Korea hosts the 4th World Scout Inter-religious Symposium
The 4th World Scout Inter-religious Symposium was organised from the 1st to 5th August 2012 at WonKwang University, Iksan, South Korea. There were over 70 participants from 16 countries coming from 8 different faiths and beliefs namely, Anglican, Buddhist, Catholic, Islam, Lutheran, Methodist, Protestant, and Won-Buddhist. With a generous Korean hospitality and an innovative approach for inter-religious dialogue using the Scout Method, participants unanimously declared the symposium as very successful. This innovative approach to inter-religious dialogue was originally conceived and implemented at the 3rd World Scout Inter-religious Symposium which was held in Uganda (2009).
The Korea Scout Association and the Korea Won-Buddhism Scouts Council jointly hosted the Symposium. It was organised by members of the World Scout Interreligious Forum, an informal network of religious groups/organizations in Scouting, and was supported by the World Scout Bureau. The theme of the Symposium was "Growing Scouting through Families and Communities" and the flow of programme was planned according to the themes.
Some topics addressed by the participants were:
• What do we mean by family and community
• The significance of family and community in different religious traditions
• Supporting the growth of Scouting by working with families and communities
• The significance of family and community for Youth Programme in Scouting
All participants were engaged in an active learning process and the Symposium programme commenced with a shared experience for participants who were grouped in small teams of mixed faiths. They visited different religious centres (Buddhist Temple, Catholic church, Islamic Mosque and Won-Buddhist Temple) in educational visits.
Participants also visited community development projects some of which were run by the Won-Buddhist community in Korea. These visits in teams of mixed faiths helped participants reflect together in mixed groups on the issues concerning the theme of the Symposium, which provided a rich learning experience. Participants discovered many common elements between their own faith and that of others through this process.
Prior to the commencement of the symposium, the World Scout Inter-religious Forum members convened an informal meeting on the 31st of July that included planning and preparation for the Symposium and discussions regarding the next meeting of the Forum, which will be held in the Geneva at the end of September 2012. The Forum members also discussed the preparation for the faith and belief activities for the next World Scout Jamboree in Japan (2015).
4th World Scout Interreligious Symposium (details and programme)