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Saturday,December 10,2022
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G20 World Religious Leaders Forum at Jeonggakwon

 

   
 
   
 

While world leaders at the G20 Summit discussed the economic development in South Korea, world religious leaders gathered at Jeonggakwon (a temple on the campus of Dongguk University) to discuss and envision a spiritual role model of prosperity for people the world over.

 

The ‘G20 World Religious Leaders Forum’ was held to discuss ways of establishing world peace, cooperation between business leaders, and ways to solve environment problems. Around 150 religious leaders from 15 countries took part in this forum. Some of the religions represented were Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism. Spiritual philosophers and even scientists were in attendance to discuss the spiritual welfare and prosperity of people around the globe.

 

   

Dena Merriam,

   
 
Dena Merriam, founder of the Global Peace Initiative for Women (GPIW) said that, “I knew because of the diversity within the forum there could be a deadlock in our discussion. So, I thought of what we share in common as a spiritual community (regardless of faith). That commonality is the promotion of world peace. We realized that we must make our efforts known to the presidents of the world. This forum’s mission is to urge them not forget our commitments.”

 

 

   

Zarko Andricivec,

   
 
Zarko Andricivec, a Chan Buddhist Master from Croatia said that, “economic problems can become balanced if economic leaders connect and relate with the younger generation.” He added that “deep inter-connect meditation can help people believe that the world is a global body.” He stressed the need for inner-accomplishments in people lives.

Each day the forum began with each panel member giving a speech in the morning, followed by an open discussion circle in which other attendees were able to openly converse and ask questions.

With the support of GPIW, which has its headquarters in New York, and the Jogye Order, the largest Buddhist sect in Korea, the forum issued a manifesto of world peace. The manifesto states that: human-beings can truly be stronger by balancing the material world with spiritual thinking.  All people can go through the global financial crisis and end up in a better place if we cooperate with one another.

After the forum G20 panel members visited the de-militarized zone (which cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half) and prayed for Koreas peace and harmony. Ejaz Akram, panel member and Professor from Lahore University in Pakistan said, “It’s unfortunate that Korean people are distressed by conflict. I hope our small prayer can help Korea settle the peace.”

Lee Jong-seok  bigbell414@dongguk.edu

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