The Japanese Committee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace held a study session on the Middle East on July 11 in Taisei Hall at Rissho Kosei-kai headquarters in Tokyo. Some thirty people from member organizations took part.
Br. Andrew A. L. de Carpentier, director of the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf in Salty, Jordan, supported by the Diocese of Jerusalem of the Arab Evangelical Episcopal Church in Jerusalem, gave a talk titled "The Possibility of Religious People’s Contribution on the Issue of the Middle East - through the Experience of Communicating with Deaf Children in Jordan." He said it is easy to blame conflicts in the Middle East on religion, but this is short-sighted. He said all religions promote human harmony and welfare and that if all people open their hearts and minds in the spirit of their religion, they can help people of all faiths build a better world. He explained that conflict stems from mutual misunderstanding. In discussing his work with the deaf, he said they communicate among themselves through eye contact and sign language. Since they have no spoken-language barrier, they can travel anywhere in the world without interpreters to build harmony among all people. He said in conclusion that communication based on kind and considerate interest in others is the key to reconciliation and fostering respect for human dignity.
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