The Words of the Hyun Jin Moon

Global Peace Festival 2008 Korea - One Family Under God

Hyun Jin Moon
November 9, 2008
Keynote Address
Global Peace Festival
Seoul, Korea

Respected Speaker Hyung Oh Kim, Congresswoman Young Sun Song, Ambassadors, Representative Korean War Veterans of 16 Nations, Honored guests from around the world and Ladies and Gentlemen;

As a Korean and on behalf of all Koreans, I would also like to take this opportunity, on the 60th anniversary of the Republic of Korea, to give special thanks to the veterans, ambassadors and families that represent the 16-nation UN Forces during the Korean War.

Because of your respective nation’s selfless sacrifice to uphold the banner of freedom, a proud republic stands here today with an opportunity to give back to the world the blessings it has received.

On a more personal note, it was because of your efforts that my father, the Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon, was liberated from the North Korean death camp in Hungnam and, thus, was able to establish a legacy of peace building centered upon God’s will for humanity.

Once again, I would like to thank you on behalf of a grateful nation and on behalf of a grateful family.

Over the last few days, the eyes of the world have been focused on the presidential elections in the United States, hoping to witness history in the making. Change, yes we can has become the slogan of not only a successful campaign but a message of hope at a time of national and global crisis.

The message of change and hope is all the more relevant here in Korea, a peninsula and a people divided for more that a half century. But, at the same time, change for the sake of change and hope without grounding in reality will only compound the myriad of problems that this nation and the world faces. Although it is good to want change and to have hope when all we see ahead of us is more problems, what is more important is the direction that would lead us to the desired outcomes we intend to achieve.

I believe we stand at a crossroads. We need a vision that can unite a divided nation and people, as well as lead a region and world to greater peace and prosperity. That is why it is, especially, my great honor and pleasure to be able to share this vision here at the Global Peace Festival seminar held in these hallowed halls of the Korean National Assembly.

The need for a new vision

In order to articulate a national, regional and global vision for peace, we will need to admit that we have to be bold and break new ground if we are to really go beyond the failures of our past.

We only need to look back to the last century to recognize the futility of tackling the world’s problems through the same old military, economic, political, diplomatic and scientific solutions. Dealing with only the symptoms of global crisis and conflict and ignoring the root cause will not work.

Conflict begins when we fail to follow the dictates of our conscience and recognize our common heritage in God. That is why even the grand vision behind the League of Nations and, later, the United Nations was unable to prevent the 20th century from being the bloodiest era in human history. When we consider the number of wars and conflicts that continue to plague humanity, it is clear that the world undeniably needs a new vision of peace for the 21st Century.

Unlike the secular thinking of our recent past, it should be a spiritual vision, rooted in time-enduring values. That vision is One Family under God! The one who has taken on the mantle to champion this vision around the world is none other than my father, the Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon. After receiving this revelation on a cold Easter Sunday, seventy three years ago, he devoted his entire life, resources and wealth to the fulfillment of that dream. To him the dream to build One Family under God was not the dream of just one man, woman or family but belongs to all humanity and, most of all, to God.

This is because God is the True Parent of all mankind. My father goes on to explain in one of his recent peace messages, God, the Creator of all things under the sun, is the true parent of all humanity. He is not a parent in the parochial sense, existing only for a certain religion, a certain race, or the residents of a certain region. You may call Him by any name, be it Jehovah, Allah, [Heaven], or any other. What is important is that He certainly exists, lives as the true parent of all people, and is carrying on the great work of Creation.

A True Family is the Model for Peace:

Let us take a moment and think about family. First and foremost, the family is universal. We, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality and religious affiliations, have and are members of families.

Secondly, it represents the most intimate of human relationships. We use familial terms to describe the closeness of any relation saying that person is like my father, like my mother, like my brother, like my sister, like my son and like my daughter. We have all had those experiences and those types of relationships.

Most importantly, the family is the school of love. Through the lessons in our families, we learn to embrace and value all relationships, whether they are inter-generational, between the sexes, or between peers.

I believe that the three-generational model of grandparents, parents and children is the paragon of family virtue. Those generations represent the past, present and future living in harmony in one family, thus encapsulating the continuum of time and setting the basis of establishing everlasting peace centered upon true love.

As the cornerstone of all societies, families instill a culture of love and service that extends to our communities, to our nations and to the world. In short, we love our family in order to learn to love humanity in its richness and diversity.

Before we call ourselves as Buddhist, Christian, or Confucian, before we see ourselves as black, white, or yellow, before we identify ourselves as Korean, American, or Japanese, we are first and foremost the sons and daughters of God and members of his eternal family. Therefore, we should own the dream to realize One Family under God one family at a time, by uplifting all families beyond race, nationality or creed.

Korea’s Spiritual History

The vision of One Family under God is deeply rooted in Korea’s spiritual heritage. One of the oldest civilizations in the world, Korean history begins with the creation myth of Tangun. The idea of God or heaven was the unifying theme in the formation of this nation and its people and has always been seen as the force that molded its national character and sense of destiny.

In the 19th century, for example, the Christian missionaries from America and Europe who came to Korea quickly found that the traditional Korean belief in hanunim or heaven was the ideal foundation for the gospel message.

This national spirit to align to a Heavenly Will has made Korea a model nation of religious harmony and tolerance, allowing all faiths to flourish here in Korea unlike anywhere else in the world and to coexist in relative peace.

The importance of the family has been another constant in Korean society. Every year, our cities empty as Korean families honor our ancestors at the Chuseok celebration. Our traditions of filial piety and respect for elders and the idea of the extended family model as the foundation for a stable society and nation are a uniquely Korean contribution to civilization.

Today, however the fact that religious differences are becoming so politicized in modern Korean society, and the breakdown of so many Korean families are worrying developments that represent a deep fracture in our national psyche. We are in danger of losing our most valuable traditions.

This is why the vision of One Family under God is so important for this time. In fact, this is the dream of all people of faith. Korea, with its unique cultural and spiritual traditions should be the leading nation in bringing this dream to fruition and reality.

A Vision for the Reunification of Korea

More than 33 years ago my father gathered representatives of every religious tradition and thousands of delegates from 60 nations around the world, together with more than one million Korean citizens for an epic rally at Yoido Plaza.

On that day, he warned that the ideology of secular humanism would never be able to bring about the reunification of our nation. He said national unification could only take place when we recognize that we are the children of God, with equal rights and responsibilities before heaven.

My father declared that when that happened, Korea would become a nation that could lead all the people of the world to peace. He said -- We should be courageous and rise up totally with God's special favor and protection. God loves Korea so much that He is going to establish a unified civilization of the whole world in this country.

As a proud son, I am filled with deep emotion as I stand here before you today. I was six years old when my father delivered this prophetic message at Yoido. I believe my life, as well as that of my family, has come in full circle.

Through the Global Peace Festival, we are gathering once again to awaken this nation to fulfill its providential calling and complete North South Unification, and to lead the world to peace.

A Culture of Service

Creating a culture of service is a core goal of the Global Peace Festival and a necessary step for peace. I am pleased and proud to report to you that we are creating a new spirit of volunteerism and peaceful development around the world. We are changing nations through this exciting vision of peace.

In Paraguay, we helped smooth the first democratic transfer of power between civilian governments.

In Kenya more than 70,000 volunteers helped clean the polluted banks of the Nairobi River, an effort that moved Prime Minister Raila Odinga to come out in support of our Global Peace Festival. He said that our efforts were crucial in bringing peace between the warring tribes that so recently were on the brink of civil war.

In Mongolia, volunteers from Service for Peace and a dozen other agencies worked throughout the nation centered on the vision of living for the sake of others. The president of that nation, the leader of the Mongolia People’s Revolutionary Party told me that the vision of One Family under God was absolutely needed for the spiritual life and development of his country. In Malaysia we brought this culture of service and interfaith to this predominately Muslim nation.

In Mindanao, Philippines we went to an area where Christian-Muslim strife has been most intense and managed to bring young people from both sides together in service and celebration. In Washington, DC, the Global Peace Festival led a giant interfaith food drive feed hungry children and families in America’s capital. Service for Peace in Korea is working to create sister relationships between North and South Korean cities. The Mayor of Suwon has committed to supporting this project and I would like it to be expanded throughout the nation. In this way we can build a grass roots movement of peace and reconciliation between our divided national family.

There is something deeply spiritual in serving others. It is not something we should do only for a day, a month or even a year. It has to become a way of life. When living for the sake of others becomes a habit, we come to see the true value God places on all human beings.

I would like to see Korea's faith-based and community partners joining with those of other countries to establish a Global Peace Corps.

Imagine if young people from enemy nations worked side by side in service. Any misunderstandings and hatred that existed would fade away as they sweat, cry and laugh together with a common purpose and cause.

Korea and the World

I believe that it is no coincidence that today a Korean, Bang Ki-moon, serves as the Secretary General of the United Nations. I believe that it is God’s Will for Korea to work with the United Nations and take responsibility to establish world peace.

Many great minds agree that the greatest threat to global peace and future development is religious narrow-mindedness. Accordingly, a second important goal of the Global Peace Festival is to promote genuine interfaith understanding and to end the tragedy of religious conflicts that continue to scar our planet.

In particular, I propose that the Republic of Korea second the motion that my father made in the UN to establish an Inter-religious Council of faith leaders similar to the Security Council. This new UN body could be the forum for all faiths to find common ground and lead the peace process.

Religious and spiritual leaders must lead the peace process. Instead of advocating their own narrow doctrinal perspective, they must lead all people of faith to recognize the shared values and principles that come from our common heritage in one God.

In addition, I believe the UN needs to recognize the centrality of God in the discussion on human rights. I further propose the UN Charter be modified to include the idea that humanity is endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights similar to the US Declaration of Independence. Without a spiritual root in our common heritage, fundamental human rights will continue to be abused.

Together, we must revive Korea’s proud traditions and expand this dream onto a global stage through the universal vision of One Family under God. This should be the clarion call of our age.

As my father said in a recent Peace Message, the time has come: to tear down the man-made walls of race, culture, religion and country, and establish the peaceful, ideal world of God’s cherished desire.

The power of one human family united, can quell the turmoil of conflict throughout the world -- from the strife and poverty of Africa, to the conflict in the Middle East, and the final remnant of the Cold War here on the Korean Peninsula.

As Koreans, Americans and global citizens let us make a solemn pledge to dream the biggest dream and to lead the world to peace through the vision of One Family under God.

Then, as surely as light overcomes the darkness, an era of peace and prosperity will emerge from the depths of distrust and hatred both at home and in the far corners of our world.

Together, we can dare to dream the greatest dream of all! Let us own the dream to create “One Family under God.”

May God bless you and your family, and may God bless this great nation of Korea!

Thank you very much. 

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