Minister joins interfaith conferences in Malaysia

Minister joins interfaith conferences in Malaysia

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Senior Minister in charge of Special Missions Othsman Hassan (2R front) attends the ‘Conference of Asian Religious Scholars 2024’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday. 
Senior Minister in charge of Special Missions Othsman Hassan on Tuesday joined the “International Conference of Religious Leaders 2024” in Malaysia to highlight peace, national harmony and religious tolerance in Cambodia. Hassan also attended a follow-up event, the “Conference of Asian Religious Scholars 2024” yesterday in Malaysia.In his address to delegates on Tuesday, Hassan said, “Under the great leadership of the former Prime Minister Hun Sen, and his successor Prime Minister Hun Manet, the utmost attention has been given to the issues of racial and religious harmony. The result is that Cambodia is free of racial or religious issues and is free from discrimination”.

“Cambodia has been praised by countries around the world as a model for other nations to learn about religious peace,” he said.

“Buddhism is the state religion of Cambodia, with 93% of the population being Buddhists, while 5% are Muslims, and 2% are of other religions. But all religions live together in harmony, which it is a proof of peace and development our country,” he said.

Hassan made the comments as he led a Cambodian delegation to participate in the “International Conference of Religious Leaders 2024” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday.

The conference is hosting 2,000 participants, including both Muslim and non-Muslim religious leaders from 57 invited countries. The interfaith conference has no racial or particular religious affiliation.

Hassan said that many religious leaders exchanged views and shared experiences while seeking ways to build cooperation between religious leaders, scholars, community leaders and politicians with the object to achieve racial and religious harmony.

The meeting was intended to promote peace, harmony and unity among religious leaders around the world.

Notably, it was the first time that religious representatives from Cambodia have been invited by the Muslim World League (MWL) to participate in this large and important international religious leaders’ conference, Hassan said.

Since Cambodia is a peaceful country, and an example of ethnic and religious harmony, the MWL is planning to hold an international conference on peace and harmonisation in Cambodia soon.

The plan to hold a peace conference in Cambodia follows on a request Hassan made to the Secretary-General of the MWL in February while on a mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina to promote peace, tolerance and harmony to other countries.

The conference in Malaysia yesterday was inaugurated officially by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the MWL Secretary-General Sheikh Dr Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa.

Anwar addressed the conference on Tuesday, saying, “This religious conference will become an annual feature in Malaysia since it has proved successful in building an understanding and affinity among religions in the world, as well as in Malaysia.”

“At a conference like this, we can observe things that need to be done and need to be improved between Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus. We want to listen to your advice, criticisms and suggestions,” he said.

“Religious leaders should take an active, effective and courageous role to promote peace and justice. It is the duty of religious leaders to ensure that governance is guided by strong moral and ethical values,” Anwar added.

MWL Secretary-General Al-Issa also addressed the meeting, saying that the international conference was being attended by international, religious, political, intellectual, academic and media leaders.

“The conference is the first nucleus of a major breakthrough through a number of initiatives and programmes happening around the world, which aim to enhance friendship and cooperation between nations and peoples,” he said.

The MWL is an international non-governmental Islamic organisation founded in Saudi Arabia in 1962, and hosted the 2024 International Conference of Religious Leaders in cooperation with the Malaysian Department of Islamic Development.

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