project was started to help refugees from Indo-China in response to an emergency call and action of the assembly.

2nd Assembly at New Delhi in 1981. The Assembly gathered 450 participants from 20 countries representing 10 religions under the theme, "Religion in Action for Peace."

3rd Assembly at Seoul in 1986. The Seoul Assembly involved 240 participants from 22 countries representing 10 religions under the theme "Bridge of Peace in Asia." The assembly gave birth to the Center for Peace Education that was established in Seoul in 1987.

4th Assembly at Kathmandu in 1991. The theme of this Assembly "Asian Religions Toward The 21st Century." It gathered 300 delegates from 21 countries representing 16 religious groups.

5th Assembly at Ayufthaya in 1996. Under the theme "OurAsian Neighborhood," the Assembly involved more than 270 participants from 25 countries.

6th Assembly at Jogjakarta in 2002. This Assembly had for its theme "Asia the Reconciler. Some 300 delegates from 28 countries participated in the Jogjakarta Assembly.

7th Assembly at Manila , Philippines 2008. The theme is “Peacemaking in Asia.”. It was sponsored jointly by ACRP Philippine Chapter, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and University of Santo Tomas, attended by 350 delegates representing twenty countries.

Activities of ACRP

1. Project of Rebuilding Peace in Iraq. In May 2005, ACRP invited Iraqi religious leaders to discuss a project that could help rebuild peace in Iraq. As a result of that discussion, the Korean-Iraq Peace Project was launched by ACRP. The project includes among others the training of Iraqi medical doctors at medical centers in Korea and the treatment of Iraqi injured children in Korean hospitals.

2. Relief of Earthquake Victims in Pakistan. ACRP donated relief goods and funds for the Feb-ruary 2006 earthquake victims in Pakistan through the support of ACRP chapters in China, Japan and Korea.

3. Relief of Earthquake Victims in Indonesia. ACRP launched a humanitarian aid project to help the victims of earthquakes that hit Indonesia in 2005 and 2006. ACRP built 200 residential houses for victims in one village through the support of Japan, China and Korea.

Structure of ACRP

ACRP consists of sixteen (16) chapters in Asia and the Pacific areas: Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, China, DPR of Korea, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Cambodia ~

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