The World Conference of Religions for Peace is a multireligious congress that first convened in Kyoto, Japan, in 1970. Religions for Peace invites world religious leaders to take part in congresses to share their goals and contribute to world peace in the spirit of interreligious cooperation. Religions for Peace's membership includes religious leaders from the Baha'i; Mahayana and Therevada Buddhism; Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic Christianity; Confucianism; Hinduism; indigenous faiths; Islam; Jainism; Reform Judaism; New Religions; Shinto; Sikhism; and Zoroastrianism.
In 1973, Religions for Peace was granted Consultative Status, Category II, by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The sixth assembly was held November 1994 at the Vatican and Riva del Garda, Italy. To further its efforts as an action-oriented organization, Religions for Peace established six commissions in the following fields during this assembly:
- Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation
- Human Rights and Responsibilities
- The Child and the Family
- Development and Ecology
- Disarmament and Security
- Peace Education
Rev. Nikkyo Niwano, founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, delivered the opening address and joyfully welcomed Pope John Paul II as the first papal participant in a World Assembly of Religions for Peace. Since then, the congress has been actively involved in conflict resolution processes in civil wars in the former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, and so on.
In November 1999, the seventh assembly of Religions for Peace was held in Amman, Jordan, and in August 2006 the eighth assembly was held in Kyoto, Japan. On July 2-3, 2008, the Japanese Committee of Religions for Peace convened the World Religious Leaders Summit for Peace in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, with the cooperation of its international body, Religions for Peace.
The conference was held shortly before the summit of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations (G8) held July 7-9 by Lake Toya near Sapporo. The participants discussed pressing global issues and worked out a statement to the G8 leaders. The religious summit was attended by about 300 religious leaders, including 100 delegates from 23 countries and regions. It was one in a series of multireligious conferences preceding annual G8 summits.
For further information about the WCRP, visit www.wcrp.org/