Muscat: At a time when conflicts are dividing people in Libya, Palestine, Syria and Iraq, a South Korean youth delegation is on a mission in the Middle East to promote peace.
Vicky Kim and Josh Lee, currently visiting Oman, are members of the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), an organisation aimed at fostering world peace and interfaith relations. Its parent organisation, the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), was founded by a veteran of the Korean War, Man Hee Lee, whose mission now is to unite people divided by religious or cultural differences.
Next month, the IPYG and HWPL will be hosting a three-day event in Seoul, South Korea, called the World Alliance of Religions Peace Summit, which will bring together political, religious, women and youth leaders from around the world. Over 10,000 people have registered for the summit, scheduled for September 17 to 19. By discussing world problems together and working as one, they can be more effective, Kim explained.
"If one or two groups call for peace alone, it doesn't work, but if we all work together, it will be noticed and peace can be possible. We can make a better world together," said Kim.
The HWPL chairman, Lee, believes that by bringing leaders to the same table to talk, they can find ways to achieve unity. Early this year, he was instrumental in brokering peace between the Catholics and Muslims in Mindanao, Philippines, a region that had endured 40 years of conflict.
"He really works for peace. Even at the age of 84, he still has a pure mind and we can see his love for the people and peace," Kim noted, adding that Lee has met with numerous world leaders from South America, Africa, Europe and Asia who have endorsed his vision.
Focus on youth
Kim and Lee explained that much of the KWPL chairman's focus is on youth, who he sees as the hope of the future. While world leaders may be at political odds, uniting the youth can result in peace, especially since in conflicts most of those killed and fighting in the front lines are youth.
"As youth, we are the future. We have to work together for peace," Kim said.
Coming from a country that has been divided by war since the 1950s, Vicky Kim and Josh Lee understand the need for peace. Despite all the ongoing conflicts in the world today, from Russia and Ukraine to Nigeria to the Middle East, they aren't going to give up their mission for peace.
"There are many problems but coming together is the first step. Our goal is to gather everyone together. The Philippines is an example of how this can work,"
While on their tour of the Middle East, during which they are also covering Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE, Kim and Lee have had the chance to meet with officials from ministries, religious leaders and youth.
They have been very impressed by Oman, a country renowned for its tolerance. Kim said she hopes many Omanis will become involved in their organisation and upcoming summit.
"As people living in a peaceful land, we need your help. You've already made Oman a peaceful land, but without your help, we can't make world peace," Kim said.
For more information on the World Alliance of Religions Peace Summit, visit www.warpsummit2014.org.
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