CALENDAR OF EVENTS
An Interfaith Vision of Peace at Conference in Korea
Written by UPF-International
Friday, July 10, 2009
Seoul, Korea - As the world moves ever closer to the 21st century’s second decade, the goal of world peace often seems as elusive as ever. What with the recent financial and economic crisis, the threat of nuclear tests on the Korean peninsula, and political turmoil following disputed elections in Iran and other nations, it’s perhaps not so surprising that very few people feel confident enough to suggest that our planet actually stands at the threshold of a new age of peace.
The UPF Founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, however, harbored no such doubts as he addressed a diverse group of 500 religious, political, and diplomatic leaders from 84 nations who had gathered in Seoul July 10 at short notice to consider the question of how the world can truly become one family.
“It is time to accelerate a true-love revolution,” he said. “This is a time when all of us must come under the guidance and protection of the new heavenly law, by leading transparent lives with your every action being as clear as a crystal.” Dr. Moon went on to call for all religions to work together to strengthen the family and the marriage bond, to reject sexual immorality, and to make a common commitment to break down the walls and barriers that divide humanity based on political parties, religions, races, cultures, and even nations.
“We are giving full attention to Rev. Moon’s vision of a renewed United Nations that embodies the parental heart of God,” said H.E. Rodrigo Carazo, the former president of Costa Rica. Carazo, who first came to Seoul on a state visit in 1981 when there were just two bridges across the Han River, said that the peaceful growth of Korea was a bright symbol to other nations of how quickly change is possible. “This ambitious goal of reform and renewal is applauded by leaders from around the world,” Carazo said.
Rev. Moon was introduced by his youngest son, Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, who is himself leader of a fast-growing congregation in Seoul. Earlier, Rev. Dr. Filotheos Farag, a priest of the El-shadidein Coptic Church of Khartoum, Sudan, led a group of interfaith leaders in a moving prayer for peace. “Give all the world’s leaders wisdom to know how to love others,” he said. “Create in us a new clean heart that knows how to forgive and to accept forgiveness.”
In conclusion, the delegates signed a proclamation that resonated with the US Declaration of Independence in a “firm reliance on divine providence.” “The present age is the era of God’s authority when all persons should strive to live by the highest ethical standards, in ways that are transparent and good,” all concurred, “and to resolve the historic division between races and faith traditions."
The Hon. Jose de Venecia, Jr., five-time speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives, agreed. “Victor Hugo once said that ‘More powerful than an invading army is an idea whose time has come,’” de Venecia said. “Rev. Moon, on this day I want to say that you, and your ideas, and the movement you have created are indeed more powerful than any invading army. I am especially inspired and committed to the vision of a new United Nations that respects the wisdom and experience of religious leaders.”
In the International Leadership Conference preceding the July 10 event, the delegates debated the important but complex role of religion in bringing about peace. “With significant differences in core beliefs, ethical, and traditional practices, not to mention language and culture, religion can seem to be a force for division as much as one of bringing unity,” said Michael Balcomb, opening the discussion. “Yet if we are indeed brothers and sisters of one family, we must find a way to put our differences aside in search of a lasting unity.”
The conference also heard reports of the Universal Peace Federation’s work with the United Nations, including worldwide celebrations for the United Nations International Day of Families in May and plans for the International Day of Peace in September.
“Father Moon has always wanted to see the United Nations affirm the highest spiritual truths and live for the sake of others,” said UPF Chair Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak. “For this to happen, its guiding principle should go beyond national self-interest to a focus on service, cooperation, and the promotion of reconciliation and harmony among religious, racial, and ethnic groups, as well as among nations, building one family under God.”
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