Prayer Offering and World Religious Forum II
I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the great honor of having in attendance His Eminence Joseph Pittau and other prominent religious and academic leaders from Japan and abroad.
Our first Prayer Offering and World Religious Forum was held nine years ago, in November 1993 at Choseiden Sanctuary in Ayabe. These days, gatherings to pray together for peace and meetings to foster understanding beyond the differences of religion and race have been organized more frequently than in the past. Surely the meetings have deepened mutual understanding and trust. On the other hand, many parts of the world remain mired in antagonism and struggle brought on by differences of race, religion, economy and culture. In much of the advanced world, morality is disappearing because people are oblivious to respect for God. The global environment continues to deteriorate and the destruction of nature grows more intense. All life is on the verge of ruin.
I believe the main cause of this situation is self-centeredness and egotism. Onisaburo Deguchi, the Co-Founder of Oomoto, taught us that the world peace couldnÅft be established unless we remove the intangible barriers of hostility between nations and religions. To pursue this quest, 77 years ago, he established Jinrui Aizenkai, the Universal Love and Brotherhood Association, setting forth the idea of "all religions spring from the same source" and "universal brotherhood".
We at Oomoto and Jinrui Aizenkai have been working to our utmost in this spirit but we believe it is necessary to work even harder for the realization of one world based on the legal order and the dignity of life. We, religious leaders, must concentrate our wisdom, deepen our prayer, and renew our efforts to reconstruct a world of peaceful coexistence where all living things can glorify their lives.
We pray that the Second Prayer Offering and World Religious Forum will be another step toward world interfaith cooperation, and will be instrumental in making a bright future.
In conclusion, I would like to express our profound gratitude for the immense support and cooperation of our fellow religious leaders. Your help was indispensable to this event. Thank you very much.