Unification News for August 2003
Assembly 2003 at WCSF - Global Governance at a Turning Point: Innovative Approaches to Peace in A Changing World
by Rev. Michael Jenkins
The IIFWP conference Assembly 2003 at WCSF in Seoul on "Global Governance at a Turning Point -- Innovative Approaches to Peace in A Changing World" was attended by over 300 top religious leaders and many former and current heads of state, the conference is like a global convention of the Cheon Il Guk. It has all the aspects of the relations of the Religious leaders, Political leaders, scholars, professionals from the Media and Academic fields.
Due to the fact that many of the participants have gained trust over the last few years of conferences, very serious and relevant presentations are being made concerning the Middle East, Governance (dealing with the relations of nations and global concepts of governing their relations through the UN and other efforts), Peace on the Korean Peninsula and Human Development had a very healthy mix or world experts who for the most part have become Ambassadors for Peace and Unificationist scholars and leaders from around the world.
The presence of religious leaders from all major faiths, relating in harmony (there are of course many historical tensions, but due to their special calling and long term association with True Parents they have become the forefront of leadership for harmony and peace among religious leaders.) Rev. Kwak's opening address went in depth in terms of Father's vision concerning the Blessing of Marriage, intermarriage among enemy nations and cultures and the vision for World Peace. He called for the participants to step "out of the box!"
This was followed by presentation of the committee chairs -- Taj Hammad, Antonio Betancourt, Karen Judd Smith, Kathy Winnings and Jones Kyazze of UNESCO. These presentations were a basic overview of what the breakout sessions would cover.
Neil Salonen, President of the University of Bridgeport then conducted a plenary session concerning the United Nations, Nation States, Religions and NGO's. Rev. Marcus Braybrooke, President of the World Congress of Faith praised Father Moon for the vision of the Interreligious Council and stated that it is absolutely an achievable necessity for the UN. Mr. Martin Walker, Chief International Correspondent of the Unite Press International and Dr. Gordon Anderson, Secretary General of the World Peace Academy gave relevant and factual presentations.
Mr. Walker made a very clear point that the Interreligious Council will have no meaning if it only makes resolutions and gives advice, "It will be like a tree falling in the forest that is never heard." Dr. Anderson sited the history of the relations of the spiritual order with the kingdoms of history stating, historically there have been many civilizations that have shown that if the spiritual order is accepted by the people and enlightens the political leaders understanding, then the governance by the political order will lift up the values of the spiritual -- family and the well being of the state and society. He sited the Hammurabi civilization as an example.
Rev. Braybrooke strongly responded to Mr. Martin's challenge to the relevance of religion. Religion, if united becomes a n irresistible and irrepressible influence for positive change. The key is uniting the religions and Father Moon is achieving that.
The concurrent sessions followed:
I attended the Middle East Session -- Co-chaired by Dr. Frank Kaufmann and Taj Hammad. Mr. Arnaud de Borchgrave, Editor at Large, United Press International, having covered the Middle East for over 50 years was very frank. Though he has been an outstanding journalist and leading conservative thinker, he stated that America's approach to the Arab/ Moslem world is flawed. 83 percent of young men in Pakistan believe that Osama Bin Laden is a freedom fighter. America must understand this or it will be misleading itself to believe that we are solving the problems in the Middle East through our "liberation" effort. He firmly stated that he opposed the war in Iraq because it wasn't dealing with the real problem the reality in the Moslem world and the Moslem views. He proposed that the only real option is total normalization between Palestine and Israel, total openess and a return to a form of the pre 1967 arrangements of territory. He stated the settlements will never be removed as it was Prime Minister Sharon who was their chief proponent. Removing some of the settlements is symbolic. His commentary set the committee on fire.
A Jewish scholar from France very honestly explained the common views held by Jews, that without a state the Jews have no home and have no place in the world. He also questioned why the Palestinians couldn't move from their homes to other Arab territories. Imam Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom gave a powerful presentation that clearly shows that the Koran, when taught and practiced according to the word guides Moslems to openess, understanding and tolerance. Mohammed in the scripture speaks and says, "what is the highest value -- fasting and prayer during Ramadan or love for your brother." To the surprise of everyone said, "The highest value that Mohammed taught was that harmony with your brother is higher than fasting and prayer. Enlightened Imams are now rising all over the world to lead the Moslem world into harmony with other religions. Father Moon is opening this door".
Imam Kiwan jumped up and stated as an Israeli Arab Moslem in response to the Jewish scholar. "I love you, I love my home where I grew up and where my ancestors grew. I'm willing to share my land with you because I love you. However, how can I leave my home.?"
Dr. Kaufmann, with his incredible commitment to pursue the truth and his journey to find people of faith and integrity opened the door for this most meaningful dialogue.
Dr. Lilian Curaming of the Maryhill School of Theology in the Philippines did an excellent job in moderating the session on "How Could or Should Religions Contribute to World Peace" It was a most prestigious panel of the worlds top religious figures. Imam Kiwan of Israel gave a most powerful presentation of the spirit of the real Islam that is definitely being called by God to receive the Messiah and build God' s Kingdom with respect and love for all people. Bhai Manjit Singh, Adandpur Sahib, of India and one of the four equally powerful central spiritual leaders of the great Sikh faith gave the presentation that brought a feeling and presence the Holy Man that he is. He called for religious leaders to unite in purity and love to bring about the changes that are needed. He underscored the centrality of the Family on this road to peace. The atmosphere in the room changed. Rev. Jennifer Jane Chalmers, Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Anglican Diocese, Auckland gave a very clear and strong presentation that religion is absolutely the key to solving these problems we face in a world in conflict. She referred to the question of Mr. Martin of the UPI and stated that it is clear that the governments of the world cannot bring peace, they try but the religions bring the relevance, tolerance and respect. It is the religious values that cause us to treat one another correctly and that influences our laws and societies.
Dr. Kaufman demonstrated with the chairwoman Dr. Curaming the power of the holy person in that in his life risking journey to meet the warring factions within the Philippines, he asked, " Dr. Curaming, should we do this? She said don't worry -- you are with me. Dr. Kaufman had here stand. He stature is petite and definitely would not provide protection except for the fact that she is a real holy person of God and because of that they were safe. We will be safe in bringing the conflicting peoples of the world together if we are true to our believes and truly seeking the benefit of all.
I was asked to give the final presentation. The Jerusalem spirit came once again thanks to True Parents indemnity and grace that is covering us as well as the immense support of Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Confucius, Buddha and all the saints from heaven. I spelled out the fact that guided by Father Moon, Rev. Kwak and the IIFWP have created a culture of peace among the top religious leaders of the world and the many key political leaders. I emphasized the teaching of Father Moon that we must sacrifice our selves and love our enemy to heal this world. Therefore Father Moon asked the American Clergy Leadership Conference to take down the barriers between Christians and Jews -- the CROSS. As we showed a powerpoint presentation of the crosses coming down off of churches in America and the Pilgrimage to Israel to bury the cross at golgotha and the potters field. We could see the foundation laid by IIFWP to reconcile the first and second Israel and with it the descendants of Ishmael.
We really have to thank our Revs. Ji, Abe and Hod for the work they did to prepare the first bride of the Lord. We can feel that every time this history is lifted up it brings a feeling of hope. It was in this atmosphere that I showed the pictures of the great Jewish leaders, who inspired by the Christians taking down their crosses came to America, heard the Principle and went onto the Blessing on July 5th in Chicago. The tangible real results of the fact that a Palestinian Scholar and Imam, Dr. and Mrs. Mohammed Jodeh (who also attended the DP workshop in Washington, side by side with the Israelis), and Dr. Ben Ami and his wife (a theologian and a Rabbi) could embrace on the stage after they received the Blessing of True Parents (through Dr. and Mrs. Yang as True Parents representative). They embraced -- a Palestinian Moslem and a Jewish Rabbi. Together they affirmed that the idea of a March in Palestine and Israel is from God. Then I showed pictures of religious leaders who completely changed our modern world -- Mahatma Ghandi and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, through non violence and love for the enemy the overturned centuries of immovable hatred and bigotry and opened the door for the Kingdom of God. They did it, we can and will do it!!! Father Moon has shown the way, Love Your Enemy !
We concluded with announcing the March for Peace in Israel -- from Gaza to Gethsemane and onto the Wailing Wall! The atmosphere was that of a very high spirit with all religious leaders and political leaders joining the theme.
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