The Words of Sun Myung Moon from 1988

Proposal for a World Festival of Culture

Sun Myung Moon
September 27, 1988
World Festival of Culture

With the blessings of Heaven upon Korea, the 24th Olympiad is now being held successfully. Universally, people have expressed their praise for this event, and I join the peoples of the world in expressing my congratulations.

The world has been unable to overcome the barriers of nationalism, religion, and race. Because of this, humanity is in pain from countless struggles and wars. Human beings have two aspects -- the spiritual and the physical. The modern Olympic Games, with their principal purpose of athletic competition, are a festival to establish world harmony on an external level. But we also need to establish an internal harmony by developing sound mental and spiritual aspects of our existence.

I propose the holding of a World Festival of Culture. Humanity is faced with the historical task of coming to grips with the devastation of spiritual culture and of building a new culture of peace in which harmony exists among God, man, and nature. This "Olympics of World Culture" should contribute to this task by gathering major figures from the arts, the sciences, the news media, religion, economics, and politics, as well as athletes and youth leaders. Thus, the World Festival of Culture will combine cultural exchange with athletic competition.

A movement whose ideal is to transcend nations, ideologies, religions, and races has been working under my guidance for the past 40 years in a wide variety of fields on a global scale. We have had various academic conferences, led by internationally prominent scholars, to discuss absolute values and the underlying harmony among the many fields of scholarship. University students and religious youth have participated in service activities to promote a sound value system for young people.

Also, conferences of religious leaders have been held to encourage dialogue and reconciliation among the various religions and to realize a world of peace. The World Media Conference has sought to foster responsibility in the media. The International Relief and Friendship Foundation has carried out service activities in the developing world. The Summit Council for World Peace, conferences for world economic leaders, and the activities of the Artists Association International are also part of our worldwide efforts.

A festival of peace bringing together 300,000 people of all races was held in Washington DC on September 18, 1976. A "Declaration for Building a New World Culture" was adopted in Seoul on December 18, 1983, in a meeting attended by representatives of the Professors World Peace Academy from 72 countries. In keeping with the spirit of these events, and on the historic occasion of the 24th Seoul Olympiad, I join representatives of 120 countries in proposing the World Festival of Culture. I suggest it be a two-week event and that the first one be opened in Seoul on September 18, 1990. Subsequent ones will be held every three years.

Today's young people will create tomorrow's culture. This must be a culture of heart based on true love, bringing each of the world's cultures into full bloom. To promote this ideal of a world culture, it is my intention to make the World Festivals of Culture occasions to celebrate the brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity and the creation of ideal families. The model of one world family of mankind, based on true love and transcending differences of race and color, will lead us directly to the fulfillment of world peace. Men and women subscribing to this ideal will be invited to participate in international weddings in the name of God and as a demonstration of commitment to lasting family relations and eternal values. By living high ethical standards, these couples will provide a model of morality and lead the way towards the creation of ideal families, societies, and nations.

I hope that all people will lend their support to the World Festival of Culture as a symbol of the will of God and the dream of humanity. The Korean people must also understand the mission Heaven requires of them at this time in history and take the lead in realizing a unified homeland and a world of peace. 

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