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Religious Leaders and Government Officials from Vietnam and Laos Meet Leaders of Religions for Peace Japan

May 2017

A joint delegation of seven religious leaders and government officials from Vietnam and Laos visited Japan May 17-18 to deepen their understanding of interreligious cooperation and peace activities through interaction with members of the Diet (Japan's parliament) and the leaders of Religions for Peace Japan. The delegation was accompanied by, Rev. Kyoichi Sugino, deputy secretary general of Religions for Peace International, and Ms. Elida Jbeili, a Religions for Peace International staff member.

Vietnam and Laos are socialist countries where religious organizations and their activities are under the control of the government. Religions for Peace International has worked with religious leaders and government officials in each country to encourage the building of a platform to promote interreligious cooperation in their respective countries. During such interactions, the idea emerged that religious leaders and government officials should learn more about interreligious cooperation directly from Japan, which Religions for Peace Japan supported.

On May 15, the seven delegates conferred with members of the Diet who belong to Religions for Peace Japan's social meeting group. The meeting took place at the Members' Office Building of the House of Councillors in Tokyo. The delegation next met with some 30 members of Religions for Peace Japan at a Tokyo hotel. Rev. Nichiko Niwano, president of Religions for Peace Japan and president of Rissho Kosei-kai, offered greetings at the beginning of the meeting.

During the meeting, Ven. Atipathai, a member of the Lao Buddhist Coalition Central Committee, stated that the committee works in collaboration with the government for prevention of HIV infection, undertakes youth educational activities to prevent the abuse of drugs, and carries out literacy education in the country's rural areas. He also said the committee promotes Buddha Dharma-based social activities that contribute to the government and to the nation. Mr. Duong Ngoc Tam, deputy head of Vietnam's Government Committee for Religious Affairs, explained that there are 15 religions in his country and that 95 percent of the nation has a religious faith. As Vietnam is a multiethnic country, the government and religious organizations work with each other on harmonization. He also noted that solidarity among religions contributes to the country's culture and helps defend the country itself.

[News Archive]


The Rissho Kosei-kai of Bangladesh Dharma Center offered family education programs March 17-18.
The Rissho Kosei-kai of Bangladesh Dharma Center offered family education programs March 17-18.

 


 

 
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