The Words of Hyung Jin Moon From 2011
Leaders in front of the statue. The urn was moved to accommodate seating. It holds two continually lit candles, representing True Parents and symbolizing conditions being offered by members.
On September 15, 1950, General MacArthur landed at Incheon with the UN forces that would turn the tide of the Korean War and open the way for True Father's release from Hungnam Special Labor Camp. Sixty-one years to the day after this (on 8.18 by the heavenly calendar), a new statue representing the Four Great Saints, the founders of four great religious traditions, was unveiled in front of Cheon Bok Gung, our world headquarters church. The images of, from left to right, Confucius, the Buddha, Jesus and the Koran (resting on a plinth), represent four of the world's major religious traditions and are dedicated, as the event title mentions, "to harmony among religions and the realization of a peaceful world."
In appearance, this is really a group of four statues, linked together to reflect Unificationists' and many others' hope and desire for respect, affection and cooperation among the unique spiritual traditions.
Four faith leaders offered their blessings for the occasion. Officially representing Buddhism was a senior administrator from the Taego Order in Korea, Mrs. Soon Gyeong Seong. In her invocation, she said:
"I pray that the statues of the Four Great Saints and the Supreme Being unveiled today will light the way through the prestige of their mercy and love and open the path to Heaven...that they will serve as the elixir for all those whose bodies and minds are diseased, and help them recover and become well again, and that they will also be a bright beacon of light for those who are lost and wandering on dark paths of life...."
Unification Church international president, Rev. Hyung-jin Moon, said, in his brief address to greet all present, Reverend Moon has taught us that God prepared all the religions to raise humankind to understand God's mind and heart. He has enshrined the Four Great Saints as part of the Unification tradition." Together with the 172 faith leaders visiting at True Parents invitation from the United States and other Unification Church representatives, Hyung-jin nim and Yeon-ah nim led the unveiling of the statues.
The unveiling was reported in a number of news organs in South Korea and MBC NET cable TV included a significant report in their video news. It is true that not all people from the great faiths believe that there is any need for the religions to work together, and not all will be comfortable with the image of the founder of their faith standing arm in arm with the founders of other faiths. Yonhap News Agency's report carried but one response from a Christian church official, who said, "We don't recognize the Unification Church as a traditional faith, so I have no comment to make. There are uncomfortable aspects to this."
Other religious leaders are less concerned about comfort; cooperation among the faiths, they feel, can relieve human suffering. Archbishop George A. Stallings, one of the 172 faith leaders, feels that there is power in the shared values of the faithful and expressed this concern: "The 10 percent that would separate and divide us sometimes prevents the 90 percent that we share in common to unite our efforts to create one family under God."
In 1950, the sudden landing of the UN forces at Incheon on September 15 for the cause of freedom caught the North Korean forces totally by surprise. In this day and age too, it takes courage to take a stand for principles. Erecting these statues in full public view might spark a strong response from those who disapprove of such fraternization. Or, like the Incheon landing sixty-one years before, it may be the perfect impetus for dramatic change.
Faith leaders light candles in front of the statues at the conclusion of the event.
After the unveiling of the statues symbolizing the four great saints, various faith leaders wrote reflections about their experiences at the unveiling. True Father requested that the testimonies be published.
Rev. Delores Harrison, Riverside Church, associate pastor, director of Education, New York City
To see all the religious faiths join together was so amazing. I could see and experience the unity of all the religious leaders there as they prayed. It was the most moving experience of my lifetime. I never dreamed I would experience such a profound oneness of all religions -- Buddhist, Confucian, Muslim and Christian.
Rev. William Revely, Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan
I am edified by Rev. Hyung-jin Moon's speech. Just like his father, he totally transformed me and made an enormous impact on all that were gathered. Today's event was a profound spiritual experience in which all of us were elevated as faith leaders to understand that God truly is working through all religions. It was so beautiful.
Pastor T. L. Barrett, Chicago
As I was watching the unveiling ceremony, I could see a golden circle form around all the four statues. It was universalizing all of the faith traditions, and it was a powerful spiritual golden energy that was emanating out from the four statues, bringing unity of all the faiths. I experienced myself this magnetic power of the golden spiritual circle immediately transforming everybody in the plaza, even though they didn't understand what had happened. But I felt this golden spiritual power is going to draw humanity together as one, centering on True Parents.
Also this golden circle emanated out from the plaza like a wave that within seconds touched everyone on earth. Even though they don't know what happened, a transformation occurred. That's why I felt an urgent feeling in my heart to rush to the statues after the ceremony was over, and to light a candle so that my family and church would be connected with this holy moment.
Minister Amar Nath Gupta, Hindu Temple, Virginia
To be a part of the 172 clergy was the greatest honor of my life. I am really deeply grateful to True Parents that I could experience all faiths becoming one at the Cheon Bok Gung. I am so grateful he gave his authority to his son, Rev. Hyung-jin Moon, because I could truly feel from his speech, and from the ceremony, that the spiritual power to bring all religions together as one centering on True Parents is manifesting before our eyes. As a Hindu leader, I was deeply uplifted by the profound spirituality in the Cheon Bok Gung, and also seeing the statues of the four saints.
I also enjoyed going to the most holy place of the Cheon Bok Gung where all religions are represented and I prayed there and I felt the presence of the spirit of God. I was profoundly moved that Father Moon would have the vision to build a temple for all religions to worship together as one, and that all faith traditions would truly be respected and honored. It was overwhelming, and the vision is now becoming a reality.
Our church's international president Rev. Hyung-jin Moon explains the meaning of the statue in the context of the Unificationist faith.
Father Fernando Barrios, Pentecostal Church, Houston
After so many years of praying in my own tradition as a Christian, I never really believed that there was any possibility for the different world's religions to become one. I fact, I felt there was no way that we could ever come together. However, today my life was changed. As the other religious leaders were praying, I felt as if it was my own prayer. I truly felt and experienced that they were praying to the same God that I have been praying to. Therefore, on this day our prayers became one. I will testify about this, that all religious leaders must come to experience this kind of profound spiritual transformation.
Rev. Marymarie Carmen Barrios, wife of Father Barrios
I had such an experience of the different religions on this day. I felt I was experiencing the kingdom of heaven. For the first time in my life, I could see the hope of unity, and how important it is that through all the religions we can bring the world together as one. The walls came down today. I was deeply moved in my heart by the love of God that I felt. I felt Jesus' presence there strongly.
Bishop Michael White, Apostolic Church, Brooklyn, New York City
The scripture has been fulfilled on this day. As it says in the Old Testament, "How good it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." We saw the different religious bodies coming together. I want to thank True Parents for teaching us this way. From the time when Father Moon revealed to the Christian leaders the messages of Jesus, Mohammed and Confucius from the spirit world, now we see in reality that those messages coming from heaven have now come down to earth and become a living reality before our eyes. The statues were enormously powerful, and I believe that all people will be drawn from all over Korea and the world to come here and worship.
Rev. Tanya Edwards, National Board, ACLC
I really enjoyed being at Cheon Bok Gung. Rev. Hyung-jin Moon's love exemplifies that of Father and Mother Moon. I felt so much warmth and so much an uplifting feeling. The whole thing was filled with so much love. I could feel Jesus' presence there and I felt hope for the path we're walking, that isn't only for Christians but for all of God's children.
Rev. Glenda Phillips-Lee, Coptic Church of Harlem, N. Y. C.
This ceremony was truly anointed by God. I felt the presence of Jesus. The unveiling of the statues, especially of Christ, gave me such a profound feeling that all could be one, as Jesus prayed. When I walked in Cheon Bok Gung I felt that this was the most royal place, the most significant place of royalty of all of human history. I felt the depth of love of Father and Mother Moon coming through Rev. Hyung-jin Moon and his wife as they embraced us. This gave us incredible profound love and anointing. I can feel my ministry is going to be expanding, and this anointing is going to expand to all other places. If I were in Korea, his definitely would be my own church. I would join this church.
Imam Haitham Bundakji, Chairman, Islamic Center of Orange County, California
I just want to thank True Parents from the bottom of my heart. I've never experienced anyone being able embrace Islam and understand Mohammed. I know Father Moon is truly one with God. I'm shocked by the teaching that I'm receiving here. I'm overwhelmed and almost scared because so many things are new and different than what I understood, but I know from being with this movement for many years that if I go forward I will understand if I study. I had a dream that I understood a lot about Father Moon teachings. When I saw the unveiling, the sensitivity toward Islam by displaying the Koran, and the statues of Jesus, Buddha and Confucius, it really confirmed for me this is the work of Allah.
Rev. David Scholet
I felt the gigantic umbrella of God's unity forming over all religions the moment this ceremony began. I felt all faith leaders could come together as one. I felt that somehow everyone could start from their own tradition, whether they were Christian or Hindu or Buddhist or Muslim. They could start from where they're at, and through this Cheon Bok Gung, through the interfaith demonstration, and through the statues we could all start moving together as one. This is a profound movement in history. This oneness will expand to all.
Rev. Adeline Dajuste, Pentecostal Church, Boston
I could feel that Rev. Moon's heart and intention to bring all people together -- not just Christians, although he is uniting all Christians -- was being realized. I could feel today that he's uniting all the religions of the world and all people of the world to work together for one family under one God.
Elder Donald Watts, Mormon Church, San Francisco
This was inspiring and awesome. I was deeply moved by Rev. Hyung-jin Moon. For many years I've loved and respected Father Moon and believe God called him to bring us all together. I also worried how this movement would go forward in decades to come. Today that worry was taken away when I saw how beautifully, so easily and smoothly, his son conveyed words of love. Our hearts melted.
We are so grateful to you and we congratulate you on your victory not only fulfilling your own mission but having your children take up your mission and fulfill it and expand it.
Dr. Gloria Wright, Methodist pastor, Atlanta, Georgia (When asked to reflect, she began to cry.)
In 2001 when I first joined ACLC I felt deep in my spirit that Father Moon was right, that he understood God's heart and was truly guiding us according to the truth. I offered the benediction after In-jin nim's sermon at Lovin' Life Ministries. I was uplifted when I came back. Being in the present of her brother, Rev. Hyung-jin Moon, I can feel my ministry is going to be much more blessed when I go back. I've seen snapshots of Father Moon's life but never saw it all together as in the museum today. (Dr. Wright started weeping again.)
The ceremony at Cheon Bok Gung truly overwhelmed me. I'm speechless. I can see that all Jesus was talking about is being fulfilled right now. Father and Mother Moon have the courage to do what's right, even though putting Buddha and Jesus and Confucius out there publicly is profoundly startling and shocking. I'm deeply, deeply moved.