Global Religious Leaders Join Hands and Pray for PeaceMessage from Mount Hiei 2017 Adopted
During the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Religious Summit Meeting on Mt. Hiei, "Interreligious Gathering of Prayer for World Peace," a "ceremony of prayers for world peace" was held at Enryakuji Temple, the head temple of the Tendai Buddhist Sect in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, on August 4. The ceremony was after its subcommittee meeting held at Kyoto International Conference Center, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto. Participants prayed together and joined hands to deepen a sense of unity. After that, "A Message from Mount Hiei 2017," a joint statement affirming peaceful religious intent, was adopted to close its two-day program.
In the morning subcommittee program, participators were divided into two groups to talk about two topics: "Nuclear abolition and atomic energy problems" and "Eradication of poverty and spread of education." In the afternoon prayer ceremony, approximately 1,300 people prayed as the "peace bell" rang.
At the ceremony, Tendaizasu, meaning the head priest of the Tendai Buddhism sect, Kouei Morikawa, honorary chairperson of the Japan Conference of Religious Representatives that promotes the event, emphasized the importance of continuing to pursue the ideal of realizing peace. He appealed on the participants, saying "Let us work hand in hand in order for all people on the earth to escape poverty as well as every fear or discrimination for the realization of world peace" After that, participants joined hands with those next to them in "a friendly association for peace."
The Message from Mount Hiei includes various topics such as terrorism and wars, environmental issues, abolition of nuclear weapons, life science, ethics and others. At the Religious Summit Meeting 30 years ago, they stated, "Religious people must always try to stand by the weak." Religious representatives admitted difficulties in that, saying, "It is hard to say that we have fulfilled this responsibility sufficiently." Moreover, they pledged to make further efforts for peace, saying in conclusion, "Only conflict grows from hatred and exclusion. Patient dialogue and efforts to accept the existence of others is the shortcut to peace."(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)