Unification News for June 1998
Blessing in Bratislava, Slovakia
by Milos Klas-Bratislava, Slovakia
I would like to share with you about the Blessing event in Bratislava, Slovakia. This was the European Family Festival where brothers, sisters and guests from all around Europe came.
I have to start little bit before the event itself. Few days before June 13 the Catholic church started quite strong attack. The Bishops Conference made a statement saying UC is not a Christian church, not a partner for dialogue and is hiding behind various federations-WFWP, FFWPU- and the only purpose of their activities is get everybody into the Moon’s family and under his theocracy.
We made the press conference where about 10 journalist came but there was not much reported about it. We also made our statement as an answer to the statement of Catholic Bishops Conference but not a single newspaper reported about it. Then in the last two days two of the biggest newspapers brought small announcement about the event without any commentary or negativity-even saying the government members, the MPs and representatives of all churches are invited to the event. I would say it was quite positive.
The hall where our event was to be held has a capacity around 4500 people. The weather on Saturday was really bad-strong wind and rain. People started to come to the hall already more than one hour before the event. First, there were members and guests coming from other European nations. Buses from all over Europe and many cars. Despite few negative people distributing a weekly magazine with very negative article for free in front of the hall, there were altogether round 3000 people in the hall. The program started at 4.30 p.m., half an hour before satellite transmission, with the Holy Wine Ceremony for newly matched couples-62 of them were present. All other couples were invited to take part in this ceremony-there were several hundreds of previously married couples present. Even all guests could participate because we gave Holy Nectar capsule to everybody at the entrance to the hall. We finished the ceremony with the first pictures from New York.
The last Satan’s attack came few minutes before satellite transmission started. The police appeared in front of the hall saying there was a bomb threat-somebody called to one newspaper that there is a bomb in the hall which will explode at 5.00 p.m.-when satellite transmission should start. After some discussion we could persuade the police not to clear the hall. It was really God working in this situation. The officers of two police groups were fighting each other-one who was commanding a special group insisted to clear the hall and the other who was coming first to the hall said it was already after five and nothing happened until now so he will take the responsibility for not clearing the hall. Our members and also the responsible lady from the hall could persuade him we have been in the hall since previous day controlling everything so nobody could come in and put the bomb there. Finally police stayed in the hall for protection. They liked to stay because of weather outside and warm dinner boxes they received. The ceremony could continue without anybody of the guests realizing there was such critical situation.
With the satellite transmission-introducing world religions-also last few opponents who could make it into the hall became silent. This part of program made great impression and everyone enjoyed the whole ceremony. Adding to the whole story-you have to know that this was the first event at such a level in Slovakia. Before-in former Czechoslovakia-there was two times True Mother and one time True Father speaking in Prague then the capitol of the country and now capitol of Czech Republic. So we had to fight for the first time for such an event. I can say that the Blessing festival was really successful even the hall was not filled completely. In Europe we never had such big number of audience until now. We could report to Rev. Kwak about this victory already during the entertainment program.
The entertainment started few minutes after satellite transmission was over and people enjoyed their dinner boxes. We had many artists from all over Europe performing for round 4 hours. Many people stayed until end-almost midnight-dancing and singing. Monday, only two newspapers reported about the event. Short articles with some doubts about the event and some old rumors. But nothing big.
This victory was possible through very hard work and many conditions of not so many members in Slovakia and in the last two weeks also members from other European nations who came to help with the mobilization-selling tickets and inviting people. With the strong support of European president Kwang Kee Sa, who was together with his wife the officiator in Blessing ceremony in Bratislava, regional coordinator for East Europe Rev. Shin, European HQ staff and many others. Thank you very much to all of them. Above all the strong support of Heavenly Father and True Parents hard life and work made this event victorious.
Thank you also to all of you praying, laying conditions and making efforts to bring the victory all over the world with the Blessing ´98.
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