Seoul – The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) recently concluded the Rally of Hope that was the latest in a series of summits, real and virtual, held over the past two years (see www.UPF.org). It brought thousands of world leaders together in search of a shared culture of ‘interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.’ Five more world-level events are planned for this year.
This rally, however, was “Beyond Live.” It was a dazzling display of digital technology from the land of K-pop where a live internet audience of more than one million people from 194 nations were held spell-bound for two-and-a-half hours on August 9, 2020. Another 90+ million people watched via as many as 70 live TV broadcasts and on various social media apps.
A special address was given by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the co-founder of UPF. She stood side-by-side with her late husband of 52 years, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, and together built a world peace movement unparalleled in the lifetime of any founder. Upon his passing in 2012, she continued their shared vision. It has now expanded into a global peace movement bringing new hope and vision to millions upon millions.
At the outset she greeted all the dignitaries, whom she had met personally at national, regional or world summits over the last few years. She also welcomed the virtual guests saying she has waited for a long time to see everyone. “Human history,” Dr. Moon began, “has been a history of continuous struggle, which has caused both the suffering of human beings, as well as the suffering of God, our Creator and Loving Parent.”
The animal world lives automatically by the laws of creation, she explained, giving the example of the migrating monarch butterfly flying thousands of miles from Canada to Mexico. Human beings, however, fell at the beginning of human history and lost their relationship with God and His principles. Because of this, history has been a long arduous path of restoration.
In her unscripted remarks, Dr. Moon paid special attention to the importance of the institutions of marriage and family. She also mentioned that our limited life on earth was preparation for an eternal life in the spiritual world. The way forward, she narrated, was to understand and live by God’s principles of creation while on earth.
Dr. Moon ended her address acknowledging that the continued division of Korea was a major obstacle to peace. Known lovingly as Mother Moon, she called on the Korean audience to be models of filial children who attend God in their daily lives and work to realize His providence in their homeland and throughout the world.
The Sunday event hosted a set of stellar speakers from East and West, North and South. They spoke in unanimity on the importance of nations working collaboratively to overcome the aftermath of Covid-19, on the need for universal moral and spiritual values to be inculcated into our cultures, and for UPF to play a key role in moving these agendas forward.
Ban Ki Moon, the 8th UN Secretary-General and Chairman of the National Council of Climate and Air Quality, highlighted four areas of global concern: i) tension between the US and China, ii) the rise of protectionism, iii) the threat of climate change, and iv) a crisis in values, ethics and social capital. Although he called this “a new Cold War in the COVID-19 era,” he also believed that UPF “will become a cornerstone to build lasting peace around the world.” # (Featured photo: Rev. Hak Ja Han Moon; Photo and press release from UPF)