CALENDAR OF EVENTS
World Peace Blessing
World Peace Blessing Held in Korea
Written by Dr. Michael Balcomb, UPF-International
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Seoul, Korea - The Universal Peace Federation represented by several hundred Ambassadors for Peace was delighted to participate in the World Peace Blessing of 20,000 couples just concluded in Korea. It was an extraordinarily rich festival of love, friendship, and reconciliation that also captured the attention of the world’s media, with reports running in more than 120 nations.
Most of those stories naturally focused on the many newly-wed couples who stood front and center at the ceremony at Sun Moon University in Asan. Yet thousands more who came to rededicate their marriages and offer their support and endorsement of the importance of strong marriages and families to create lasting peace said that the ceremony had created a lasting impact.
“It was a deeply moving and joyous experience,” said Parvez and Ellu Mansoor from Stockholm, Sweden, an interreligious and international couple who were renewing their vows after 35 years. “It was a concrete manifestation of human unity and parental love.” Mirza and Elvira Begovic, a couple from Sarajevo, said that they were filled with “positive energy and new knowledge” and looked forward to similar ceremonies in Bosnia.
Among those offering congratulatory remarks following the ceremony was H.E. Alfred Moisiu, former president of Albania. “We have been newly commissioned as Ambassadors for Peace and as families that must now be a new model of peace,” said Moisiu.
Mrs. Gayatri Nepal, wife of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar of Nepal, expressed hope that the model of the blessing could help bring peace in her own country. “I strongly believe in Father Moon’s teaching—that the family is the foundation for world peace,” she said. “I will go back to Nepal and explain to my husband that we should support Father Moon’s efforts to build strong families in order to bring lasting peace to our nation and the world.”
Media attention to the Blessing, the largest of the past ten years, seemed partly fueled by speculation that it might be the last one to be officiated by the Rev. Moon, who has entrusted more and more of the day-to-day operations of the Unification Movement to the members, led by three of his own sons. But many of the participants present expressed a strong hope and conviction that he would long continue. “The Blessing was spectacularly wonderful,” said General Malimba Masheke, Zambian diplomat and former Prime Minister. “We all wish Rev. and Mrs. Moon good health and a longer life.”
Masheke, Moisiu, Mansoor, Nepal, and others were all participants in the Universal Peace Federation’s International Leadership Conference on the topic of “Marriage and Family as an Instrument of Peace.” Almost all of the 250 participants came accompanied by their spouse and celebrated the blessing together. Some whose spouse could not be present brought a photograph to the ceremony instead.
The following day, Rev. and Mrs. Moon met with the leadership conference delegates for a special program at the Cheon Jeong Goong Museum outside of Seoul, where Rev. Moon spoke for almost six hours to the group. “Humankind is entering a new providential era, a time in which all can enter the Kingdom of Heaven by inheriting God’s infinite standard of love and heart,” he said. “To be ready for that time, we must lead lives in accordance with heavenly law, lives that are transparent and clear as a mountain stream.”
“We need this kind of education in Somalia,” said Professor Mohammed Omar Dalha, attending from Khartoum. “The peace education being provided by Rev. Moon and the Universal Peace Federation could be enormously helpful to our new parliament as it faces the task of healing our nation after so many years of conflict.”
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