Religions for Peace (Asia)
The Asian Conference of Religions for Peace, also known as Religions for Peace Asia, is the world’s largest regional body of religiously-inspired people working for peace, harmony and the well-being of people in their own countries, in the Asian-Pacific region. The Asian Conference of Religions for Peace encompasses the Asian-Pacific region, stretching from the countries of the Middle East and South Asia up to Central Asia across to East Asia and South-East Asia and down to the countries of the South Pacific. Within these boundaries are contained many of the greatest cultural, linguistic and spiritual heritages that celebrate the diversity of humanity. Within these boundaries are contained over half of the world’s population, including seven of the twelve most populous nations led by China and India.
Founded in 1974, Religions for Peace Asia held it first Assembly in 1976 in Singapore. Since then, Assemblies have been held in New Delhi (1981), Seoul (1986), Katmandu (1991), Ayutthaya (1996) in Thailand and in Jogjakarta (2002). The member countries are Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The last Assembly met in metropolis Manila in October 2008 under the theme, Peace-making in Asia, with the participation of almost 400 people as delegates and observers belonging to all the principal religions of Asia – Buddhist, Baha’i, Christian, Confucian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Shinto, Sikh, Tao, Zoroastrian and others. During this Assembly, Iraq and Cambodia were admitted as new members. As well, there were observers from Iran, Krygystan and Malaysia. The Asian Conference of Religions for Peace, in tandem with its partner and parent, Religions for Peace International, works to co-ordinate the various Asian religious heritages in pursuing peace and interreligious harmony based on the tenets of truth, justice, compassion and the transcendent dignity of the human person.