Sun, Jul 25, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Religious figures urge the young to create peace

CATASTROPHIC PATH At a Taipei conference, young people and spiritual leaders are talking about ways to bring reconciliation instead of alienation to the world


Religious leaders and international youth leaders kicked off the three-day World Youth Peace Summit Taipei Conference on Friday. The conference is focusing on the idea that provoking animosity among ethnic groups and confrontations among religious groups represents a catastrophic path toward isolation for individuals and calamity for society.

Hundreds of youth delegates from Asia and Africa have gathered at the conference, which is part of an effort by the World Council of Religious Leaders to provide channels for youth leaders around the world to discuss world peace and solutions to spiritual poverty.

Master Sheng Yen (聖嚴法師), founder of the Buddhist group Dharma Drum Mountain and the main organizer of the conference, said in the meeting's opening speech on Friday that the scope of human activity has widened from the regional to the global and that closed ethnic interactions are being replaced by ethnic diversity.

Any event that happens in one corner of the world can have ramifications on global society and no individual should be exempt from the responsibilities that go along with that reality, Sheng said.

Therefore, Sheng said, provoking ethnic animosity and religious confrontation and treating as enemies people of different races lead to isolation for individuals and catastrophe for society.

Sheng urged the young people at the conference to dedicate themselves to their respective fields of work and to bring together the strength of various cultures to maintain world peace.

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