Posts Tagged ‘#SouthKorea’

Mindanao, Once The Worst Conflict Zone In Southeast Asia, Shows The Possibility Of Resolving Global Disputes

CaribPR Wire, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. July 7, 2022: After the end of the Cold War, ethnic-religious identities have emerged as a primary source of conflict. The emergence of new conflict requires a new approach. The achievements of the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWP), presents a ‘New model of peace’ to the global community.

Mindanao was the site of one the largest conflicts in Southeast Asia. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, (MILF), was an armed force in Southeast Asia and the Philippine government declared an all-out war resulting in over 120,000 casualties. In October 2012, the government and MILF signed a Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro due to the intervention of the international community, recognizing Muslim autonomy in Mindanao.

However, the deep-rooted conflict did not end. In September 2013, Antonio Ledesma, former Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, requested Chairman Lee of HWPL to mediate the settlement.

On January 24, 2014, Chairman Lee visited Mindanao and held a Peace Walk, inviting more than 1,000 people including students from Mindanao State University to the City of General Santos. Chairman Lee then asked Fernando Capalla, former Davao Archbishop, and Esmael Mangudadatu, Governor of Maguindanao to sign a peace agreement.

The government and MILF finally agreed on the final annex of the Preliminary Peace Agreement on January 25, 2014. The agreement is to recognize Muslim autonomy and gradually disarm the MILF in the Bangsamoro region in southern Mindanao. This is considered the biggest progress in the 18-year negotiation process. In May of that year, the Parliament began to enter the so-called Bangsamoro Basic Law into the legislative process, and the civil war of Mindanao was over when President Rodrigo Duterte finally signed this Law in August 2018.

The Peace Agreement arbitrated by HWPL was Mindanao’s declaration of permanent peace. Since then, all parties, including local-national politics, religion, and society, have cooperated. With signing MOUs with 70 educational institutions in February 2016, HWPL implemented peace education curricula that has since been presented by the United Nations-UNESCO. HWPL signed an MOU with The Commission on Higher Education in 2018 resulting in 2551 teachers, from 557 educational institutions in the Philippines being trained to teach peace education to up to 23,000 students.

On May 25, 2015, “the 2nd Anniversary of Peace Walk in Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace ” was held in Buluan, Maguindanao Province. During the January 24th celebrations, MILF Chairman Hon. Ahod Ebrahim declared January 24 as ‘HWPL Day.’ This announcement was to recognize contributions to achieving peace in Mindanao. HWPL Peace Monument was erected on July 19, 2021, in the Barangay Bagua Mother, Cotabato City, Mindanao.

About HWPL

HWPL is a non-governmental organization in South Korea seeking peace and cessation of war and it is registered in special consultative status with the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC) and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Learn More : https://www.hwpl.kr/language/en/about-hwpl-_en/

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Annual Event To Commemorate Civilian-Led Peacebuilding In Mindanao Calls Forth Collective Action To Develop Peace

CaribPR Wire, WASHINGTON D.C., Fri. Jan. 28, 2022: On January 24, 2022, over 22,000 people from 51 countries attended a virtual Peace Conference in honor of the annual Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) Peace Day celebration. The event commemorated a civilian-led peace agreement made between the Islamic and Catholic communities in Mindanao, Philippines 8 years ago.

This year’s gathering was titled the “Law of Peace in Heaven and on Earth” and aimed to: (1) promote interfaith harmony between religions and, (2) raise public support to establish an international law for peace.

Back in 2014 HWPL, an international NGO, mediated the conflict in Mindanao by proposing a peace agreement by local representatives. Witnessed by Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL, the peace agreement was signed by local leadership: Hon. Esmael G. Mangudadatu, the then Governor of Maguindanao, and Archbishop-Emeritus Fernando Capalla of the Archdiocese of Davao. Since then, the province of Maguindanao and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has declared January 24th as “HWPL Peace Day.”  In addition, leaders have built Peace Monuments throughout the Philippines to honor the peace agreement, with the newest monument planned to be unveiled in February.

Monday’s event reaffirmed the region’s and HWPL’s continued dedication to international cooperation and the importance of local partnerships when building peace in Mindanao.  Key figures from the Philippines gave congratulatory messages including Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Cynthia Villar, Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, and TV News Anchor Mariz Umali. Keynote speakers from various fields also presented commitment messages declaring their plans to promote peace in their respective sectors including law, education, youth, women, private business and media.

For instance, Prabhu Mahendra Das, Temple President of Sri Sri Radha Madhava Mandir, said that he decided to participate in the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Office organized by HWPL because it is “a global platform for religious leaders to talk, share, discuss, learn, and grow together harmoniously and peacefully.” For the contribution to peace in the field of religion, he added, “I firmly believe that all religions should enter into a partnership [with HWPL] through the form of a Memorandum of Understanding.”

Justice Raoul Victorino (ret), Chairman of Philippine National Prayer Breakfast and Dean of the College of Law of Philippine Christian University, shared how he was inspired by the “revolutionary movement” that HWPL initiated to endorse global peacebuilding by drafting the “Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW). ” The DPCW was written by global experts in international law to advocate peace as a global culture and norm. He declared, “I will strive to get the support of the President of the Philippines for the DPCW. At the same time, I will integrate the DPCW [education] in the college of law by collaborating with the Philippine Association of Law Schools.”

Also, representing the Philippines education sector, Commissioner Ronald Adamat of the Commissioner on Higher Education (CHED), shared, “The CHED Commission en Banc has issued an endorsement to President Duterte, urging him to declare January 24th as ‘National Peace Day’, that will provide for simultaneous celebration and observance of peace through peace activities, events, and ceremonies by all instrumentalities and agencies of government, including the private sector. This shall also be celebrated and observed in the education sector.”

Chairman Lee, during the closing remarks, said: “Our purpose is to bring all people in the world together to create a world of peace and leave it as a lasting legacy for future generations. To make this world a peaceful place without wars, let us become messengers of peace. Let us remind people around the world of that emotion – a longing for peace – and the Peace Day so they can remember all of this forever.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: See images for use with this press release HERE and HERE

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Shincheonji Church Holds US Press Conference To Make Known New Seminar Series

CaribPR, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Jan. 14, 2022: At 7 p.m. on January 14th, reporters from the USA, the Caribbean, and several South American countries attended a press conference held by Shincheonji Church to ask questions about a new seminar series regarding the fulfilled realities of biblical parables.

“Shincheonji Online Seminar: Testimony on the Parables of the Secrets of Heaven and Their True Meanings” is the newest seminar series held by Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. This round of seminars focuses on understanding parables written in the New Testament Bible and will be launched on a YouTube live-stream every Monday and Thursday at 10am (GMT+9) from January 3rd to March 28th, 2022.

Shincheonji’s prior seminar series entitled: ‘God’s New Covenant Revelation Prophecy and Fulfillment,’ has already drawn millions of views via YouTube since it began in October 2021. Thanks to this series success, thus far, approximately 700 churches worldwide have reportedly requested further doctrinal exchanges with Shincheonji as they seek deeper content.

In a recent report in December 2021 from Pew Research Center’s National Public Opinion Reference Surveys, 3 out of 10 adults in the United States are now religiously unaffiliated. Protestant denominations are the most affected by a decrease in congregants, with a steady decrease from 52% in 2007 to 40% in 2021. https://www.pewforum.org/2021/12/14/about-three-in-ten-u-s-adults-are-now-religiously-unaffiliated/

This trend is also reflected by another investigation from Lifeway Research in Nashville that says most Americans consider Jesus as a historical fact but have no biblical knowledge about why he came. According to the report, only 9% knew that Jesus’ mission was to give open words (fulfillment) of the Old Testament. https://blog.lifeway.com/newsroom/2021/12/08/christmas-celebrates-a-historical-event-americans-say/

On the other side of the globe, an increasing number of people are affiliated with religion. Contrary to the decrease in traditional denominations, since 2019 over 140,000 people have joined Shincheonji Church of Jesus after receiving Shincheonji Biblical education courses.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please see associated image for use with this press release HERE

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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

[email protected]

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