Religions for Peace Asia (also known as ACRP) is the world’s largest regional body of religiously-inspired people working for peace and interreligious harmony. Based on the tenets of truth, justice and human dignity, RfP Asia members are active in their home countries, in the Asia-Pacific region and across the world. Founded in 1976, it operates in tandem with the international body, Religions for Peace International.
RfP Asia encompasses the Asia-Pacific region, the origin of many of the greatest cultural, linguistic and spiritual heritages that highlight the diversity of humanity. Asia is also the birthplace of the world’s major religious traditions. As such, it has a special place in creating solutions to society’s troubles, based in binding authentic values, irrevocable standards of virtuous behaviour and deep-seated moral attitudes, all grounded in a belief in the unity of humanity.
Spirituality abounds in Asia. As a gift of the divine, spirituality is a transcendent force making Asia one in its diversity in its many expressions. It is an uplifting force of higher quality found within the depths of each human being, which makes us fit and worthy channels for great love, compassion and service. This spirit is witnessed and proclaimed by all religious traditions, and is one that finds its outlet in the various groups and associations created out of these religions for the good of society.
In 1970, religious leaders from around the world convened in Kyoto for the first ever world religious assembly, and established the World Conference of Religions and Peace. At this meeting, some Asian religious leaders pointed out that Asia faced a number of problems that posed a threat to peace. Accordingly, they felt that they should respond in ways appropriate to Asia, and in doing so must maintain their Asian identity in addressing issues and concerns that affect the region, as well as the wider world. These needs were addressed when the Asian Conference of Religions for Peace (ACRP) was established during the second Assembly of the World Conference of Religions and Peace in September of 1974 in Louvain, Belgium. The ensuing two years of demanding preparation finally gave birth to this eagerly awaited Asian organization. Through ACRP, Asian religious leaders have a visible manifestation of their own dialogue and fellowship, as well as a solid framework for common advocacy and concerted efforts for peace.