Unification News for December 2003 and January 2004

Heart to Heart for the Peace in the Middle East - Peace March, Heart-to-Heart Rally for Peace & Peace Candle Ceremony

Religious, political, NGOs, students and other social representatives from 50 nations of the world with the Israeli and Palestine citizens, around 30,000 people, gathered at Independence Park in Jerusalem for "Peace Rally" on December 22, 2003. This really was sponsored by "Interreligious and International Peace Council" under the title: "Heart to Heart for the Peace in the Middle East and the World".

Rev. Chang Shik Yang, chairman of the rally said "We have respect for each of the various faiths. Rev. Moon is working beyond all denominations for world peace."

Rev. Jenkins, the chairman of the IIFWP USA said: "Today Jesus will be welcomed by his family and honored by his people. This will remove the curse that has divided the children of God. On this foundation, in the midst of tears we will reconcile Christians and Jews and representing Isaac we will bow with respect and love for our brother Ishmael as Jacob bowed before Esau and as with the time of Jacob the brothers will weep and reconcile. All bloodshed will finally come to and end. The new covenant of God is now with a new Chosen people of every race, every people, every nation and every tongue. The Muslims, Christians and Jews will be the base upon which Buddhists, Hindus, Confucianists, Sikhs, Jains and all the religions of the world will reconcile."

Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, Chairman of the IIFWP and the Interreligious and International Peace Council, said: "We should break down all boundaries that divide people, we should live together in mutual respect and cooperation," He added that with the desperate desire in the world for peace IIPC is bringing this opportunity to practice peace in action among all the representatives participating in this rally.

Two Jewish representatives approached yellow armchairs on a platform in Jerusalem's Independence Park. The Jewish man bowed and placed a silver crown on one seat. The woman beside him placed a robe on the other. Both bowed repeatedly as spectators from 70 countries as far apart as South Korea and the United States stood watching.

"The rejection of Jesus is restored and He is honored as king of peace, welcomed by the Jewish people and embraced and loved as the Lord," declared the Rev. Michael Jenkins.

A Christian clergyman then placed two thick candles signed by True Parents on a low table in front of the yellow chairs. "The prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is now recognized as God's prophet," Rev. Jenkins said. "We believe in Muhammad."

Two Muslims then gave a Jewish professor a golden menorah as a symbol of reconciliation with the Jews, and the Jews returned the gesture with a black robe. "The best of what God gave you, you want to give to the other," said Dr. Taj Hamad, a Muslim representative from Sudan, who donned the robe.

Rev. Jenkins said religious leaders can support the peace process, help keep it alive when political negotiations hit snags, and give it their blessing once an agreement is achieved. "Without political leaders we cannot achieve peace," he said.

However, he said, religious people are in a better position to reach reconciliation. Sheik Mohammed Khalil Kiwan, the imam of Majd al-Kurum in the Galilee, said such a group "could introduce some pressure into the politicians' hearts."

Rev. Sun Jo Hwang, President of the FFWPU International said: "All the religions leaders of the world have to put their effort through march for peace to bring about the Peace Kingdom."

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