Unification Sermons and Talks

by Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak

International Religious Federation For World Peace
Our Concern for Minorities in Europe and the Middle East

by Reverend C. H. Kwak

This is an excerpt from the address given on October 21, 1992 at the IRFWP colloquium held at the Chateau de Bellinglise, near Compiegne, France.

It is my great honor as one of the presidents of the IRFWP to be associated with this timely and vital dialogue between two of the most powerful and widespread spiritual forces on earth. It is painfully evident at this juncture in time that little compares with the urgent need for Islam and Christianity to move toward a deep and lasting unity, serving and supporting one another in a shared commitment to the welfare of all people. In addition to the abundant regional clashes which are portrayed as involving Christian and Muslim loyalties, virtually all serious strife which has become global in scope and implications since the fall of world communism display a facet of strained Muslim-Christian relations.

Given this reality it is not without significance that you gathered here this week are among the world's unrivaled experts in the area of Christian-Muslim relations. I am deeply grateful not only for the efforts you have made for the sake of this conference, but more importantly for the years, even decades you have dedicated to this crucial, global mission. I pause here to acknowledge in particular our distinguished conference chairmen Sheik Ma Zaki Badawi and His Grace Metropolitan Bishop Boutros Mouallem.

We who have been called and have devoted ourselves to life as religious leaders know an essential truth that is not immediately evident even to highly educated people in this increasingly secular age. I am referring to the fact that God and the world of spirit are the world of cause. Linked to this reality is religion. Economic, political, military and media endeavors are resultant or external phenomena; the world of effect. We see every where around us incessant effort and expenditure in pursuit of peace, yet any 5th grade child knows that it is impossible to produce an effect contrary to its cause.

Religion, in short, is the first frontier in all of human affairs. It is directly linked to the world of cause, to God and spiritual reality. If we cannot achieve real harmony among the world's religions, we can not reasonably hope to see signs of peace in our present war-ridden world. This is what makes your work here this week of preeminent importance. The only possibility of peace in this world is contingent upon your success.

God's Will

We believe that a world in which religions unite together to serve the common good of humanity and in so doing lead the way to world peace is the Will of God. thus it is only out of obedience to God that Reverend Moon founded the IRFWP. It is a great misunderstanding and offense to think the motive behind Rev. Moon's calling is mere generosity or philanthropy. Like yourselves, Rev. Moon's calling is a religious one. By now his biography is well known.

He received his calling from God at the age of 16, in 1936. He then spent 9 years until the age of 25 researching scriptures, the natural world and the spiritual world in search of the truth of God. At the age of 25 he began his public ministry among Korean Christians. He was persecuted for his teachings and by the age of 30 jailed in a communist run death camp near Pyong Yang. For 2 years and 8 months he suffered there until the age of 33. Hours before his scheduled execution, a United Nations force bombing raid caused his captors to flee. In 1953 Rev. Moon with millions of other Koreans went to the south. There he resumed teaching, and in 1960 at the age of 40 married his present wife and mother of this 13 children Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon.

This year in her 33rd year of marriage, Mrs. Moon has founded a world-wise women's liberation movement called the Women's Federation For World Peace. Today she will begin an 8 city speaking tour of the United States, speaking at a major rally in Washing DC. In 1967 with less than 200 followers Rev. Moon founded his first organization for Inter-Religious harmony, the "supra-denominational movement". At that time he followed the principle that he would always spend 3 times more of the resources available to him on the cause of Inter Religious-Harmony than he would on his own religious mission and followers. That principle has never been violated, and is still operative today.

As a religious leader himself, Rev. Moon feels greatest resonance among other religious leaders. He feels most at home and most likely to be understood by people familiar with the difficult effort to live in complete surrender and obedience to the perfect Will of God. He knows that many of you have been persecuted or misunderstood for the sake of your religious convictions.

This has happened throughout history and comes as no surprise. Religious people understand the nature and cause of persecution. Based on his love for God, and love for religion and religious people, it gives him great joy to support the efforts of the IRFWP. Of course he hopes that other religious bodies will be caught up in the enthusiasm and join in with the offering of resources for this great ideal of inter-religious harmony. His deep desire is to see religious leaders united in mutual love for one another, rise up to become the guiding lights for all human affairs. He envisions an Inter-Religious council of top leaders working in concert to provide society with pure moral standards, and the way to prosperity based on compassion and true love.


Last August, on the eve of the Holy Wedding ceremony for 30,000 couples from 131 nations and 8 religions Rev. Moon announced to the world that he and his wife are the Savior of the world and the True Parents of all Humanity. Naturally this proclamation which Rev. Moon himself referred to as astonishing and fearful sent shock waves to all who heard or read these words. I do not have time here to delineate the unique Unification understanding of these terms, but that is easily acquired through a study of Unification teachings, available anywhere.

Of course such a claim is a religious one, and thus in the arena of human evaluation, it is best assessed by experts in religion. In the week following Rev. Moon's announcement four world wide religious leaders issued public responses, responses form Judaism, Christian Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Islam. Each response was different. each clearly explained that both personally, and as representatives of their respective religions, they could not according to their understanding accept the claim of Reverend Moon. Yet all four acknowledged somewhat eloquently that the driving force behind Rev. Moon, and that which has enabled him to found and support such an astonishing array of programs for human betterment is nothing other than his love for God. For this alone, despite the explicit disavowals, Rev. Moon was honored. For to him this alone determines the value of each human life.

I thank you for taking time out this morning from your important deliberations to allow me to share these thoughts. I have known and lived with Rev. Moon for over 30 years. I can testify that he seeks only to be pleasing to God. It is important to know that the founding and on-going support of the IRFWP is generated from this intense religious motivation and not that of philanthropy or mere economic generosity.

I pray that this same love for God and the dream of an unbroken humanity will manifest itself in all that the IRFWP does, and that this very love will bring your important efforts here this week to a great and substantial success.

May God bless each one of you, your work and your families.

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