Unification Sermons and Talks

by Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak

Program for the World Culture and Sports Festival III

by Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak

This is the text of the statement released to the media at a press conference held October 29 in Washington, DC.

It is my honor to serve as the Chairman of the World Culture and Sports Festival III, which will take place here in Washington the week of November 23-30.

First, I would like to first explain the origin and purpose of this unprecedented of event. The Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon first spoke to me of their vision for the Festival during the Seoul Summer Olympics in 1988. They envisioned gathering thousands of participants from the many fields of human endeavor for the purpose of establishing a foundation for world peace. This gathering would bring together many of the projects which represent Reverend and Mrs. Moon’s lifelong efforts around the world. As Rev. Moon has often said, "There can only be a peaceful family of nations when you have nations of peaceful families."

Based on this vision, we organized the first World Culture and Sports Festival in 1992 and the second in 1995, both centering in Chamshil Olympic Stadium in Seoul, Korea. Over 100,000 people attended each of the Festivals. On this successful foundation, we proudly bring the World Culture and Sports Festival III to the capital of the United States.

The Festival’s program will begin on Sunday, November 23 with a reception marking the opening of an international art exhibit at the Georgetown Mall, followed by an evening of jazz featuring the acclaimed Spyro Gyra in the Omni Shoreham Hotel Ballroom. The rest of the week’s varied cultural activities will include a recital by Aaron Rosand, performances by the Kirov Ballet, the Shin Sekai Chamber Ensemble, the New York City Symphony and a Gospel Music Concert at the Lincoln Theater.

Additionally, nine major conferences will convene during the week. These conferences involve men and women of a wide range of activities including scholars, artists, religious leaders, scientists, statesmen, women activists, youth leaders and journalists. Since 1972, Reverend and Mrs. Moon have been convening such international conferences; bringing together experts from varied fields to apply their collective wisdom and experience toward providing real solutions to our pressing global problems.

The International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences facilitates cooperation among the diverse fields of academic specialization and examines the relationship between science and absolute values. The theme for this year’s conference is, "Science for the Benefit of Humanity".

The Federation for World Peace will bring together renowned statesmen such as Sir Edward Heath, former Prime Minister of England, and H.E. Aziz, former Prime Minister of Egypt, and the Hon. Richard von Weizacker, former President of Germany. These distinguished men, along with prominent scholars and statesmen, meet together in the pursuit of solutions to the problems that besiege humanity and threaten international peace. This year’s conference theme is, "A World Vision for the 21st Century."

Another conference, sponsored by the Women’s Federation for World Peace, emphasizes the theme of service as a means to further world peace. Featured topics to be discussed include: Education and Literacy; The Family as a Foundation for Peace; and Youth and Morality. Speakers in past conferences have included Coretta Scott King, Barbara Bush, Nobel Laureate Betty Williams and many other prominent women leaders.

The Fourteenth World Media Conference, chaired by Arnaud de Borchgrave, has the conference theme "Globalization and the Media; Looking Toward the 21st Century." Lou Dobbs, President, CNN Financial News will give the keynote address. Other speakers include Ambassador Pedro Chamorro, Former Deputy Editor of La Prensa; Michael Medved, noted entertainment critic; and Thomas Goldstein, Dean of Columbia University School of Journalism.

Other conferences at this year’s Festival will be convened by: the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace; the Professor’s World Peace Academy; the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification; the Youth Federation for World Peace; and the World Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles.

Throughout the week there will be activities organized by students in Washington, DC. These will include a charity walk-a-thon and rally by the Pure Love Alliance, a national organization that promotes sexual abstinence before marriage. The rally will be at the Capitol and walk-a-thon proceeds going to The Hospital for Sick Children of Washington, DC.

Directly connected to many of the world’s most serious problems is the universal breakdown of the family. Throughout our modern world, mankind is struggling to overcome this central problem. Divorce rates are universally on the rise. Rates of child abuse, wife abuse and yes, even husband abuse are shocking. The effects on our youth are evidenced in the epidemics of crime, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, and unwanted pregnancies. Aids and other STDs are literally threatening the lives of millions of our citizens. It is you, the members of the media, who have brought us all to an awareness of the enormity of these problems.

In the midst of this world-level tragedy, the World Culture and Sports Festival was developed to strengthen the family. The Festival encourages families to dedicate themselves to the service of God and mankind. Therefore, the heart of each Festival is an International Blessing Ceremony.

In this ceremony, Reverend and Mrs. Moon ask couples from every culture of the world to make a sacred commitment that they will never divorce, will remain faithful to each other, and will raise their children to understand the sacredness of marriage.

This year, on November 29, over 3.6 million couples will participate in Blessing ‘97 , many via satellite and videotape. At RFK Stadium there will be 30,000 couples representing every race and almost every religion. I believe that their firm resolution and commitment will send a message to the world that God-centered families offer the best hope for humanity.

A joyous celebration will follow Blessing ‘97, with food, entertainment and fireworks. We are calling the entire day’s celebration, "True Love Day at RFK". In line with the prestige of the Festival’s participants and the global scale of its impact, we have selected world class entertainment including Jon Secada, Cho Young Pil, and a grand finale by Ms. Whitney Houston.

It is our strong conviction that World Culture and Sports Festival III will make a very significant contribution to the building of genuine world peace. It is our sincere prayer that soon the entire world can celebrate in God’s love.

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