The Words of the Hyun Jin Moon
Distinguished guests, friends, family, ladies and gentlemen: welcome to the Universal Peace Federation Global Peace Tour.
It is a privilege and an honor to be here. 2008 was truly a whirlwind year of GPF success all over the world. We meet once again to make a new determination to advance the cause of peace here and around the world.
I want to share with you a dramatic vision of peace for the 21st Century that is sweeping across our globe. It is a spiritual vision rooted in time-enduring principles, values and aspirations, and it is inspiring a great peace movement throughout the world. That unifying vision is “One Family under God!”
Almost everyone in the world would agree that we are living at time of global crisis. The attention of most governments, the G-20 and the United Nations is currently focused on the ongoing worldwide financial chaos. On top of that, there is the continuing challenge of ongoing conflict and violence flaring up all over the world. Even more fundamentally, we face a growing moral and spiritual crisis, evidenced in the rise of family and marriage breakdown, divorce, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and the growing number of young people alienated from society and prone to violent and anarchic impulses.
Another serious concern for people of every nation is the issue of human care and protection of the environment. We need to respond more quickly and more consistently to the global challenges of climate change, deforestation, deteriorating air quality, water, and soil contamination, to name but a few.
Despite these challenges, I believe that the universal appeal of the vision to create “One Family under God” testifies to the fact that we do live at time when lasting change is truly possible, if we are able to understand the root causes of our problems. This is the main purpose of the Global Peace Tour and the Global Peace Festivals which are promoting a platform of interfaith cooperation, strengthening the family, and a culture of service for the sake of renewing our communities and nations. We are looking for nothing less than a moral and spiritual awakening rooted in the universal vision of “One Family under God.”
There are already some very encouraging results. In Kenya, Prime Minister Raila Odinga acknowledged that the principles he had learned by attending our UPF peace conferences helped him and other parliamentarians make the necessary step to end the tribal violence plaguing his nation, especially after the contested presidential elections. We are now beginning to educate a new generation of young leaders in these important principles.
At the Global Peace Festival in Malaysia, a predominately Muslim nation, the Honorable Mahathir Mohammed, Prime Minister for 22 years, warned that religious leaders, especially within his own faith of Islam, must not politicize religion for their own purposes. Instead, they should go back to the original teachings of their traditions, which advocated peace and the need to create the “brotherhood of man.” Our interfaith service projects, seminars and dialogues are aimed at helping people of all faiths find common ground together. Religious leaders numbering in the tens of thousands from all faith traditions are gathering to celebrate and commit to this vision to create a new global, inter-faith peace initiative.
Following the Global Peace Festival in Paraguay, a group of parliamentary leaders are lobbying for the introduction of a law to establish a department or ministry of peace -- an idea also making progress in Canada and an initiative that the Global Peace Tour is now taking around the world.
Our next major Global Peace Festival will be held this May in the city of Jakarta, Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation. It is our hope and expectation that the model of interfaith unity as a road to peace that we present there will help breathe new life into efforts for peaceful resolution in areas of seemingly intractable conflict such as the Middle East. Festivals are also planned in Taipei, Bangkok and Kathmandu.
Ladies and gentlemen, just as we have big aspirations and hopes for our children, so too did God have great expectations for humanity. God wanted his children to establish a true family which could be the school of true love, true life and true lineage. It would have been God’s family, where he could dwell as the eternal true parent of all mankind.
Tragically, humanity’s first ancestors fell away from this ideal, and this dream was not realized. Nevertheless, God has not abandoned mankind. He has worked patiently throughout human history, waiting in agony and lamentation for someone to realize His unfilled dream.
Now, the time has come to make that dream a reality through the universal vision of “One Family under God,” transcending nationality and creed. In this way we can fulfill the original mission of Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and the founders of other religions to create the universal family of God and usher in an age of everlasting peace and prosperity.
The one who has taken on the mantle to realize that dream in our modern era is none other than my father, the Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon. He has devoted his entire life and resources to the fulfillment of a promise he made to God.
My father has always believed that God inspired the formation all religions and has worked through them to lead humanity towards the fulfillment of that dream. As a result, all faiths invoke universal principles, values and aspirations that transcend their particular religious and cultural traditions, having the possibility to come together on common ground.
Therefore, the vision to create “One Family under God” is not the dream of just one man, one woman, one family or one religion, but the dream of all humanity and, most of all, the dream of God.
Why “One Family” under God? The family is the cornerstone of peace. First, it is universal. Regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality and religion we are all members of families.
Secondly, the family represents the most intimate of human relationships. We use familial terms to describe the closeness of any relationship saying, “that person is like my father, like my mother, my brother, my sister, my son and like my daughter.” Therefore, the family should be the school of love where we learn to love all humanity in its richness and diversity.
Marriage and family are the fundamental building blocks of any society, but every nation in the world is in grave danger of losing this most valuable tradition. Divorce and family breakdown are at an all time high. Every nation faces major challenges with its youth. The social and economic cost of the breakdown of the family is staggering.
The healing of the family is a spiritual task. We must make it our priority to bring God back into every family. When God is the center of our families, all our other problems will fade away. Let us create “One Family under God,” one family at a time!
Another urgent challenge facing the world is to peacefully integrate her many religious and cultural traditions. As we all know, religious conflict is right now an ever present threat to the stability and security of the world.
Peace among faith traditions cannot come about through mere dialogue or through “tolerating” one another's prayers and rituals. A true interfaith experience is a celebration of the core principles, values, and aspirations that bind all people together as one family.
The United Nations has adopted an entirely secularist worldview, excluding the spiritual dimension of human experience. It has focused on the principle of national sovereignty as its guiding value, but with little consideration of God or the teachings of our world’s great religions.
Since the year 2000 Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, has been calling for United Nations renewal, and a new kind of United Nations’ system that is more inclusive of faith-based leadership. This is why we are promoting the establishment of an inter-religious council at the United Nations, based on an understanding of human rights as “endowed by our Creator,” and why we are forging innovative partnerships for the advancement of the Millennium Development Goals.
To do this, UPF is working in collaboration with governments, faith-based organizations, NGOs and academic institutions, providing a value-centered and God-centered vision of peace. We are calling upon leaders from all fields of endeavor and people of good conscience to join forces for the sake of a moral and spiritual awakening and the renewal of individuals, families, societies, institutions, and nations. Will you join us in this task?
The task of promoting true interfaith understanding is an urgent priority for our world. Before we call ourselves Christian or Muslim, Catholic or Pentecostal, Buddhist or Hindu; before we see ourselves as black, white, or yellow, or identify ourselves as American or Korean we are all the sons and daughters of God and members of his eternal family.
Building a culture of service is another core goal of the Global Peace Festival and a vital step for peace. There is something deeply spiritual in serving others. It is not something we should do for only 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.
We are promoting a spirit of volunteerism and peaceful cooperation around the world. Communities and nations are being transformed through our efforts to build a culture of service rooted in the peace philosophy of “living for the sake of others.”
I’d like to see this nation build on these efforts and create a grassroots movement that will spread into a global culture of serving others. Taking this one step further, I’d like to see this nation’s volunteer partners joining with those of the United States, Korea and other nations to establish a global service alliance.
Imagine young people from enemy nations and from different faiths working side by side in service! Any initial misunderstandings and suspicions would fade away as they sweat, cry and laugh together with a common purpose and cause.
The dream of “One Family under God” will 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 with the Will of God can quell the turmoil of conflict throughout the world. It can end the strife and poverty of Africa, the conflict in the Middle East, and the final remnant of the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula. It is only as one family under God that we can solve the economic and moral crisis that is engulfing our societies and usher in an age of justice and equity for all nations.
The Universal Peace Federation and its Ambassadors for Peace are already putting these principles into action all over the world. In the Middle East, for example, Universal Peace Federation’s interfaith gatherings are helping Christians, Muslims and Jews to rediscover their common heritage in Abraham. They are realizing that they have more in common than the issues that currently divide them, and that they truly are brothers and sisters of faith longing equally for peace and reconciliation.
Our South Asia Peace Initiative played a crucial role in bringing the Maoist opposition and governmental forces of Nepal into peaceful coalition, ending years of bloody conflict. Our UPF Representative in Nepal now has a busy portfolio as a member of the newly created unity government. We have also had many other breakthroughs in the Balkans, the South Caucasus and in Mindanao in the Philippines.
With this in mind, I would like to invite you to take part in one of the important next steps in forging this global peace movement. This December, we will hold the first ever Global Peace Convention. We will gather representatives from every city and nation and learn from the remarkable success stories that are taking place around the world throughout a week of celebration, networking, conferences and planning.
There was keen interest from around the world from many cities that wanted to host this exciting and prestigious convention. London, Washington, Tokyo and Seoul were all strong candidates. But in the end, the winning bid was submitted by Manila, Philippines.
I want to urge all of you to lend your full support to the success of this most important Peace Convention. We need your participation, and we need your leadership and investment. We want to hear about your successes, and we want to engage you with many other champions of peace-building from around the world. We also need sponsors and founding partners who are willing and able to bring their financial resources and other assets, their networks and their vision to help make the Convention a success.
I hope and expect to see all of you in the Philippines!
This is a time of new hope. With God’s grace, as surely as light overcomes the darkness, an era of peace and prosperity will emerge from the depths of distrust and hatred as we work together as one family.
Together, let us 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. Thank you very much!