religious diplomacy

The exhibition would not only bring the rich Buddhist archaeological treasure of Pakistan to Republic of Korea but also help attract religious tourists to Pakistan, according to a press release of the Pakistan embassy in Seoul. The exhibition starting from March next year, would be held in two cities of Republic of Korea for six months.

Soon after coming to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi prudently decided to emphasise India’s rich tradition of Buddhism in a soft-power approach to Asian geopolitics. Apart from countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Japan, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Mongolia and others, he even struck a direct chord with China to revive India-China ties. 

To strengthen inter-religious dialogue, combat fundamentalist ideology at the root of war and violence, relaunching the peace projects involving personalities of all faiths in a common path of encounter and discussion: These are some of the objectives outlined in the fourth Christian-Muslim Summit, which was held in Tehran (Iran) from 6 to 9 November. The meeting, which was widely reported on Iranian media, was hosted by the International Center for Interfaith Dialogue, which belongs to the Organization for Islamic cultures and religions.

Leaders from Buddhist bodies in South Korea, China and Japan have expressed hope for peace and exchanges among the three Northeast Asian countries at an annual gathering in the eastern China city of Ningbo, a South Korean Buddhist organization said Thursday.

Pope Francis Sunday met Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan concluding his trip in the Caucasus region. Describing the visit of the spiritual leader of the globe’s estimated 1 billion Catholics in a Muslim-majority country as “historic”, Aliyev said that it was important, both for bilateral relations between the Vatican and Azerbaijan and dialogue between civilizations. 

Secretary Kerry acknowledged in his remarks on religion and diplomacy [...] "Religion today remains deeply consequential, affecting the values, the actions, the choices, the worldview of people in every walk of life on every continent."  The Secretary's words speak to the State Department’s recognition of a growing need to assess religious dynamics in world affairs and engage religious actors across a wide range of foreign policies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pushed Buddhism diplomacy during his recent trip to Hanoi. India had announced special annual scholarships for Vietnamese students in advanced Buddhist studies at Masters/Doctoral level and scholarships of a year for study of Sanskrit at Indian institutes for Buddhist Sangha members.  

 

Soft power refers to the ability to change what others think and do through attraction and persuasion rather than compulsion and coercion. Scholars are still divided and failed to agree on an exact definition of soft power which remains loose and vague.

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