Asia, home to 60% of the world’s population, occupies 30% of the world’s surface area. In this vast region, many civilizations have been born, thanks to favorable natural conditions, giving rise to diverse nations, cultures, and religions, allowing rich community and lives.
In its history leading to the modern era, Asia has undergone repeated and often immeasurable hardships. Today, however, many Asian countries enjoy remarkable development, maintaining high economic growth. In such a situation, despite its inherent problems, Asia is expected to contribute much to the world’s development.
On a worldwide scale, humanity is confronted with numerous and increasingly threatening challenges, including global climate change, food shortages, population explosion, violent extremism, and refugees and displaced persons. In the face of these problems, humanity is required to take action from a perspective that surpasses regional, national, ethnic, and religious differences.
Under such circumstances, we, representatives of religions in Asia, have met through the activities of Religions for Peace, promoting inter-faith dialogue and deepening our awareness of our roles as persons of faith. We have since been sending messages of peace from Asia to the whole world and undertaking problem-solving initiatives, one step at a time and always with deep prayer and wisdom, essential elements of all faith traditions.
Our concrete actions include peace education and conflict reconciliation programs across Asia. We also promote various activities via networks of women of faith and religious youth leaders, and seek collaboration with other peace organizations.
It is our hope that our interfaith solidarity will expand beyond Asia and, together with our friends in Religions for Peace, with its network of 92 countries around the world, develop into a major global network of religious persons steadily working and contributing to world peace.
One person’s hope and power may not amount to much on its own. However, when many get together, overcoming their differences and bringing together the rich heritages of their respective faith traditions, notably love, mercy, and tolerance, and act in spiritual solidarity, humanity can, we are convinced, find its way to a brighter future.