Unification News for September 2004
World Peace Pilgrimage Leaders Give Orientation to Ambassadors for Peace
Dr. Chang Shik Yang
August 10, 2004 - Israel
One hundred and twenty Christian ministers went to Korea a few years ago and formed the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC). We have 14,000 solid Christian leaders who are members of the ACLC.
The USA is the most powerful nation in the world, politically and economically. America has so much influence that we cannot ignore America's mission to be a bastion of goodness in the world.
Father Moon came to America in 1971, when he was 51 years old. He remained there for 33 years. He experienced some acceptance, but many Americans rejected him. Father Moon observed that even though America was strong externally, spiritually she was dying. Nevertheless, he could not water down the message and told America directly the truth.
In 1996 Father Moon established the Family Federation for World Peace (FFWP) and declared the end of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. We distributed the FFWP flags to 144,000 churches in the United States. We took 120 Christian ministers to the border between North and South Korea, and there we released doves of peace. Next, Father Moon did a 50-state speaking tour in the United States in 50 days. Christian ministers joined with him under the slogan, "We Will Stand."
On April 27, 2002, Father Moon conducted a Blessing ceremony for 144,000 ministers. This included Archbishop G. Augustus Stallings, a great theologian and evangelist, who was blessed to a Japanese woman. The September 14, 2002 Blessing coincided with the anniversary of the September 11 attack. One third of the participants were Muslims. People participated as faithful adherents of their religion. We do not try to convert them. The age of conversion is over.
I first came to Israel in 1982 as part of a study tour of world religions. We lived and worked together every day for 40 days. The days were hot, and we often went swimming. Through our varied experiences, we all realized that we were much the same. After 40 days we became completely one.
In the United States, the fourth Sunday of July has been designated as "Parents' Day." One couple is selected each year as exemplary couple. Recently we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the proclamation of this day, which was signed by President Bill Clinton.
A solid cross on top of the main building of the Unification Theological Seminary was struck by lightning one day, and it came tumbling down. Research reveals that cross was not a symbol of Christianity until 313 AD. When Jews and Muslims see the cross, they feel resentment. When we first came to Israel, we realized that the cross was a tremendous obstacle in doing interfaith work. Father Moon organized conferences of Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders, and we had special ceremonies to bury the cross.
One of the most severe places of conflict is Gaza. We saw so much misery and suffering during our visits to Gaza. Father Moon donated computers and established a computer school. He offered 100 for Israelis and 100 for Jewish children and requested that they email to each other and become close friends and never fight. We had a seminar in Gaza in December 2003, attended by the former President of Indonesia.
A key event was the Coronation Ceremony for Jesus in Jerusalem's Independence Park on December 22, 2003. This represented a public recognition for Jesus. It was followed by a special candlelight ceremony for peace. A similar ceremony was held in Washington, DC. A ceremony for the Coronation of True Parents was held also in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2004.
Father Moon recently requested that we bring 500 people to the Middle East from each continent. Five hundred is the number of completion. If we make a powerful enough condition then surely Almighty God will intervene and bring peace to the Holy Land.
Rev. Yong from Oceania and I are wonderful friends. Our names are so similar and so often people mix up our names. We went to seminar together. We trained under the same professor, Yo Han Lee. Later we both became continental directors. Father Moon started the ocean providence many years ago. When I look at the map of Oceania, I think that we were born in a watery environment being inside the mother's womb.
I want to convey warm greetings from Father and Mother Moon, who are praying and working every day for peace in the Middle East. Father Moon is 84 years and yet still spends most of his time working directly for world peace. I know that you came at considerable expense from a long distance. I will be returning to Korea to report to True Parents. Father Moon is always asking for a report of what is happening.
This program is not a usual pilgrimage. We donıt just come to see the historical sites. We are here to open a door to a new era. We need to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. We are not just peacemakers but kingdom builders.
Dr. Antonio Betancourt
Democracy in the United States was established in the traditions of the Pilgrim Fathers and the values of the prophets of the Old Testament. But todayıs democracy is rooted in selfish individualism, where the guilty with the right lawyer walk away free and the innocent without the right legal representation go to jail. Itıs a system of winners and losers. We need to make spiritual and cultural values the core of our guiding principles to bring peace. We need to encourage and affirm the role of the chieftains, tribe and clan leaders and inherit the wisdom of the best traditions.
Each of us is the accumulation of all historical resentments and emotions. We need to experience them and come forth with a holy response. Prayer, reading and living for the sake of others are so important. I understand that some of you are offering conditions of 500 bows every day. In one year you will have done more bows than the average Muslim does in his lifetime. That surely has some impact in the spirit world. By doing such conditions you can come to own True Fatherıs words.
A prophet is usually not welcomed in his home town. After 2,000 years only eight percent of the population of Israel is Christian, despite all the historical sites and the presence of Jesusı spirit that can be felt.
Some of us met with an eminent Muslim philosopher who was a Marxist until he met God. He testified that he has met True Father in spirit many times. He was overjoyed when I gave him a photo of True Parents. As we left, he pulled me aside and said, "I want to meet Father Moon in the flesh." He said that only Father Moon gives hope for the Palestinians.
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