The Words of the Hyun Jin Moon
Distinguished guests from around the world, friends, family, ladies and gentlemen:
Welcome to the Global Peace Festival in beautiful Manila, Philippines!
It is a privilege and an honor to be back here in Manila, exactly one year and one day after the Global Peace Festival 2007 began a whirlwind year of GPF successes all over the world.
We have come full circle, both figuratively and literally, as we meet once again at the Quirino Grandstand to celebrate the culminating event of the Global Peace Festival series in 2008.
Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to recognize my dear friend, the Hon. Jose de Venecia Jr., for his great efforts throughout the world as an international Ambassador for the Global Peace Festival.
I’d like to particularly thank Chairman Emilio Yap of the Manila Bulletin; Undersecretary Josephine Dominguez from the Office of the President; and Bishop Pedro Maglaya of the Inter-religious Federation for World Peace for their tireless efforts to make this Festival in Manila a success.
I’d also like to acknowledge the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process, the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, the Philippine Information Agency; the Armed Forces and the Police and all the many other institutions that have given the Global Peace Festival their support.
I know that many thousands of other volunteers have prayed and worked hard to prepare for this day, and I want thank all of you. May God continue to bless your efforts for peace!
Recently the eyes of the world have been on the great changes taking place in the United States.
With Barack Obama’s ascendancy to the highest office of the world’s only remaining superpower, people around the world are anticipating a new era of peace, prosperity and cooperation.
"Change, yes we can" has become the slogan of not only a successful campaign but also a message of hope at a time of national and global crisis.
Although hope is absolutely necessary at times of uncertainty, change for the sake of change is never enough. The goal and direction of that change is far more important.
As we gather here in Manila, the capital of this great nation of the Philippines, I want to share with you a vision of change that is sweeping across our globe, especially throughout Asia and the Pan-Pacific Rim.
It is a spiritual vision rooted in time-enduring principles, values and aspirations, and it is inspiring a great peace movement throughout the world.
That unifying vision is "One Family under God!"
We have already held Global Peace Festivals in more than 20 countries around the world, and many more are planned for 2009.
As a man of faith, I believe that the universal appeal of the vision to create "One Family under God" testifies to the providential age in which we live. I am happy to report that with God’s grace we have surpassed all of our expectations.
To recognize just some of our accomplishments, the Global Peace Festival held in Paraguay helped the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power between civilian governments in that South American nation, and planted the dream of creating a larger Latin American Union under the vision of "One Family under God."
In Kenya, Prime Minister Raila Odinga acknowledged that the principles he had learned by attending our peace conferences helped him and other parliamentarians make the necessary step to end the tribal violence plaguing his nation, especially after last year’s contested presidential elections.
The President of Mongolia, the leader of the People’s Revolutionary Party, told me that the vision of creating "One Family under God" was essential in establishing the spiritual and moral life of his nation and uniting his people in the wake of post-election violence.
At the Global Peace Festival in Malaysia, a predominately Muslim nation, the Honorable Mahathir Mohammed, Prime Minister for 22 years, warned that religious leaders, especially within his own faith of Islam, must not politicize religion for their own purposes. Instead, they should go back to the original teachings of their traditions, which advocated peace and the need to create the "brotherhood of man."
In the Republic of Korea, where religious conflict has recently emerged as yet another obstacle, the Global Peace Festival challenged religious and political leaders to go beyond their narrow sectarian thinking and unite under the universal platform of "One Family under God" so that a united Korea will hold to God-centered values and principles, thus safeguarding religious freedoms and human rights upon reunification.
The Global Peace Festival has also emphasized the important mission of the entire American hemisphere, especially in light of the Pan-Pacific Rim era.
In Washington DC and four other US cities, we articulated the need to expand the original American Dream of creating "One Nation under God" to a more universal dream of creating "One Family under God," going beyond race, nationality, and creed.
At each festival, religious leaders numbering in the tens of thousands from all faith traditions gathered to celebrate and commit to this vision to create a new global, inter-faith peace initiative.
Just six days ago in Brasilia, the capital of the largest nation in Latin America, the Global Peace Festival challenged Christian leaders in both North and South America to initiate a hemispheric "Great Awakening" rooted in the universal vision of "One Family under God."
The key sponsor of this festival was the Assemblies of God, the largest Pentecostal fellowship in the world, in conjunction with other major denominations and faith traditions committed to the true universal spirit of the Christian message.
Ladies and gentlemen, just as we have big aspirations and hopes for our children, so too did God have great expectations for humanity. God wanted His children to establish a true family which could be the school of true love, true life and true lineage.
It would have been God’s family, where He could dwell as the eternal true parent of all mankind.
Tragically, humanity’s first ancestors Adam and Eve fell away from this ideal, and this dream was not realized. Nevertheless, God has not abandoned mankind. He has worked patiently throughout human history, waiting in agony and lamentation for someone to realize His unfilled dream.
Two thousand years ago, the young son of a carpenter changed the world in which he lived.
Jesus was born into the lineage of Israel. As a Jew, He was born into an exclusive religious and cultural tradition which maintained a sacred covenant with God at a time when most ancient civilizations believed in a pantheon of gods. As a result, they felt that they alone had a special place in God’s providence.
Breaking with the established traditions of His own people, Jesus referred to God as His Father and all humanity as His brothers and sisters.
He gave a message of a true, selfless love, spiritual accountability and the promise of universal salvation, beyond the chosen people to the entire human family.
Jesus earnestly hoped that the nation of Israel and the leaders of Judaism could unite with Him and help Him fulfill God’s dream to create One Family under God.
Jesus came to pour new wine into what He hoped would be new wine skins. But the vessels prepared by God to receive the new wine abandoned Him and His mission. Tragically, instead of being glorified, Jesus was not accepted and He had to go the way of the cross.
Yet the message and the vision that He championed 2,000 years ago planted the seeds for global Christianity and opened the door to the modern era, as this Christian spirit crossed the Atlantic and reached the American hemisphere.
I believe that the birth of the United States of America was an event which defined the universal spirit of Jesus' message and set the tone of Christianity in the Americas. Thus, it became an important milestone in the providence of God.
The Declaration of Independence represented a new covenant with God that recognized His sovereignty as the basis of "inalienable rights," setting the stage for our modern understanding of human rights and the ideals of religious freedom.
Built upon the principles and values of establishing a state under the sovereignty of God, the American dream was never just a political or an economic dream. It was the dream of building "One Nation under God."
Now, the time has come to take that dream beyond the confines of "One Nation under God" to the more universal vision of "One Family under God," transcending nationality and creed.
In this way we can fulfill the original mission of Jesus to create the family of God and usher in an age of everlasting peace and prosperity.
The one who has taken on the mantle to realize that dream in our modern era is none other than my father, the Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon.
After receiving a revelation on a cold Easter Sunday 73 years ago, he devoted his entire life and resources to the fulfillment of that dream.
My father has always believed that God inspired the formation of all religions and has worked through them to lead humanity towards the fulfillment of that dream.
All faiths invoke universal principles, values and aspirations that transcend their particular religious and cultural traditions, having the possibility to come together on common ground.
Nevertheless, he has also emphasized the special role of Christianity, inspired by Jesus' universal message and moved by the Holy Spirit, to play a leading role in realizing the dream of "One Family under God."
To my father, the goal of "One Family under God" should be realized upon the united foundation of World Christianity which is true to the spirit of Jesus, and has the capacity to embrace all faiths.
The vision to create "One Family under God" is not the dream of just one man, one woman, one family or one religion, but the dream of all humanity and, most of all, the dream of God.
Ladies and gentlemen, in order to be real peacemakers, we must see ourselves as God sees us, a people anointed and appointed by God with a mission that extends throughout this nation of the Philippines, Asia and the entire Pacific Rim.
Although all of Asia is deeply spiritual, there are only two nations that share a Christian heritage. Those two nations are Korea and the Philippines.
Like Christianity in the Americas, Korea, to the north, is predominantly Protestant and the Philippines, to the south, are mostly Catholic.
I believe it is fair to say that God has a special providential plan for these two nations and the Christian spirit they have nurtured, especially during this era of the Pan-Pacific Rim.
Imagine if the rising powers of Asia to the west and the American hemisphere to the east could unite upon the Pacific Rim rooted in Jesus' universal spirit and mission to create "One Family under God." Korea and the Philippines, representing the north and the south could be leading nations in ushering an age of everlasting peace.
Both Korea and the Philippines have historically had very close relationships with the United States. Having a common spiritual heritage, all three nations, I believe, have an important role to play in leading the entire world back to God’s dream for humanity.
At the Global Peace Festival in Washington DC, I explained that the United States was created and raised by God to fulfill a Biblical promise, first made in the book of Isaiah.
That promise was to build a Second Israel where all of God’s children, from every race, nation and religion could come and worship Him in accordance to their conscience.
In the same way, God is hoping that the island nation of the Philippines and the peninsula nation of Korea can unite together and play a leading role in taking the vision of "One Family under God" throughout Asia and the world.
Will you do it? Yes or no?
Why "One Family" under God? The family is the cornerstone of peace. First, it is universal. Regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality and religion we are all members of families.
Secondly, the family represents the most intimate of human relationships. We use familial terms to describe the closeness of any relationship saying, "that person is like my father, like my mother, my brother, my sister, my son and like my daughter."
Therefore, the family should be the school of love where we learn to love all humanity in its richness and diversity.
Marriage and family are the fundamental building blocks of any society, but the Philippines and all other nations are in danger of losing this most valuable tradition.
Divorce and family breakdown are at an all-time high. Every nation faces major challenges with its youth. The social and economic cost of the breakdown of the family is staggering.
The healing of the family is a spiritual task. We must make it our priority to bring God back into every family. When God is the center of our families, all our other problems will fade away.
Let us create "One Family under God," one family at a time!
Will you do it? Yes or no?
Another urgent challenge facing the Philippines is to integrate her many religious and cultural traditions.
You know firsthand that religious conflict is an ever present threat to the stability and security of this nation, the region and the world.
Peace among faith traditions cannot come about through mere dialogue or through "tolerating" one another’s prayers and rituals.
A true interfaith experience is a celebration of the core principles, values, and aspirations that bind all people together as one family.
The task of promoting true interfaith understanding is an urgent priority for our world and an important goal of the Global Peace Festivals.
Before we call ourselves Christian or Muslim, Catholic or Pentecostal, Buddhist or Hindu; before we see ourselves as black, white, or yellow, or identify ourselves as American, Korean, or Filipino, we are all the sons and daughters of God and members of His eternal family.
Building a culture of service is another core goal of the Global Peace Festival and a vital step for peace.
There is something deeply spiritual in serving others. It is not something we should do for only a day, a month or even a year. It has to become a way of life.
When "living for the sake of others" becomes a habit, we come to see the true value God places on all human beings.
We are promoting a spirit of volunteerism and peaceful cooperation around the world. Communities and nations are being transformed through our efforts to build a culture of service rooted in the peace philosophy of "living for the sake of others."
I’d like to see the Philippines, and all Asian nations build on these efforts and create a grassroots movement that will spread into a global culture of serving others.
Taking this one step further, I’d like to see the Philippines' volunteer partners joining with those of the United States, Japan, Korea and other nations to establish a Global Peace Corps.
Imagine young people from enemy nations and from different faiths working side by side in service!
Any initial misunderstandings and suspicions would fade away as they sweat, cry and laugh together with a common purpose and cause.
As we celebrate the Global Peace Festival here in Manila, we must initiate a worldwide "Great Awakening," rooted in the true universal spirit of Christianity taught by Jesus 2,000 years ago.
Only by doing this can we realize and fulfill Jesus' true providential mission of creating "One Family under God."
The dream of "One Family under God" will be the clarion call of our age! As my father said in a recent Peace Message, the time has come:
"to tear down the man-made walls of race, culture, religion and country, and establish the peaceful, ideal world of God’s cherished desire."
The power of one human family united with the Will of God can quell the turmoil of conflict throughout the world.
It can end the strife and poverty of Africa, the conflict in the Middle East, and the final remnant of the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula.
As citizens of the Philippines, the Americas and the world, let us make a solemn pledge, under the steadfast gaze of our ancestors, to lead the world to peace through the vision of "One Family under God."
With this in mind, I would like to share with you some exciting news.
Next year we will hold the first-ever World Convention of the Global Peace Festival.
We will gather representatives from every city and nation where the GPF was held in 2008 and 2009 for a week of celebration, networking, conferences and planning.
Of course, there has been keen interest from around the world from many cities that want to host this exciting and prestigious convention.
London, Washington, Tokyo and Seoul were all strong candidates. But in the end, I am pleased to announce to you this evening that this Global Peace Festival World Convention will be held... right here in Manila!
This is a time when God is pouring out His Holy Spirit upon the world.
With God’s grace, as surely as light overcomes the darkness, an era of peace and prosperity will emerge from the depths of distrust and hatred.
Together, let us dare to dream the greatest dream of all! Let us own the dream to create "One Family under God."
May God bless you and your family, and may God bless this great nation of the Philippines! Thank you very much!