Tuesday, June 6, 2023

[HWPL] Ven. Myeong An Speaks on the Necessity of HWPL's DPCW and Religious Peace


[HWPL] Ven. Myeong An Speaks on the Necessity of HWPL's DPCW and Religious Peace

Chairman ManHee Lee is the head representative of the global peace organization HWPL (Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light), which is striving for the enactment and implementation of the international peace law 'Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)'. The  DPCW is a legal instrument comprised of 10 articles and 38 clauses that can end wars and hostilities throughout the world. HWPL is also spreading a culture of peace and implementing peace education.

Chairman ManHee Lee experienced the cruelty and tragedy of war as a veteran of the Korean War. This is one of the reasons why he founded a global peace campaign as the head of HWPL. He has traveled the globe more than 35 times to meet and persuade politicians, legal experts, journalists, professors, peace activists, civil organization leaders, heads of tribes and others to unite them for the work of peace. The significant fruits borne out of his hard work are the World Alliance of Religions' Peace (WARP) Summit and HWPL Peace Committee. The DPCW was drafted and finalised by the HWPL Peace Committee.

How, you may wonder, do I know this? About 10 years ago, when I had just been discharged from military service, I came to know HWPL and Chairman ManHee Lee while researching the topic of civil conflicts to satisfy my curiosity in ongoing global issues. At that time, the island of Mindanao in the Philippines was suffering from a major civil conflict that lasted more than 40 years, and Chairman ManHee Lee and HWPL resolved this conflict through non-violent means.

Chairman Lee brought an end to the conflict in Mindanao by holding a peace talk between the warring Catholic and Islamic groups. Before the talk, HWPL and Chairman ManHee Lee held a Peace Walk to spread the culture of peace in Mindanao with the many locals who had gathered out of a desire for peace.

Chairman ManHee Lee's pressing appeal today is that humanity unites for sustainable peace in order to pass on the legacy of peace to future generations worldwide. He doesn't just talk peace, but has worked tirelessly for it through practical peace campaigns for over a decade.

I decided to become a supporter of HWPL and Chairman ManHee Lee's peace initiatives because I also desire a world of peace for all posterity. 

Today, I'd like to introduce Ven. Myeong An's remarkable speech given at the 7th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War. For your information, the event was held in several continents, including Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

More than 7000 dignitaries, including members of the HWPL Peace Committee who had completed the drafting of the DPCW with Chairman ManHee Lee 7 years earlier, gathered in Seoul, Korea to share the progress of peace worldwide.

Ven. Myeong An is Vice President of the Yeorae Order of Korean Buddhism who actively participates in HWPL's WARP (World Alliance of Religions' Peace) Office where religious leaders compare scriptures to understand each other and make interreligious peace. The WARP Office and the DPCW operate hand in hand.

What follows is Ven. Myeong An's entire speech at the event, explaining the importance and necessity of HWPL's WARP Office and the DPCW from a religious perspective.

Ven. Myeong An
Vice President of the Yeorae Order of Korean Buddhism

To the family members of peace who love peace,

Greetings, I am Venerable Myeong An, the Vice President of the Yeorae Order of Korean Buddhism. First and foremost, I would like to thank HWPL, who is leading the work for peace, for inviting me to today’s event.

There is a saying in Buddhism, “It’s fate if you just brush your collar.” I believe our fate is greater since we have become one family for peace. It seems our relationship is layers deep.

There are many people who doubt peace will be achieved, including religious leaders who work for love, mercy, and peace. However, for me, world peace and the unification of the Korean Peninsula were things that have to be achieved. This is because I have always heard and learned about the desire for peace from In Wang Maha Sangaraja, who is the founder of the Yeorae Order of Korean Buddhism.

In Wang Maha Sangaraja was also a Korean War veteran, like HWPL Chairman ManHee Lee. He knew firsthand the devastation of war and always practiced his words with action. He declared “One family of the global village,” established “Symbiosis, co-prosperity, and coexistence,” and erected monuments for world peace and the unification of the Korean Peninsula with Venerable Ilbung Seo Gyeongbo. Following this, the Yeorae Order has continued to pray for world peace and the unification of the Korean peninsula.

I believe that connected our hearts, and that is why our connection is so precious. Chairman Lee, who has been working without rest to leave a world of peace to the future generations despite being over 90 years old, reminded me of In Wang Maha Sangaraja, and the family of HWPL who joyfully partake in this work seemed to be united with the Yeorae Order. It seemed we were truly one family in peace.

Out of the different HWPL initiatives, I am an active participant in the WARP Office meetings. I have already attended 40 meetings with the Islamic and Christian panelists. At first, I doubted that different religions could understand each other and achieve peace when it was already so difficult for the same religion to be united. However, I could better understand why Chairman Lee established the scriptural comparison dialogues with each session.

To be honest, I had my bias about Christianity and Islam in the beginning. However, the scripture-based discussions made me realize my misunderstandings. Christianity and Islam were both religions that practiced love, mercy, and peace like Buddhism. In addition, cessation of war and world peace advocated by Chairman Lee was the same as Buddhism’s Bodhisattva ideology. The panelists are no longer Muslim imams or Christian pastors to me – they are like family. I learned that even strangers can become family.

During the recent meeting in Daegu, we discussed the issues surrounding the Islam temple construction. I gladly volunteered to help them. The pastor apologized on behalf of Christianity, and we were able to build each other up.

There are many religious persecutions, conflicts, and strife in the world today because there is no communication among religions, and every religion thinks only its own teachings are correct. However, what if many religious believers began participating in the scripture comparison dialogues? I believe they will all change like me. I believe it is only a matter of time before we are united as a world of peace without conflict since there are more opportunities to communicate and understand, instead of pointing fingers.

I held a small event at our Dae Yaksa Temple to practice what I learned in the discussions. Around 100 people came to the event to pray for peace with religious people and citizens held in May of last year. It was a meaningful event where people were able to place their hopes for peace on paper windmills and watch different performances.

I also showcased the WARP Office meetings, and a participating venerable said he also wants to join the discussions. In addition, a pastor attended as an observer during the 40th meeting. He was also surprised that there was such a meeting for harmony, and he expressed his wishes to participate as well.

At the end of last year, we held a one-day tea event in Yuseong-gu, Daejeon to help those in need and the head of the Seo-gu Office of Daejeon also attended the donation ceremony. I was glad that I could practice the will of In Wang Maha Sangaraja with HWPL, and I am proud that my actions are impacting those around me.

I will not only continue to participate in HWPL events, but am also planning to once again host the peace-wishing event that was held last May. It will be our second peace-wishing event. I hope that two, three or ten times more people will gather to make peace in the second event than the first event, which began with about 100 people. In addition, I will also create a WARP Office meeting at our Dae Yaksa Temple so that we can be at the center of creating religious harmony.

Wars, big and small, are still taking place on this earth, and many people are facing hardships and have even sacrificed their lives because of this. However, wars cannot be abolished with the current international law. That is why HWPL proclaimed the 10 articles and 38 clauses of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) with international law experts to cease all wars and achieve peace. Today marks the 7th anniversary of the proclamation.

Peace messengers around the world are working even now so that the 10 articles and the 38 clauses of the DPCW can be submitted and adopted by the UN as a resolution. The DPCW’s Article 8 “Freedom of religion” and Article 9 “Religion, ethnic identity and peace” prohibit religious conflicts and advocate for religious peace. I thought these articles were radical and that is how I came to support the DPCW as a religious leader.

HWPL’s peace initiatives, such as the WARP Office meetings, international law for cessation of war, and peace education, should be praised and they are necessary institutions that need to be spearheaded. The 10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW need your endless support and encouragement to achieve not only cessation of war, but also religious freedom.

Dear respected family members of peace, if HWPL Chairman’s wishes for peace are carried out, religions will be able to come together, and we will be able to achieve salvation for all humanity and world peace. Let us all become delegates of peace and take part in HWPL’s peace work to achieve religious dialogue and harmony.

In the Buddhist scriptures, there is a saying:

Like a lion who is not surprised by the sound

Like a wind that does not catch on the net

Like a lotus flower that does not get dirty in muddy water.

Go alone like a horn of rhinoceros 

Like this quote, there will be many difficulties in achieving complete peace but let’s take the lead in creating a world of peace by becoming one with HWPL until cessation of war and world peace is achieved.

Thank you.

Chairman ManHee Lee, HWPL and its affiliates are jointly working for a true world of peace without wars or conflicts. I'm proud to present myself to you as a member of HWPL Supporters One and as a part of a global work of peace that Chairman ManHee Lee and HWPL are running for now. It's not hard, just join HWPL and let's promote the work of peace together :)

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