LINDAU, GERMANY. Franziska Jinen Schneider is a Preceptor and Dharma Holder of the Zen Peacemakers, St. Gallen, Switzerland, discussing the World Assemble of Religion for Peace- a multi-religious gathering of religious communities held this past August 2019 in Germany. ZPI encourages reflections from retreats participants and members around the world as part of the practice of bearing witness and to share the depth and breadth of Zen Peacemakers worldwide. What follows is Franziska's reporting on the event, servicing purposes ranging from confronting religious communities' shortcomings, illuminating ways of transforming conflict, and building cross-cultural common ground for international peacebuilding.
10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace- “Caring for our Common Future: Advancing Shared Well-Being”August 20-23 2019 in Lindau, Germany
“We – 900 women, men and youth – have gathered in Lindau, Germany, coming from 125 countries for the 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace. (…) We are an alliance of care, of compassion, of love. (…) In that light, we acknowledge with sorrow the ways – subtle and gross – that we and our religious communities have fallen-short. Our hearts grieve over the misuse of our faiths, especially the ways they have been twisted to fuel violence and hate. Our alliance honors our religious differences, even as it serves the peace for which the human heart hungers. We gather in hope, convinced that the sacred calls all humanity into shared responsibility for our common good, care for one another, the earth, and its entire web of life.”
This is the preamble of the declaration of the 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace, which I had the chance to attend last August. This multi-religious gathering of religious communities had the theme “Caring for our Common Future – Advancing Shared Well-Being”. The main purpose was forging a deep moral consensus on contemporary challenges, and advancing multi-religious action and projects in peacebuilding across and beyond the Religions for Peace network.
Religions for Peace works to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies and protect the earth. The global network comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders from all religions of the world, regional and national inter-religious bodies, the Global Women of Faith Network, and the Global Interfaith Youth Network. The program of the 10th World Assembly was very rich, covering numerous plenary sessions, panels, workshops, and different religious caucuses.
Religious leaders coming from zones of conflict were engaged in conflict mediation and peacebuilding sessions. Women of different faiths and living in different countries were sharing their experiences of violence and war, and their engagement to advance equal rights and peace in their communities and countries. Highly motivated young participants that are engaged in the Youth Network had already met in the Youth Pre-Assembly in order to prepare their proposals and projects at the World Assembly. And all members of the Assembly participated in one of the five commissions concerning the topics of the Assembly.
The 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace closed with a call to common action and a declaration concerning the topics
- Preventing and transforming violent conflicts
- Promoting just and harmonious societies
- Sustainable and integral human development and protecting the earth
May these seeds be spread and the flowers flourish! May we live in peace!
For further information: https://rfp.org/home-3/10th-world-assembly/
About the Author:
FRANZISKA JINEN SCHNEIDER runs the Zen Center in the Green Ring, St. Gallen, with meditations, Zen workshops, circle Zen groups, vows studies with / without Jukai, Koan studies. She is Preceptor & Dharma keeper of the Zen Peacemaker line (Soto-Zen). Spiritual Teachers and Companions include Zen Master Roshi Eve Myonen Marko (Principal Teacher, Mass./USA), Roshi Bernie Glassman (Founder of the Zen Peacemaker Line, † 2018), Roshi Pia Gyger (Glassman-Lassalle Zen Line , † 2014), Hiroshi Nozaki (co-school, † 2006); Roshis Barbara Salaam and Roland Yakushi Wegmüller.