Unification News for May 2005
Greetings from the Holy Land
We arrived on March 30th in Amman, Jordan. We were welcomed by Jordanian senators and key religious leaders. Our conference, "The Role of Jordan: Realizing Enduring Peace in the Middle East," was covered by Jordanian TV and newspapers.
It was beautiful. Our IIFWP representative Fosayo and the Middle East Office under Rev. Ji did an outstanding job. Our speakers were key figures from America and Jordan who have been working on peace. The prince of Jordan came. It was a beautiful experience. Jordan is unique as a Muslim country and strong ally of the U.S. There was great interest generated by our visit. Imam Haitham Bundakji played a key role. He shares with his brother, the president of a major Arab Bank, a home in Jordan. He was able to invite many key Jordanian figures. We had a testimonial night at his home that was very moving.
The delegation of 72 Ambassadors for Peace then went to Mount Nebo on the third day. We stood where Moses stood when he looked over the promised land but could not go in. A moving service was held in which Bishop Stallings read the scriptures from Deuteronomy and Numbers that explained that because Moses struck the rock twice he could not enter the promised land. We believe that in the era of the Peace Kingdom that all is being forgiven and restored. Dr. Yang, Rev. Ji, Fosayo and I could go to the Holy Ground in Jordan near Mount Nebo that Father Moon created 40 years ago. Moses went with us across the Jordan this time. We sang "Joshua fought the Battle of Jericho" at the ruins of Jericho after we crossed the border. Then we entered the City of Peace - Jerusalem. Our first stop was to pray at the Garden of Gethsemane. At the tree in the middle of the Garden is our holy ground with a tree in which 40 years ago Father Moon drove three nails -- one for Judaism, one for Islam and one for Christianity. He then prayed that the three Abrahamic faiths would become one. We prayed at that spot in the Garden, remembering Jesus' agony and yet rejoicing that having received his crown in Jerusalem he is now exalted and liberated.
The next day we had an all-day conference with Sheikh Tamimi, "Conference for Interreligious Dialogue." It was officially endorsed by his excellency President Mahmoud Abbas. Fifty sheikhs attended. All the important Islamic sheikhs from each district of the West Bank came. We shared presentations from our delegates and the delegates under Sheikh Tamimi. We promoted a nonviolent understanding of resolving the conflict in the Holy Land and the importance of the religious leaders taking a central role in peacemaking.
Rev. Walter Fauntroy, noted Civil Rights leader and former member of the U.S. Congress for 20 years, did an excellent presentation on nonviolence and the way that it was applied to break the yoke of discrimination in America. The shiekhs were very uplifted. It was a historic moment. We then marched together to the separation wall. Our message is that we are in the era in which we must eliminate boundaries. Therefore our position is that the wall will not support the path to peace. We call for the removal of the wall through dialogue, understanding, and mutual agreement. We fully realize that we must dissolve the hatred in the hearts of the people and get to the root causes for the conflict, when the enemies are reconciled through love and real relationship. We are witnessing a tremendous response from Jewish people of faith and principle and Muslim and Christian people of faith and principle. Based on their efforts, eventually the walls will be eliminated.
Only through love and absolute commitment to nonviolent serving, loving, and sacrificing for our brothers and sisters can the pains of history be wiped away. There is hope in the Holy Land.
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