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A Much Needed Solution for Peace: The Peace Institute, the Birthplace of Peace in Gapyeong, Korea

In 2020, the world was astonished and inspired by the work of peace that was catapulted into prominence by peace advocates and an international NGO, HWPL. HWPL, which stands for Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light, is an UN-affiliated peace NGO with special consultative status at the UN ECOSOC and registered as a UN DGC-associated NGO. 

Since its inception in 2014, the Peace Institute has been the meeting venue for worldwide leaders in peace advocacy, and has been the birthplace of peace. Many peace initiatives and activities have taken place there, inspiring people globally that “peace and cessation or war can be done.” The institute is the brainchild of peace advocate, Man Hee Lee, Chairman of HWPL and Shincheonji Church in South Korea. He envisioned an institute and cultural gallery where the work of peace that has been carried out since 2021 by peace messengers could be displayed. 

Mr. Lee himself has been part of an astonishing number of world peace tours, traveling 31 times in 7 years to visit around 100 countries and discuss peace with political leaders, youth leaders, women leaders, members of the press, and religious leaders of various faiths. Through this peace institute, he desires for all to recognize that peace can be achieved and that many are currently working towards peace, even if it is not very well represented in mainstream media. 

The building is three stories high, and can accommodate 30 people at a time, with an outdoor area to host 100 guests.  opening the indoor and outdoor space will host dining for 100 people. The first floor of the peace institute shows pictures from meetings during the peace work initiated by Mr. Lee and HWPL. The second and third floors are reserved for meetings, conferences, and events for the cause of peace. It is designed to welcome guests worldwide to Gapyeong for peace activities. 

The institute, fondly dubbed “the Peace Palace” by its visitors, has served as a place of harmony for peace leaders. The main feature of the institute is its gallery that contains a history of the peace awards and peace work that HWPL has participated in. There is also a rare collection of awards and gifts that were presented by peace advocates during Mr. Lee’s travels abroad. 

The significance of this peace institute is being an example for other countries and regions to also have peace institutes and museums of their own. Many countries have peace memorials and monuments that commemorate peace, but there is no place like the HWPL Peace Institute that not only displays the history of peace work but also serves as a center point for new peace works that are being done currently. In this day and age of severe conflict and hatred amongst our communities, the HWPL Peace Institute serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring many to dream about true peace to come for all humanity, regardless of their culture, ethnicity, gender, or age.