World Religious Leaders Meet Ahead of G-8 Summit

Some 300 people of various religions met in Japan on Wednesday to kick-off the two-day World Religious Summit for Peace ahead of the G-8 summit.

More than 20 countries were represented at the religious gathering held in Sapporo, Hakkaido – where next week's G-8 summit will also take place.

Participants included 60 religious leaders representing Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and Zoroastrianism, according to Kyodo News. Attendees from America include the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, and Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of Reform Jews.

During the religious conference, participants will make peace proposals and discuss how to end war and combat poverty, climate change and terrorism.

Plenary sessions include: "The G-8 Summit: Our Spiritual and Moral Responsibilities," "Advancing Shared Security: The Commitments of the World's Religions," and "The Way Forward: Mobilizing the World's Religious Communities in Common Action for Peace."

At the end of the forum, adopted proposals will be presented to Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who is chair of the G-8 summit, according to Kyodo.

President Bush on Wednesday said agendas for the G-8 summit include AIDS relief in Africa, energy security, food prices, climate change, Afghanistan, among other issues, according to Reuters.

The Group of Eight (G-8) is composed of the world's most powerful countries whose government leadership meet annually to discuss global issues. The G-8 is composed of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States.