The Healing of the World - June 4, 2009
In 1945, Christian churches were in the position to create a world of peace. In fact, Christians led the way in creating global organizations such as the United Nations and the World Council of Churches. But because Christianity did not recognize the advent of the Messiah, the blessing of God could not fully abide with these things. Despite all their accomplishments, these organizations have not bridged the gaps between races, nations and religions. Since 1945, the Christian economic sphere has increasingly heeded man's materialistic and hedonistic drives, while neglecting the problem of poverty among the poor of all races and nations. The Christian political sphere has gradually lost its vitality and we have seen the erosion of social justice, traditional values and common decency.
Recognizing this problem, Reverend Moon took upon himself the regeneration of the Christian foundation through the Unification Church. With the church at the core, God inspired him to create anew institutions of peace. These institutions, religious, academic, political and cultural, transcend the bounds of race, religion and nation. They were all created to manifest the ideals of God's kingdom on the earth. This is the common thread running through this diverse set of organizations.
The International Cultural Foundation (ICF) was founded in 1972 to promote academic, scientific and cultural exchange among the countries of the world. ICF has regularly sponsored the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences. This is an interdisciplinary forum for scholars and scientists from around the globe. Conference themes have developed around the search for a central standard of value leading to a unifying vision for the sciences. ICF has embarked upon the creation of a new encyclopedia, to take us beyond the materialistic views of Enlightenment science. The encyclopedia will provide a balance of spiritual, moral and scientific knowledge.
The International Religious Foundation (IRF) and the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace (IRFWP) are dedicated to fostering world peace through religious dialogue and harmony. Their conferences draw participants from every religious tradition and philosophical persuasion. Bridges of understanding are built as participants gain a heightened awareness of the beliefs of others. What emerges is a vision of the family of religions that can guide the transformation of society. Commenting on these conferences in interfaith News, Kenneth Cracknell of the British Council of Churches wrote:
The Unification Church (which is not an orthodox church) does more for the interfaith movement at an international level than do either the World Council of Churches' Dialogue unit or the Roman Catholic Vatican Secretariat for Non-Christians, or both of them put together.
IRF and IRFWP sponsor the quadrennial Assembly of the World's Religions. The assemblies bring together spiritual teachers, scholars, lay leaders and young people. The second assembly initiated an unprecedented dialogue between Muslims and Christians. Many leading Muslims, through study of the Divine Principle, have come to see Christianity in a new light.
IRF also co-sponsors the Religious Youth Service, which brings together young people of diverse religions for shared worship, study and public service work. They have built schools, community centers and fresh-water systems among other projects. The real building, however, is the bond of friendship, trust and mutual respect among the young people of many faiths.
Reverend Moon directed the compilation of world Scriptures, a 900-page volume which brings out the similarities in the scriptures of all the main religions of the world. He highly respects other religious traditions as having been inspired by God for the sake of the spiritual growth of humankind.
Since 1945, one of the great obstacles to international peace has been atheistic communism. Communism feeds on the accusation that wealthy Christian nations are not sincere about establishing social justice. To meet this challenge, Reverend Moon founded educational organizations in Asia and throughout the world.
CAUSA International, established in 1980, clarifies the ideological and practical fallacies of Marxism-Leninism. It promotes a God-affirming moral perspective as an effective counter-proposal. This organization has contributed significantly to bringing about the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
With the demise of communism, Reverend Moon has initiated the Federation for World Peace, the Summit Council for World Peace and the Association for the Unity of Latin America to develop a consensus regarding the underlying moral principles which govern the affairs of men and nations. These groups provide a meeting place for world leaders to address complex issues such as third world development, the democratization of Eastern Europe, the AIDS epidemic, Korean unification and the future of liberal democracy. Commenting on the scope of these activities, Ambassador Douglas MacArthur II remarked:
Forty years ago, my uncle, General Douglas MacArthur, said the fundamental problem which lies before us in the latter part of the twentieth century is a theological problem that would require the rebirth of the human spirit. At that time he also put forth both a warning and a challenge. He said that if mankind did not rise to meet this test, then Armageddon would be at our door.
Over the years, I have been fascinated to observe that Reverend Moon's life work has not just been devoted to religious theology and doctrine, but also to practical activities relating to the rebirth of the human spirit. His approaches to awakening and refreshing our hopes are practical applications of cooperation, brotherhood and unity that involve neither military conquest nor surrender.
The communications media play a vital role in today's world. Their key task is to provide news and information to humankind in an objective manner. Unfortunately, the media is too often a vehicle for distorted values, cheap sensationalism and misinformation. Reverend Moon has made considerable effort towards the promotion of the press as a moral voice.
The World Media Association brings journalists together to discuss the role of the media in resolving conflict and promoting understanding. It emphasizes that the media must be responsible and accountable in its coverage of world affairs. Implementing these very ideals, Reverend Moon has established newspapers and magazines to serve and educate the public with a commitment to truth and objectivity: The Segye Ilbo in Seoul, Sekai Nippo in Tokyo, The Washington TIMES, Insight and The World and I magazines in Washington D.C., Noticias Del Mundo in New York and Los Angeles, The Middle East Times in Athens and Ultimas Noticias in Montevideo.
In 1955, Reverend Moon established the Collegiate Association for the Research of the Principle (CARP). CARP is now active on many campuses in the United States and has expanded to over eighty nations. This association of students promotes intercultural, interracial, and international cooperation through the Unification world view. Unification campus ministers are active on many campuses, helping students develop their spiritual potential and promoting cooperation among religious groups on campus.
The International Leadership Seminar (ILS) program brings together students and professors from around the world. ILS sponsored the travel of 3,000 Soviet university students and professors to America, during 1990 and 1991, in by far the largest exchange program between the two countries at that historic juncture. It was reported that many of these ILS graduates subsequently manned the barricades to defend democracy during the abortive communist coup.
Since 1990, the ILS has sponsored seminars in the Commonwealth of Independent States for more than 60,000 students. Russian leaders and students, having rejected communism, are receptive to the Unification world view. Its international vision of one world family helps students to transcend the ethnic hostilities that plague the nations of the former Soviet Union. In addition it explains God and spiritual values in a rational way that is well suited to their scientific thinking. Through practical training in teaching and serving others, students develop effective leadership abilities for the 2lst. century.
Reverend Moon has founded schools of higher education. The Unification Theological Seminary in New York was founded in 1975, and the Sung Wha University in South Korea in 1988. The seminary's diverse faculty includes Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Jewish professors providing an education of exceptional breadth.
The Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) was founded in 1973 to bring together scholars from around the world to find peaceful solutions to problems that pose the threat of war or violence. The first PWPA meetings brought together scholars from Korea and Japan, two historically enemy nations. The organization now has chapters in over 100 countries. PWPA aims to establish a worldwide network of universities which can provide an intercultural educational perspective. In April 1992, PWPA began this project with the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Reverend Moon's patronage of the arts began early in his ministry. In 1965, he established the Little Angels, a children's folk ballet which has given more than 3,000 performances during seventeen world tours. The Little Angels Arts School was founded in 1974. Today, it has become the "Juilliard of Korea." The Universal Ballet Company is the world's first international ballet company, with schools in Seoul and Washington. It has cooperated with the Kirov Ballet in productions in Russia and Korea.
"Art is like a flower for man's
mind. It blossoms and permeates its fragrances throughout our lives
and society. It connects all men together through their
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
With the vision of developing a major performing arts facility, the Manhattan Opera House was purchased in 1976. By 1978, a full production stage was built there for live performance, recording and television production. Manhattan Center Studios, as it is now called, is a favorite recording studio for major orchestras and individual artists ranging from classical to contemporary. The Manhattan Center, Atlantic Video and Japan's Universal One television station are the beginnings of a global network of video and audio performance and production centers.
With these and many other projects, Reverend Moon is developing resources in all areas of human life. By embodying the spirit and teachings of the Divine Principle, they are instruments for harmonizing the world's cultures, peoples and nations. However, in order to dwell in peace as one family, brothers and sisters need parents.