Unification News for May 1998

Three Tales From Peru

by Fritz Piepenburg-Lima, Peru

Peru is a spiritual country. It is the land where the very popular book "The Prophesies of Celestine " unfolds its intriguing story. - Every 12 years, mystics and new age followers from around the world gather near Cusco, in the holy valley of the Incas for conducting the Kumbha Mela, a rite of purification and union with the basic elements of this world: earth, fire, water and air. Many spiritually open people believe that places like Cusco, Machu Pichu and Nasca are focal points for the earth's electro-magnetic spheres and therefore harbor special healing powers.

We too, members of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification have frequent encounters with people and groups with a high degree of spiritual perceptiveness. Spirituality must not be confused with religiosity, much less with religious bigotry. While religiosity, or leading a religious life, may be very much confined to the doctrines and teachings of that particular religion, genuine spirituality transcends religious barriers.

Fortunately the message of the Family Federation is not about a particular religious teaching, but deals with family values. Its main objective is the establishment of sound and public-minded families, regardless of race, culture or religion. Thus we always explain that the blessing ceremony is not for the sake of any particular religion, but for the sake of the family. By participating in the world wide campaign "Brindis de Honor a la Unidad Familiar" (a toast in honor of family unity), couples and families show solidarity with millions of like-minded families around the world and promise to establish exemplary families, thus actively contributing towards the betterment of society.

Tale one: Blessing in the Amazon Rain Forest

Two of our brothers went pioneering in the tropical rain forest of Peru, moving along the Amazon river and visiting communities by boat. They determined to return back to Lima only after fulfilling a goal of 10.000 families blessed. After working hard for several days, without obtaining extraordinary results, they finally arrived at a town called Requena. As the church bell was ringing in the late afternoon, they also joined the people attending the Catholic mass. One brother was struck by the similarity of the Catholic father with the Hindu religious leader, who attended the Nov. 29 blessing event in Washington. This Catholic father had the same white beard and even the tone of his voice was similar. He felt this was a hint from spirit world to work with this father.

The next day a series of events unfolded which felt like a dream to these brothers. First they met a local journalist who listened carefully to what they had to say about the family and felt deeply inspired. The journalist introduced them to the mayor of the town, who was equally inspired about their message and sincerity. When the brothers explained about the blessing campaign by way of the brindis, the mayor said the only man capable to assemble a large number of people in a short time was the Catholic father. Thus all of them went to the Catholic father who told them that he had never before heard of the Family Federation, but supported fully its objective of establishing healthy and Godly families. Thus, during the following two days, the father gathered more than 6000 families, who all listened to the speech of our brothers and received the blessing.

The brothers were also invited to speak on local radio and give their full message to all the people of the town. Because of the smooth cooperation among the press, the political and the religious authorities, our brothers could reach out to the entire city population and give them the blessing within a couple of days.

Tale two: Why the Good Friday was a Really Good Friday

One of our Japanese sisters became friends with a highly spiritual group of artists, who every year on Good Friday plays the "Via Crucis", the Way of the Cross. A couple of days earlier they played the baptism of Jesus, in a real scene at the Rimac river. On Good Friday, these artists, fully dressed in long robes, were each playing a distinct personality according to the Biblical story. In front of the church they staged the trial of Jesus, all very realistic, very touching and with a profound sense of spirituality. They then embarked upon a 15 km walk, with Jesus carrying the cross, until finally climbing up to the top of Mount San Cristobal, which takes about one hour. There on the top, watched by thousands of spectators, Jesus was tied to the cross and left hanging there until he spoke his final words.

What did we have to do with these artists? When they came to the seat of our Federation, we discovered that we had a lot in common, both of us being the instruments of God and doing His work. Thus we determined to cooperate. Along the 5 km road and especially on the mountain we were to prepare some refreshments for the artists and those accompanying them. And how thirsty they were! We positioned ourselves halfway up the mountain, where we blessed many families who were moving in an seemingly endless stream up the mountain. When Jesus and all the other players arrived, they stopped the whole train and we could serve some lukewarm and thin orange juice, which was gratefully accepted by the sweating actors with their hot, red faces.

On that day, before the arrival of the artists and after, we could bless some 2700 families on this mountain. As one brother said while driving home late at night: "Jesus must be happy today. Maybe he is dancing in the spirit world!"

Tale three: The Blessing of 5000 Israelites

For years we have been dreaming of giving the blessing to a religious group of people, called Los Israelitas, the Israelites. This religious denomination, founded by the Peruvian Ezequiel Ataucusi Gamonal some 40 years ago, has attracted some 3 million followers all over Peru, even spreading to neighboring countries. They advocate a highly spiritual mixture of the Old and New Testament. From the Old Testament they borrowed the long hair and beard, and the beautiful long dresses they wear. Women also wear long dresses and cover their hair with a long shawl. From the New Testament they obtained their strong faith in Jesus, the Bible (which actually is the Catholic Bible) and, what is most important, a clear understanding of a monogamous and permanent husband- wife relationship (which, if one reads the Bible carefully, seems to be rather the exception than the rule during the Old Testament age). On this last point, our two organizations could find a powerful common base for cooperating and supporting each other.

The Israelites invited us as their guests of honor during the last day of their Eastern celebrations. We were led up in full honors, flanked by clapping and cheering women in their long colorful dresses until reaching their sanctuary, which consists of a huge 7-armed candelabra and a large incense burner, which covered the entire crowd of faithful with the sweet scent of sandalwood. Men and women were strictly divided - men to the right and women to the left. Most of them were fasting that day, as one could easily tell from their strained faces, especially during the late afternoon hours.

Along with other dignitaries, we were invited to give our message in front of all the people assembled, and we used this opportunity to introduce the Family Federation and the Blessing campaign. We invited everybody to participate in the "brindis", renewing their marriage vows and strengthening their family ties. Then, when evening came and thousands lined up to receive their meal for breaking the fast, each one also received a cup of juice containing the Holy Wine. In that way, an estimated 5000 families of the Israelites attending the important final day of Easter received the blessing, including the founder and grand master Ezequiel himself.

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