Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto
Leader of Myochikai, President of Arigatou Foundation
Distinguished Guests, Esteemed Members of the Global Network of Religions for Children, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is my great pleasure and honor to welcome all of you to the Second Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children. Thank you very much for traveling from all over the world to be here today.
I would also like to express my deep gratitude to His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, for honoring us by addressing this conference. I also welcome and thank all other honored guests. It is our privilege to have your presence and participation.
Four years ago, the First Forum brought together more than 200 people from 33 nations. Today, more than 350 people have gathered from 67 nations at this Second Forum. This is such an auspicious circumstance. My profound thanks go to each one of you for the support and cooperation you have extended to the cause of the GNRC. Thank you indeed.
I believe that, whenever we attempt to do good, the Divine Presence allows us to experience trials. Indeed, if we try to accomplish a very great good, we face equally great trials and difficulties.
The terrorist attacks on New York immediately before the originally scheduled United Nations Special Session on Children was one such example. And the unexpected terrible situation in Iraq thereafter is certainly an enormous trial, and therefore, can be taken as a sign of the great significance of this Forum.
In response to challenges like these we, as people of faith, should take action in full awareness of our own responsibilities. It is devastating to think that, even at this very moment, countless children are crying out for help as their very lives are being stolen from them.
This despite the fact that the first and foremost teaching of the founder of Buddhism, Shakyamuni Buddha, was “Do not kill.”
Today, the people of the world are entangled in sufferings due to conflicts between ethnic groups, nations, and even religious groups.
In the midst of this turmoil, it is our sacred calling to enhance our mutual understanding, overcome obstacles, and cooperate with each another to shed a light in this dark world for peace. I am proud to be able to take action for this noble purpose through this forum.
May the Divine Presence provide this Forum with abundant fruit. Thank you very much.