“It’s essential for major religions around the world to promote tolerance amid differences and maximize common ground in communications. Building partnerships for concerted effort represents the sole solution to defeating the pandemic and ending the wars.” On the morning of April 22, the Religious Leaders’ Dialogue was held at the 2022 Boao Forum for Asia. Religious leaders from the East and West and renowned scholars shared their observations and reach consensus on religious mutual learning, contributing their part to advancing global peace and development in the post-pandemic era.
Due to COVID-19, the dialogue featured both physical and virtual participation, revolving around the theme of “Moon Over the Rivers, Beauty and Harmony – Civilizations Flourish through Communication & Convergence”. Speakers at the dialogue included Imam Yang Faming, President of The Islamic Association of China; Venerable Master Yin Shun, Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China and President of the Buddhist Association of Hainan province; Professor Chen Lai, President of China Society for Philosophy History and Dean of Tsinghua Academy of Chinese Learning; Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the World Council of Muslim Communities and First Chairman of the International Steering Board of Hedayah, the International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism; Most Rev. Archbishop Kim Hee-joong, Co-President of Korean Conference of Religions for Peace(KCRP)，President of the Committee for Promoting Christian Unity & Interreligious Dialogue, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, Catholic Church; Luigi De Salvia, Co-President of Religions for Peace Europe and President of Religions for Peace Italy.
The speakers agreed that the theme of the dialogue is vital to the whole world in view of the renewed regional warfare and global pandemic. Religious leaders exert immeasurable influence on the world, and their communication, dialogue and cooperation are conducive to ending hostility, narrowing differences and boosting toleration among different religions and civilizations, thereby promoting mutual respect and appreciation & furthering cooperation and shared development.
Master Yin Shun – who attended the dialogue physically – shared his practice over the past 10 plus years of carrying out charity work and strengthening communication to advance Buddhism in South China Sea region. He stressed that compassion and benevolence are the most widely shared principle of all major religions. These qualities are the building block of happiness and dreams as well as the key forces of easing disputes and achieving harmony. He urged all religious believers to stay united in one heart and soul to tackle global challenges and move toward peaceful coexistence.
Virtual speaker Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi explained the necessity for states to foster and guide religious leaders, who should respond to the call of the time by serving the practical needs of people, helping them lead a stable and happy life, and contributing to national development.
This year’s Religious Leaders’ Dialogue is the 7th edition at the Boao Forum for Asia. The dialogue serves as a platform not only for conversations and exchange of the world’s religious leaders, but also for the communication and mutual learning between East and West. With religious wisdom, love and responsibilities, it has built consensus and stepped up cooperation among various civilizations and religions.