The Words of the Walsh Family

Former President Abdurrahman Wahid Introduces the UPF in Indonesia

Thomas Walsh
November 26, 2005
Secretary General IIFWP/UPF
Jakarta, Indonesia

The flight from Colombo to Jakarta took four hours putting arrival, after setting watches ahead one hour, at about 2 PM. Mr. Alwi Shihab, one of the key leaders in the current government, and Dr. Chirzen, welcomed Dr. & Mrs. Moon.

Even with a police escort, the drive to the Ritz Carlton hotel took nearly an hour. With the main program scheduled for 5:30 PM, noone expected Father Moon to speak to members beforehand, but he said he wasn’t sure how must time he would have in the morning and wanted the 70-80 who gathered to be able to see his face, since for many it was the first chance they’d had to meet him in person. In addition to approximately 20 Indonesian members assembled, there were about 40-50 from Singapore who played a critical and central role in overall production of the event. Mrs. Genie Kagawa, regional secretary-general for the IIFWP was overall in charge.

The main event in the evening was extremely well organized, down to the minute details, from airport pickup, to hotel room accommodations, to graphics, printing, stage decoration. In fact, one outcome of this tour is that each region is dramatically upgrading its capacities for organizing major events. The Jakarta Post came to cover the event and produced a balanced account the next day.

Nearly 1000 gathered in the main hall. Former President Abdurrahman Wahid gave the welcoming address, pointing out that all religious teach peace, referencing Jesus’ guidance that when hit on one cheek to "turn the other check" rather than retaliate. He said all religions teach similarly, and yet many abuse or misuse religion to justify violence. "Religious teachings on peace may seem simplistic, but they are profoundly deep," said Wahid. "Many fail to see the depth of Dr. Moon’s teaching," he said, "but I came to listen and learn."

Departing at times from his prepared text, Father Moon returned the compliment, saying "President Wahid is a great man. Once we are restored we don’t need religions." As the evening drew on, Dr. Moon said "Now is the time to launch the ‘new mind’ movement. This is a time for repentance, so you need to endure some pain, even this very long speech! I came here to give you this educational material. Who else would come here and give you this message? I am a mysterious man."

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