Religions for Peace Thailand Report 2016

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     Since the last 8th ACRP Assembly held in Incheon, South Korea in 2014, Thai Chapter has done a wider scope of engaging in interreligious activities for peace and harmony in the country and worldwide.

     Thailand is one of the founding members of WCRP and ACRP. At present, the number of Thais as categorized by religion are approximate as follows:
                      Buddhists       54.5 million (87.2%)
                      Muslims          7.5   million   (12 %)
                      Christians       0.45 million   (0.72%)
                     Others           0.05 million  (0.08 %)
                              (Hindus, Confucians, Sikhs, etc.)
According to the constitution, all Thai people of different religions have equal rights and enjoy the civil liberty as well as religious, political, economic and social protection.
                
During the year 2015 until April 2016, our activities are summarized as follows:

1.   Collaboration of RfP Thailand and ACRP Chapter. Since last year, we have strengthened our relationship in working together between ACRP and RfP Thailand   according to the strategic plan of WfP International. Recently, we had a meeting for drafting   the Manual for Rules and Regulations of WfP Thailand. The manual contains the structure, duties of committee members, linkage of activities with   other organizations, etc.
            At present, Mahidol University’s Research Center for Peace run as the site of RfP Thailand.   The Inter-Religious Council for Peace Thailand is established with objectives to promote peace and harmony in the southern part of Thailand.
  1. Collaboration with International   and national religious organizations
ACRP Chapter works closely with the World Fellowship of Buddhists and The Buddhist Association of Thailand under Royal Patronage. Those two organizations are very active in promoting and engaging in peace activities and humanitarian services:
            – Donation and humanitarian services in Nepal for the earthquake recently
            – Course for Meditation Practices
            – Abhidhamma & Sutra Teaching
            – Seminars & Meetings of interfaith dialogues


3.   ACRP Thailand’s collaboration and participation with government sector. Department of Religious Affair, Ministry of Culture, has organized the prayer gathering of the Interreligious Council of Thailand’s Five Dominant Religions (Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Brahmin, and Sikh) together with various religious activities as following:
               – Seminar on the subject of “How to perform religious teaching in societies with different religions”
            – Prays and Chants to honor the special occasion of the 70th anniversary of King accession to the throne on 9 June 2016, and the 7th cycle of the queen birthday on 12 August 2016,
             – Interfaith youth camp in communities. The objectives is to train youth participant from different religions to be together in harmony by learning and exchange ideas among themselves

4.   EC Member attended the Fourth World Buddhist Forum in Lingshan, Wuxi, China during 24-25 October 2015. The theme of the Assembly is “Common Aspiration, Common Action, Embracing Exchanges and Mutual Learning.” The Buddhist leaders from all over the world have exchanged and contributed their experiences from their own practices and traditions.

5.   The EC Members had attended The 27th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held at Baoji, China. During 14-19 October, 2014. It is the biggest gathering of Buddhist leaders from all over the world.

6.   Professor Kirti Bunchua our former ACRP President and EC Member still regularly teaches on peace education and philosophy in the university. He is a key figure for peace promotion in our organization.

Many projects and activities of religions for peace will be continued and expanded more, especially in ASEAN countries. ACRP/ RfP Thailand will cooperate in working together for peace according to the ACRP Strategic Plan in future.