Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Religions Unite To Pray For Peace And Care For One Another In The Pandemic Crisis

CaribPR Wire, Washington, D.C., Mon. Dec. 21, 2020: While national measures limiting social activities bring out changes of daily routine due to the pandemic, efforts to spiritually understand about life facing diseases and related social changes are underway across religions globally.

On December 14, 560 representatives from 31 religions in 80 countries, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism and Sikhism, joined in an online gathering titled: “HWPL End-of-year Religious Leaders’ Gathering: United Hopes & Prayers for a Brighter 2021,” to express words of consolation to humanity and reaffirm inter-religious commitment to and dialogue for peace.

Eleven religious leaders representing different religions prayed for wisdom and solution to the multifarious life patterns affected by the current COVID-19 crisis. The video messages from religious leaders displayed their support for the role of religion in countering anti-peace movements such as discrimination, hatred and violence that can be exacerbated during the pandemic.

During the prayer, Rev. Acharya Prem Shankaranand Tirth, Hindu High Priest of Shree Geeta Ashram of Delhi, said: “For our colleagues, families of peace, let us continue endeavor of world peace. During this pandemic, we must realize the value of one another in that we all coexist with the nature and other creations. We in the human society must act as one and should exist in peace, harmony and love.”

“I remember sitting at my desk and finding out about the first infection in my own country. I prayed, asking a lot of questions. Many of my peers turned back to scripture in these times to seek answers about the Creator God, His plan, His will and what He wants us to focus on due to these events,” said Ms. Nandi Bester, manager of International Youth Peace Group in South Africa.

“Today we may be able to solve the problem of COVID-19, but another disease will come. When winter is coming, we can’t stop it but can cover ourselves and protect ourselves. That’s what we can do when there is challenging issue of bad health and adversities coming in life. We should maintain patience and learn the art of tolerance and tolerate the difficulty and suffering that is coming upon us,” said Rev. Hare Krsna Das, Priest of ISKCON, Rishikesh, India.

“Regarding the question about how human society should understand why suffering such as COVID-19 occurs, we found that all religions are searching for an answer. In the process, those participating in this event, transcending time difference, pray for the safety of all regardless of their faiths. This is the clear difference from the time before the pandemic when news of conflict was filled with intolerance against groups from different backgrounds. In this respect, it has proved the possibility that humanity in a crisis can be united and one in peace beyond religion,” said a HWPL official.

The organizer HWPL is an NGO affiliated with the UN ECOSOC and had led national plasma donation from over 3,700 people in South Korea who recovered from COVID-19 to develop a cure throughout this year.

Key Attendance List

No. Country Religion Name Organization Title
1 India Sikhism Mr. Bhupinder Singh Guru Teg Bahadar Jalandhar Head Priest
2 Ukraine Judaism Alexander Duhovnyi All-Ukrainian Council of Religious Associations Chairman
3 India Jainism Pradyumna Shah Singh Religious Studies, Punjabi University Professor
4 India Buddhism Dhammapiya International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) Secretary General
5 India ISKCON Hare Krsna Das ISKCON Rishikesh Priest
6 Czech Republic Islam Hassen Tlili Alfirdaus Praha Imam
7 Romania The Orthodox Church Constantin Cârlan Ungureanu Biserica “Sfântul Ştefan” Parish Priest
8 Cambodia Buddhism Oeun Sam Art Supreme Patriarch’s Cabinet Personal Assistant to The Great Supreme Patriarch
9 Sweden Ahmadiyya Agha Yahya Khan Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Gothenburg Mosque Chief Imam
10 United States of America Hinduism Bikram Paul The Hindu Temple of Metropolitan Washington Chairman
11 United States of America Protestantism Eldon Jones Good field church Pastor
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Forced Religious Conversion Becomes an International Human Rights Problem

CaribPR Wire, WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 20, 2019: On 19 November, the Italian Center
for Studies on New Religions
(CESNUR) and the Belgien Human
Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF)
hosted a seminar on human rights
entitled “Intolerance and
Discrimination Against New
Religious Movements: An
International Problem” in Seoul,
South Korea..
The seminar was devoted to the
protection of the rights of religious
minorities with a special focus on forced conversion cases in Korea. Forced conversion, also
known as “deprogramming”, is a violation of human rights. Proponents of forced conversion
kidnap and detain members of religious groups labeled as “cults” in an effort to compel them to
abandon their faith.
More than 80 participants including legal experts, journalists, and civil society representatives
reviewed the current situation of forced conversion and discussed solutions to defend the
freedom of faith and human rights that have become the norm of the international community.
Massimo Introvigne, Managing Director of CESNUR as well as an Italian sociologist, stressed
how, “Korean deprogrammers are specialized pastors from mainstream churches, most of them
Presbyterian. The protests that commemorate the victims from forced conversion were
mentioned in the 2019 U.S. State Department Report on Religious Freedom. The report cited
examples of how forced conversions violated religious freedom in 2018. However, there were
new cases of deprogramming even after their death,” he criticized.
Regarding the
multi-dimensional strategy
to solve such phenomenon,
Willy Fautré, Founder and
Director of HRWF stated
several suggestions;
pointing at the
responsibility of the
leadership of the
Presbyterian Church which
tolerates, endorses, and maybe encourages such a practice; developing advocacy at the United
Nations and in organizations defending freedom of religion or belief; prosecuting those who
encourage people to perpetrate an act of abduction and confinement.
In an open letter, signed by 15 international NGOs including CAP-LC and HRWF, to the South
Korean President Moon Jae In on July 24 th , it said, “South Korea may well be the last democratic
country in the world where deprogramming is still tolerated” and asked the President to
“investigate in-depth accusations of forcible deprogramming, put a stop to this obnoxious
practice, and hold those responsible fully accountable.”
As an elected member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, South Korea vowed “to
participate in international efforts to respond to human rights crises around the world.” Seminar
participants urged the Korean government to respond to the issue of forced conversion which is
still threatening the human rights of its people.

Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) from Italy and Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) from Belgium hosted the seminar

CaribPR Wire, WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 20, 2019: On 19 November, the Italian Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) and the Belgien Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) hosted a seminar on human rights entitled “Intolerance and Discrimination Against New Religious Movements: An International Problem” in Seoul, South Korea.

The seminar was devoted to the protection of the rights of religious minorities with a special focus on forced conversion cases in Korea. Forced conversion, also known as “deprogramming”, is a violation of human rights. Proponents of forced conversion kidnap and detain members of religious groups labeled as “cults” in an effort to compel them to abandon their faith.

More than 80 participants including legal experts, journalists, and civil society representatives reviewed the current situation of forced conversion and discussed solutions to defend the freedom of faith and human rights that have become the norm of the international community.

Massimo Introvigne, Managing Director of CESNUR as well as an Italian sociologist, stressed how, “Korean deprogrammers are specialized pastors from mainstream churches, most of them Presbyterian. The protests that commemorate the victims from forced conversion were mentioned in the 2019 U.S. State Department Report on Religious Freedom. The report cited examples of how forced conversions violated religious freedom in 2018. However, there were new cases of deprogramming even after their death,” he criticized.

Regarding the multi-dimensional strategy to solve such phenomenon, Willy Fautré, Founder and Director of HRWF stated several suggestions; pointing at the responsibility of the leadership of the Presbyterian Church which tolerates, endorses, and maybe encourages such a practice; developing advocacy at the United Nations and in organizations defending freedom of religion or belief; prosecuting those who encourage people to perpetrate an act of abduction and confinement.

In an open letter, signed by 15 international NGOs including CAP-LC and HRWF, to the South Korean President Moon Jae In on July 24 th , it said, “South Korea may well be the last democratic country in the world where deprogramming is still tolerated” and asked the President to “investigate in-depth accusations of forcible deprogramming, put a stop to this obnoxious practice, and hold those responsible fully accountable.”

As an elected member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, South Korea vowed “to participate in international efforts to respond to human rights crises around the world.” Seminar participants urged the Korean government to respond to the issue of forced conversion which is still threatening the human rights of its people.

CONTACT:

Gabby Fonce

+1 202-898-4571

dchwpl.press@gmail.com

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Back to Kama: Rael supports ‘Right to Return’ for those of African descent

LAS VEGAS, March 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Several years ago, Rael, spiritual leader of the International Raelian Movement (IRM), inspired the movement “Back to Kama” (the original name for Africa used by its indigenous people) to encourage well-educated, successful and affluent people of all races and religions – especially descendants of slaves – to migrate to Kama and relocate their businesses and operations there, along with transferring knowledge and wealth accumulated in the West.

“The Back to Kama movement is gaining momentum now,” Rael said in a statement released today by the IRM. “However, interested candidates are facing an obstacle that tempers their enthusiasm.”

Describing the obstacle as one that is “of an administrative nature and easy to overcome,” Rael went on to compare the current situation with the one that existed right when the nation of Israel was first created. He pointed out that the Israeli government immediately established ‘The Right to Return,” whereby any Jew, no matter where he or she lived at the time, could immediately receive an Israeli passport and the right to live in Israel.

“The same Right to Return should be instituted by the West African states from which most ancestors of African-Americans came, as well ancestors of those now living in the Caribbean islands and South America,” Rael explained. “African states cannot afford to slow the return [of those with African ancestry] for administrative reasons. Their return, with their wealth and knowledge, is real manna, and it also renders justice for the [enslaved] ancestors.”

In today’s statement, Rael asked all Raelians in Kama to launch a broad campaign that will pressure that continent’s governments to immediately adopt right-of-return laws for all descendants of American and Caribbean slaves.

“It would be justice if those who have accumulated wealth and knowledge in countries that enslaved their ancestors to leave these countries and benefit the countries that were forcibly deprived of this invaluable human capital,” Rael said. “They should even request that the [formerly] enslaving countries issue huge monetary compensation to help them return to Africa.”

CONTACT: Kasyo Perrier, 617-967-6179, usa@raelpress.org

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