THE MILLENNIUM WORLD PEACE SUMMIT
Bawa Jain, Secretary General Millennium World Peace Summit Of Religious and Spiritual Leaders reported: On August 28 of this year, that over 1000 leading religious figures from over 15 major faith traditions gathered at the United Nations to open the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders. For more than two hours the General Assembly Hall was filled with prayers, meditations and sacred ceremonies for peace. During the following days, the religious leaders deliberated over how their combined efforts can be a stronger force for peace in the world. This is an historic occasion: never before have so many religious leaders of this level come together, and they have never convened at the United Nations. We hope the Summit sends a powerful signal to people of faith around the world that there is no acceptable alternative to the peaceful resolution of differences.
What really surprised us was Betty Boothroyd, She chaired one of the meetings at the United Nations Summit. She was a speaker in the House of Commons for eight years in London and has since been made Baroness of Sandwell with all rights to degree of Baron by Queen Elisabeth of England on January 15, 2001. She still claims a seat in the upper British House of Lords.
The question has been posed: Why hold the Summit at the United Nations, a political body that has no involvement in matters of religion? The answer is simple. Many of the conflicts in the world today are among different religious and ethnic groups. Often these conflicts are waged "in the name of religion." By holding the Summit, we are searching for ways to foster peace "in the name of religion." There is one serious and ironic shortcoming to holding this Summit at the United Nations: the question of the participation of Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Dalai Lama, one of the most beloved and respected religious leaders in the world.
We, the Summit organizers, have been aware and unhappy about these constraints from the beginning. Yet, to invite the Dalai Lama to the United Nations would raise a host of political questions about the status of Tibet, and it is not the intention of this Religious Summit to engage in political issues. For the same reason the issue of Jerusalem will not be on the agenda. The intention of the Summit is rather collectively to disavow the terrible misuse of religion for political purposes, to eschew the use of violence and war "in the name of religion," and to issue a strong moral call to the followers of every faith tradition to live in tolerance and respect for all the world's diverse religious and ethnic traditions.
There were leaders of indigenous faith traditions around the world, and nearly 150 of these leaders will be participating the Summit. The real question to pose as the Summit nears is what religious leaders can do to foster peaceful co-existence among Jews and Muslims in the Middle East, among Christians and Muslims in Indonesia, among Catholics, Muslims and Orthodox Christians in the Balkans, among Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, among Hindus, Christians and Muslims in India, and in the United States to end crimes of hate. Can religious leaders make a difference? In many instances religious leaders are the ones who must pick up the pieces and help the communities heal after political agreements are put in place. Healing and reconciliation are complex processes that cannot be successful without spiritual resources. They will be key themes at the Summit.
This Summit is not about the participation of one man, or even one country. We were delighted when approached by the Chinese with the news that they will send a delegation, which will include a leader to represent the Taoist tradition. Tibetan Buddhism will also be represented, as will every major religious tradition in the world. Religious leaders who have not sat together will for the first time come together in prayer and dialogue. The convening of interfaith gatherings is not new. There is more interfaith dialogue than ever before, and this has positively impacted the acceptance of religious diversity. What is new about this Summit is the potential partnership of religious and political leadership on vital issues that affect the security and wellbeing of the human community. Religious leaders were invited to sign a series of Commitments that condemns all violence perpetrated in "the name of religion" and calls for the practice of tolerance and respect for all religions. They will also be proposing specific ways in which they can work with and strengthen the peace efforts of the United Nations.
Since then we have been able to invite the Dalai Lama to deliver the keynote address at the closing plenary at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. He has written to us that he will not be able to attend, but he will be sending a high level delegation to represent him. A high level delegation of religious leaders from China will also be present. The presidents of the two Koreas recently met in a spirit of cooperation. The paradigm of the 20th century is unraveling. Let us all pray that another step toward peace will be achieved. [Source: Bawa Jain, Secretary General Millennium World Peace Summit Of Religious and Spiritual Leaders]
A PROMINENT SOUTHERN BAPTIST ATTENDS THE MILLENNIUM WORLD PEACE SUMMIT
Evangelicals criticized the Millennium Peace Summit. They complained of not being invited and said that the meeting would be anti-family and pro-abortion. The Millennium World Peace Summit of religious and spiritual leaders on August 28-31, 2000, drew more than 1,000 religious leaders from around the world to New York to discuss paths toward peace. Every major faith tradition in the world was represented. The summit was the birth of the International Advisory Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, a United Nations advisory panel that works toward peace in troubled regions around the world. Some religious conservatives, who have long questioned the global nature of the United Nations, say the conference is a "wolf in sheep's clothing" of "leftist" and "anti-life, anti-family politics in the robes of religion." Robert Maginnis, vice president for foreign policy for the Washington-based Family Research Council, said the summit's agenda will include "the promotion of birth control methods, environmental extremism and 'New Age' ideals of globalized religion." Maginnis also criticized the summit for not inviting the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Tibetan Buddhists. A host of critics have said summit organizers bowed to Chinese pressure to exclude the Nobel Peace Prize-winning spiritual leader.
"The political agenda of the summit sponsors, combined with [U.N.] Secretary-General [Kofi] Anan's reference to the Communist government of China, are proof positive that the Millennium Summit does little to strengthen the cause of religious freedom around the world and will more likely offend the values of the pro-life and pro-family faithful," Maginnis said. He also said the country's largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, would not be officially represented at the conference because organizers did not extend invitations to evangelicals. But one prominent Southern Baptist, Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, was invited and attended the conference, according to her spokeswoman, Nancy Guthrie and photos posted on the Summit's website.
WHO IS BEHIND THIS RELIGIOUS SUMMIT?
One goal of this meeting was of course to further the cause of the Interfaith Movement. An interfaith coalition organized the program and picked the participants. It is generally agreed upon that religion is a force for both war and peace in international conflicts. The New Age Interfaith movement uses any social issue which has the potential to bring religions together to further their cause.
Intellectuals who partner this movement, like: The Scholar's Group at Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions, United Nations University for Peace, The Earth Council, Word Faiths Development Dialogue, Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, Interfaith Center of New York, Hinduja Foundation, Forum on Religion and Ecology and others belief that peace could be achieved if all religions where to join hands and become brothers and sisters in faith. According to them all roads lead to "God" and there would be peace on earth even though the Bible states that Jesus came to divide and there would be no peace until He returns.
There are many problems with this philosophy, the major one being that this movement is a front for the United Nations' focus on bringing church and state together world-wide, to harmonize the world economically, which is also Pope John Paul II's agenda. Not only is that born out in the fact that Dalai Lama did not receive an invitation to the U.N. Religious Millennial World Peace Summit but also where the funding came from to stage this event.
When one looks at who funded this major event, it is easy to see the truth. Listed were: U.N. Foundation "Better World Fund" (Ted Turner's Foundation), Ford Foundation, Ruder Finn, Inc., Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Carnegie Foundation, Modi Foundation, Sukyo Mattikari, Korean Delegation, Japanese Delegation, Greenville Foundation, Sternberg Foundation, Appeal of Conscience Foundation and Waldorf-Astoria Hotel [EDITOR'S NOTE: Korean & Japanese Delegations are most likely Rev. Moon's contributions. See a newspaper article on our website in the Unification Church section on: www.cephasministry.com/index2.html]
WHY BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS ARE EXCLUDED OUTSIDE OF DR. BILLY GRAHAM'S FAMILY AND EXTENDED FAMILY
Let's take a look at the photo gallery as to who attended. The website www.Beliefnet.com displays many prominent Spiritual leaders from all over the world who attended the conference. It begins with His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze, President of the Pontifical Council of Interrelations Dialogue of the Vatican, His Eminence Sheikh Ahmed Kuftaro, Grand Mufti of Syria, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Monks from Swami Narayan who recited the Hindu Shanti Mantra, Bawa Jain, Secretary-General of the Millennium World Peace, Sheikh Ahmed Tijani Ben Omar gave a call to prayer, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of the Armenian Orthodox Church, The Most Reverend Kuni Kuniaki, the Jingu Daiguji (Shinto High Priest) of the Grand Shrine at Ise, Japan, (female) Sri Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Hindu Spiritual Leader, His excellency Addullah al-Obaid, Secretary- General of the World Muslim League, Rev. Dr. Konrad Raiser Secretary- General of the World Council of Churches, Dastur Dr. Firoze Kotwal, High Priest of Zoroastrianism, four Tibetan Buddhist Priests chant together, Chief Madende and Chief Manxiwa with Nana Apeadu Chief of the Akana (Ghanas) and a photo depicting an unannounced speaker interrupting Dr. Seung-Heun Lee, Founder of Dahnhak, a Holistic Korean Practice.
To continue photos, photos of: A Call for Dialogue Among Religions by the Reverend James Forbes, Senior Pastor of Riverside Church of New York, Min Zhiting, Chairman of the China Taoist Association, The most venerable Eshin Watanabe, Patriarch of Tendal Buddhism, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. leading Talmudic Scholar, Ms. Audrey Shenendoah Clan Mother of the Onondaca Nation, Franciscan Father Maxmillan Mizzi Venerable Undeok Jeon, Chontae Buddhist Order of South Korea, and to keep from becoming boring: to name a few more denominations, Muslim, Brahma, Rabbi, Greek Orthodox of Britain, a Reverend Joan Brown Campbell, Director of the Department of Religion, Chautaqua Institution, another Rabbi, Vice Chair Dena Merriam of the Executive Council of the Millennium World Peace Summit and Bawa Jain, and Secretary General of the same council.
To name a few others: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and Honorary Summit Chair Ted Turner, Dr. Karan Singh, member of Parliament of India and Dr. Maurice Strong, Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Millennium World Peace Summit and President of the United Nations University for Peace.
A photo of Ted Turner, among others, giving his keynote address to assembled religious leaders, two more Rabbis, the granddaughter of Ghandi with African Entourage invoking the spirits of her ancestors from Africa, Ms. Betty Williams, Noble Peace Laureate, (female) Rev. Bishop Lashti McKenzie, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Ms. Jane Goodall, Primatologist and Anne Graham Lotz, Daughter of Rev. Billy Graham next to Dudu Chili, Member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, South Africa, another Hindu, Rabbi, Buddhist, Sanskrit and Vedanta Scholar, Dr. Albert Linclon, Secretary General, the Baha'i Faith and so on so on.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: the website lists various belief systems and under Christianity we have: Catholic, Mormon, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants. It displays a banner advertising Horoscopes. Third, we are encouraged to create Prayer Circles all over the world.]
The title is "Unity Gives Way To Dissension At U.N. Religious Summit in spite of the departure of the Chinese delegation. Very significant to us was a comment made in regard to the lasting value: "The lasting value of the United Nation's Millennium World Peace Summit may be what happens behind the scenes, not what is at the podium. We know that is true because we have been following various organizations around especially in Africa and they are making lots of progress bringing believers into this unity.
Crimson robes outnumbered gray suits, and nuns in saris sat next to swamis in turbans Tuesday at the United Nations, where monks, a cardinal, and even a business mogul addressed more than 1,000 religious leaders at the Millennium World Peace Summit. After Prayers by clan mothers and church fathers, chief rabbis and high priests, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan addressed the morning session.
Kofi said in his speech: "religion often strokes 'flames of violent conflict', wrote Julia Lieblich (AP). Annan addressed the morning session. "Religious practices and beliefs are among the phenomena that define us as human," he said. But "religion has often been yoked to nationalism, stoking the flames of violent conflict... Religious leaders have not always spoken out when their voices could have helped combat hatred and persecution."
Billionaire media czar Ted Turner struck a more informal note. "I was born in a Christian family," said Turner, who once said publicly that Christianity was "for losers." He dreamed of becoming "a man of the cloth," he said, but was bothered that his religious group taught that only Christians were going to heaven. "I thought heaven was going to be a mighty empty place," he said. "Now I believe there may be one God who manifests himself in different ways to different people... And I can't believe God wants us to blow ourselves to kingdom come. He wants us to love each other and live in peace." Sadhvi Shilapiji, a Jain nun, said she found Turner's speech "fascinating." "It was the feeling of the common man not burdened by any religious or political affiliation," Shilapiji said. "It came from his heart."
Other speakers Tuesday included Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; and Abdullah al-Obaid, secretary-general of the World Muslim League. Somewhat jarringly given the general interfaith tone, American evangelical Protestant Anne Graham, daughter of famed evangelist Billy Graham, told the gathering that the way to world peace was through acceptance of Jesus as "the prince of peace." Participants say they hope the summit, which runs through Thursday, will result in a declaration on peace, poverty, and the environment, as well as the formation of a council of religious leaders to advise the United Nations on preventing and settling disputes. Sessions were scheduled on the role of religion in conflict resolution.
"This afternoon, this General Assembly hall has become a sanctuary," said Bawa Jain, the summit general secretary. China, a veto-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council. China accuses the Tibetan Buddhist leader Dalai Lama of "creating turmoil" in Tibet, which he fled in 1959 after an abortive uprising against China's occupation. On Tuesday afternoon, the head of the eight-member Tibetan Buddhist delegation, Drikung Chestsang Rinpoche, read a statement by the Dalai Lama in which he called for "dialogue and compromise" for settling differences. Dalai Lama has 15 million followers. China has repeatedly refused to meet with the Dalai Lama, who has long urged talks with Beijing to resolve the Tibet question. The Office of Tibet, the U.S. representative of the Dalai Lama, said Tuesday was the first time Tibetans representing the Buddhist leader have spoken in the General Assembly Hall since the early 1960s.
"I feel very sad, and I feel happy," said another Dalai Lama disciple, the Rev. Tsona Gontse Rinpoche. "This is a historic occasion." Organizers invited the Dalai Lama only to the last two days of the conference-- being held at a New York hotel. He declined. Several hundred pro-Dalai Lama demonstrators protested Tuesday near the United Nations. The United Nations did not sponsor the event or issue invitations. An interfaith coalition organized the program and picked the participants. The only delegations chosen by their government were China's and Vietnam's. Both nations have been criticized by human rights groups for limiting religious freedoms. Among the other leaders on the program were the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Cambodian Buddhist leader Samdech Preah Maha Ghosananda, and the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, Mustafa Ceric. Leaders who declined to come include Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, who sent a videotaped message, and Jerusalem Mufti Ikrema Sabri, who has refused to meet with Israel's Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Meir Lau. [Source: http://www.millenniumpeacesummit.com]
Jesus said: "He that overcometh [the world], the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot our his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." (Revelation 3:5)
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