Having the world’s most vast and diverse landscape, Asia Pacific houses regions with long-standing political, economic, and ethnic/tribal tensions and conflicts. Unfortunately, religious beliefs stand as the core of Asia Pacific’s struggle with peace. Although the church at times has had a key role in helping to build peace and to find non-violent solutions to the conflicts; nevertheless, bitter divisions exist even among Christians despite the fact the area has experienced dynamic changes and acceleration of church growth in recent decades. The area’s instability and polarization raise challenges in evangelization for the church.
Christian journey is marked by experiencing the Triune God’s peaceful reign. Jesus’ cross establishes peace and his resurrection brings shalom a distinctly eschatological reality in the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. As such, creating harmony and unity in all creation through the ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation lies at the heart of Christian life and mission. Peace, therefore, is not only something to cultivate in personal relationships but also a biblical culture to construct through relevant and concrete education, especially in places where justice is intangible and conflict is frequent.
As a joint effort between Peace Network (now a part of APBAid) and Theological Education of APBF, this forum will provide an opportunity for theologians and peace-builders to reflect on the issues of peace and conflict in view of drafting educational strategies to equip the church with peace-making skills for all dimensions of life.
The objectives of the Forum are:
To provide a forum for theological educators and peace practitioners to reflect together on how we can support each other’s vocations.
To have “Peace” and “Reconciliation” integrated into curricula offered by Baptist seminaries throughout the Region.
To produce materials from the conference that can be taken back to seminaries, associations, conventions, and local churches.
To achieve these objectives, the program of the Forum will cover three areas:
- Shalom in the Bible/Scripture (Overview)
- Shalom in Context (Issues and Cases)
- Shalom in Action (Toward Resolutions)
SECTION: Conference & Forum Material