Big Stride for Peaceful World
30,000 Gathered to March
“No more war, We want peace!”
The voices yearning for peace reverberated near the Peace Gate in Olympic Park, Seoul, on the morning of September 19th, the last day of World Alliance of Religions, Peace Summit.
The place was packed with over 30,000 people, including political, religious, women and youth leaders as well as members of 650 youth group members from 139 countries. They shouted for peace and waived handmade banners which read ‘Beginning of Peace,’ ‘Start of Alliance of Religions,’ ‘We are One’ and much more.
Chairman Man Hee Lee voiced in his message, “We have promised that religions will become one. Our hearts, thoughts, and even each word we speak will have to be used for making peace. We must deliver the message of peace to all the people around the world.” The participants cheered and agreed to his message.
Wasim Al-Masri, the Palestine representative of a youth group, said in his congratulatory message, “Over 60 years of conflict between Palestinians and Israelis have created hopelessness, … Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” Ivan, the Ukraine youth group representative continued, “Unfortunately, we are having conflicts with our neighbor country Russia, but we do not want a war.” “Let’s end wars in our generation and hand down precious peace.” he added.
Du Hyun Kim, the director of the International Peace Youth Group, emphasized in his message, “Here are gathered the people with different ideologies and religions. If we truly want peace, we must gather as one.”
After three loud and cheerful shouts of ‘Hurray’, the peace walk kicked off. The brass band led the march, and a Korean traditional brass ensemble cheered even more. No participant seemed to care about the strong rays of sun while marching around the Peace Gate.
“I have realized the importance of life as a mother of a child. … If we join our forces through the signing for peace and having a peace summit, peace will surely be achieved. … I am certain of that right now. The moment the peace summit kicked off was moment peace has started.” Muslim woman leader Ellie, mentioned.
People across South Korea shared the heart for peace, thinking of the news on wars globally. Gwang Min Han from Jeju Island said, “It is sad, there are wars taking place right at this moment. I hope the peace walk spreads farther so the world becomes a peaceful place without war, one day sooner.”
In May 2013, HWPL declared the Declaration of World Peace and held a peace walk at the same location with over 30,000 youths from 130 countries. This year, over 100,000 youths around the world have gathered for the 1st anniversary of the Declaration of World Peace.