The Words of the Walsh Family

Prime Minister and Governor of American Samoa Attend Speech

Thomas Walsh
December 5, 2005
Secretary General IIFWP/UPF
Apia, Samoa

In going from Solomon Islands to Samoa we crossed the international date line and so began another day at December 4th, an interesting experience! Samoa is a central nation in Polynesia and the Pacific. It is a strongly strong Christian nation, with Christian missionaries arriving in the later 19th century, about the same time as Korea. Samoa has a key role in the Pacific Forum, and will host the Pacific Games in 2007. The country became well known in the West, to some extent, due to work of anthropologist Margaret Mead, also Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish author of Treasure Island, who moved to Samoa.

As is the case with other pacific island nations, powers such as the USA, China, Japan, the EU are investing significantly, not only in business ventures, but in building schools, sport stadiums, etc., to some extent altruistically, but also seeking political, economic and strategic advantage. Samoa was added to the tour about ten days ago, after plans to go to Vanuatu were cancelled due both to some instability in that country and hostility among some Christian groups who seemingly oppose the principle of religious freedom.

The main event in Samoa was held at the Government Prayer House, located on a high hilltop overlooking Apia and the ocean. 400 people were in attendance, including the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Tuiladpa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, some cabinet members, the Governor of American Samoa H.E. Togiola Tulafono, and many prominent Christian leaders.

A large choir from the Council of Christian Churches of Samoa performed several songs throughout the evening. The Prime Minister opened the main event with his welcome, followed by the opening invocation. He wholeheartedly welcomed Father and Mother Moon, and recognized Father’s work for peace, and value of bring this message and mission to Samoa.

As the Peace Blessing ceremony began two Christian leaders, Rev, Ija Fay’olo who chairs the National Council of Churches and Rev. Samuelu Tialavea of the Council of Christian Churches of American Samoa, approached the stage spontaneously and assertively, and moved to the emcee podium to speak. Both spoke very affirmatively about IIFWP, UPF and the emphasis on marriage, family and the Blessing, while also wanting to make the point tactfully but emphatically that Jesus is Lord and Prince of Peace. All in all, it was quite positive.

Governor Togiola Tulafono of American Samoa was most effusive in his expression of appreciation for Father Moon, IIFWP and UPF. He said he "could think of no other person in all of human history who had done as much for peace." Closing remarks were given by Rev. Fepai Kolia of the Methodist Church, and a closing prayer by Father Sebastian Silva.

Father Moon spoke for three hours and twenty minutes. The Prime Minister and the Christian leaders attended throughout. This was not a simple thing. Father was intent of fulfilling his mission to deliver his message in full, and more. Surely it was challenging for the various leaders to remain respectfully attentive for such an extended period, especially without any advance awareness or anticipation of the duration of the message, not to mention the challenging nature of the content.

"Because God could not act in relation to fallen people, people have said that God is dead" he said "The people of Samoa should hold a demonstration against those who say that God is dead." Perhaps noticing how many were dressed in white, Dr. Moon said "If some of you here are nuns and priests I tell you now is the time for you to be married. Even God cannot produce absolute value by Himself. God needs His object partner. God needs human beings."

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