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Kook Jin Moon Address to Members of Malaysia Parliament

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  • 1. Address by Mr. Kook Jin Moon Peace Banquet with Members of Malaysian Parliament Guest of Honor:YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Pankikar Amin Bin Haji Mulia Speaker of the House of Representatives Parliament of MalaysiaMandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia June 19, 2011 1
  • 2. Deputy Speaker YB Datuk Ronald Kiandee,representing the Speaker of the House, membersof the Parliament of Malaysia, Ambassadors forPeace, ladies and gentlemen:On behalf of my parents, Dr. Sun Myung Moonand Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, as well as my sister InJin Moon and myself, I would like to express mysincere gratitude for your invitation to visit yourwonderful country and speak here today.I have long admired Malaysia as a moderateMuslim country where Islam exists in harmony withother religions. I believe that the invitations 2
  • 3. extended to my parents, who are religiousleaders known throughout the world for theiremphasis on harmony among religions, give clearevidence to this admirable aspect of Malaysiansociety.Prime Minister Najib Razak in his address to theUnited Nations last autumn called for a “GlobalMovement of the Moderates” of all religions tocombat religious extremism. The Prime Minister’seffort, which he repeated at the University ofOxford just last month, is very much in keepingwith the teachings of my father and deserves thesupport of religious persons everywhere. 3
  • 4. My father was born in 1920 in what is now NorthKorea. He was raised in a Christian home and metJesus in a vision when he was 15 years old. In thepublic ministry that he began in 1945 andcontinues to this day at age 91, my father teachesthat all religions have the mission to liberatehumankind from the spiritual ignorance that resultsfrom our separation from God. He teaches thatreligions should work in harmony with each otherto accomplish this task.In Christian terms we refer to my father asMessiah, Savior and the returning Christ. But hedoes not come for the sake of Christians alone.Nor does he consider it his mission to propagate 4
  • 5. the Christian faith to the exclusion of otherreligions.Instead, my father is the conduit for all people toinherit the True Love that is God’s divine essence.This is how we become the true sons anddaughters of God. My father teaches that God’strue love can and should be inherited by people inall religious traditions, and that all religions canachieve their ideals of unity and peace bydeepening their understanding of God.I would like to read a passage from my father’sautobiography to give you a better idea of hisapproach to religious harmony and peace. This 5
  • 6. autobiography was originally published in Korea in2009 and has sold well over a million copies. TheJapanese translation has also sold more than amillion copies. Today, I will read from the Englishtranslation, titled, “As a Peace-Loving GlobalCitizen”. The section I will read is on pages 234 to244 and is titled, “The Power of Religion to TurnPeople to Goodness.” The passage has beenedited slightly in the interest of time. Please referto the book for the complete text. On August 2, 1990, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein staged an armed invasion of Kuwait, igniting the possibility of war in the Persian Gulf. This area has long been a tinderbox, and I 6
  • 7. could see that the world was about to be sweptup in the vortex of war. I concluded thatChristian and Muslim leaders must meet tostop the conflict. I acted immediately to doeverything I could to stop a war in whichinnocent people were sure to die.On October 2 of the same year, I convened onshort notice an emergency conference of theCouncil for the World’s Religions in Cairo,Egypt, to deliver my urgent message of peaceto the highest spiritual authorities of the MiddleEast and the Muslim world. Many wonderedwhy I, a person with no apparent ties to theMiddle East, would convene such a meeting, 7
  • 8. but to me it is simple. I believe every religionshould contribute to world peace. A conflictbetween Christianity and Islam would be farworse than the conflict between democracyand communism. There is nothing more fearfulthan religious war.I sent a message imploring President GeorgeH.W. Bush, who already was trying to limit theconflict, to avoid war in the Arab world, andinstead work to bring about Saddam Hussein’sretreat through diplomatic means.Our emergency conference in Cairo involvedtop Muslim leaders and grand muftis from nine 8
  • 9. countries, including representatives of thegrand muftis of Syria and Yemen. At the coreof the meeting was my desperate appeal to theArab and Muslim world not to support SaddamHussein’s claim that this was a holy war.Whether the United States won or Iraq won,what good would it do? What value would ithave if it meant that bombs rained down,destroying houses, fields, hills, and preciousinnocent lives?The Cairo conference was just one of our manypeace activities. On September 11, 2001, weall felt utter horror when the World TradeCenter twin towers in New York City were 9
  • 10. destroyed by terrorists. Some people said thiswas the inevitable clash of civilizationsbetween Islam and Christianity. But my view isdifferent. In their purest form, Islam andChristianity are not religions of conflict andconfrontation. They both place importance onpeace. In my view, it is bigoted to brand allIslam as radical, just as it is bigoted to say thatIslam and Christianity are fundamentallydifferent. The essence of all religions is thesame.Immediately following the collapse of thetowers, I organized religious leaders from NewYork and around the country to pray and 10
  • 11. minister to the victims and first responders atGround Zero. Then, in October, I convened amajor interfaith conference for peace in NewYork City. Ours was the first internationalgathering in New York after the tragedy.These dramatic contributions to peace in timesof war did not spring up from nothing. Fordecades prior, I have invested in promotinginterreligious harmony.In 1984, I brought together forty religiousscholars, instructing them to compare theteachings that appear in the sacred texts ofChristianity, Islam, Buddhism, and other major 11
  • 12. world religions. The book that resulted fromtheir efforts was World Scripture: AComparative Anthology of Sacred Texts,published in 1991. What they found was thatthe sacred texts of religions convey the sameor similar teachings more than seventy percentof the time. The remaining thirty percent areteachings that represent unique points of eachreligion. This means that most of the teachingsof the major world religions are the same attheir core. The same is true of religious practice.On the surface, some believers wear turbans,some wear prayer beads around their necks,others wear a cross, but they all seek thefundamental truths of the universe and try to 12
  • 13. understand the will of the Divine One.People often become friends even if all theyhave in common is the same particular hobby.When two strangers meet and discover theyhave the same hometown, they canimmediately communicate as if they had knowneach other for decades. So, it is truly tragic thatreligions, which share the same teachingsmore than seventy percent of the time, stillstruggle to understand each other andcommunicate happily. They could talk aboutthe things they have in common and take eachother by the hand. Instead, they emphasizetheir differences and criticize one another. 13
  • 14. Our experience when compiling WorldScripture leads us to believe that it is not thereligions of the world that are in error but theways the faiths are taught. Bad teaching offaith brings prejudice, and prejudice leads toconflict. Muslims were branded terrorists afterthe 9/11 attack. But the vast majority of simple,believing families are peace-loving people.Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are sharplydivided against each other in today’s world, butthey share a common root. One of the mainissues that keep them divided is theirunderstanding of Jesus. To address this 14
  • 15. problem, on May 19, 2003, I asked thatChristians de-emphasize the cross in relationsamong the Abrahamic faiths. Thus, we enacteda ceremony of taking down the cross. Webrought a cross from America, a predominantlyChristian culture, and buried it in the Field ofBlood in Israel. This is the field that was boughtwith the thirty pieces of silver that JudasIscariot received for the betrayal of Jesus.Later that year, on December 23, some threethousand Ambassadors for Peace from allreligions, and from around the world, joinedwith seventeen thousand Israelis andPalestinians in Jerusalem’s Independence Park 15
  • 16. to symbolically remove the crown of thornsfrom the head of Jesus and replace it with acrown of peace. They then marched for peacethrough Jerusalem. Local authorities grantedpermissions and protected our efforts, andPalestinian and Israeli families supported ourmarch for peace by placing a light in front oftheir homes.Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest mosque inIslam after those in Mecca and Medina, islocated in Jerusalem. It is the spot from whichthe Prophet Mohammad is said to haveascended to heaven. Ours was the only mixedreligious group welcomed to all parts of this 16
  • 17. house of worship. The mosque leaders guidedthe Christian and Jewish leaders who hadparticipated in the peace march to the sacredspaces of the mosque. We were able to open adoor that had been closed tightly, and preparedthe way for many Muslim leaders tocommunicate at a new level with their Christianand Jewish brothers and sisters.Human beings like peace, but they also enjoyconflict. Human beings will take the mostgentle of animals and make them fight. Theywill have roosters fight and peck each otherwith their sharp beaks until pieces of soft fleshbegin to fall away. Then, people will turn 17
  • 18. around and tell their children, “Don’t fight withyour friends. Play nice.”The fundamental reason that wars occur is notreligion or race. It is connected to what liesdeep inside human beings. People like toattribute the causes of armed conflicts to suchthings as science or the economy, but theactual fundamental problem lies within humanbeings ourselves.Religion’s role is to turn human beings towardgoodness and eliminate their evil nature thatfinds enjoyment in fighting. Examine the majorreligions of the world. They all hold a peaceful 18
  • 19. world as their ideal. They all want to see akingdom of heaven, utopia, or paradise.Religions have different names for this ideal,but they all seek such a world. There arenumerous religions in the world, and virtuallyeveryone is divided into countless factions anddenominations. But the essential hope for all isthe same: They want the Kingdom of Heavenand a world of peace. The human heart hasbeen torn to shreds by the violence and enmityat our core. The kingdom of love will heal it.The greatest obstacle to the world of peace isavarice in peoples’ hearts. It starts inindividuals and expands to the nation, and 19
  • 20. hearts stained with avarice cause division andconflict at every level. Countless peoplethroughout history have shed their blood anddied in conflicts caused by avarice.To eliminate such conflicts, we need a greatrevolution to change the erroneous values andthinking that are widespread in the world today.The complex problems our societies face todaycan be resolved quickly if there is a revolutionin peoples’ thinking. If each individual andnation begins to look out for the other first,working together with the other, the problemsof modern society will be resolved. 20
  • 21. Throughout my life, I dedicated myself toefforts for peace. Whenever peace isdiscussed, I become emotional. Tears begin towell up in my eyes, my voice chokes, and I canhardly swallow. It moves me deeply just toimagine the day when the world becomes oneand begins to enjoy peace. That is the natureof peace. It links people who think differently,are of different races, and speak differentlanguages. Our hearts yearn for this world andharbor a hope that it will be realized.However, peace comes through concreteaction, and not just having a vague dream. Butbuilding a movement for peace has not always 21
  • 22. been easy. There have been many difficulties,and it has required large sums of money. Ihave not done this for my own honor, or tomake money. All I did was invest my full effort,so that we can have a world where a strongand true peace takes root. For as long as Ihave been doing this work, I have never beenlonely. This is because, ultimately, peace is thedesire of every person in the world. It is strange,though. Everyone wants peace, but still it hasnot come.Each religion today thinks of itself as thehighest, rejecting and looking down on otherreligions. It is not right to build fences against 22
  • 23. other religions and denominations.A religion is like a wide river flowing toward anideal, peaceful world. The river flows for longdistances before it comes to the wide expanseof peace. On its way, many streams flow into it.The streams cease to be streams from thepoint they meet the river. From that point, they,too, become part of the river. In this way, theybecome one.The river does not reject any of the streamsthat flow into it. It accepts them all. It embracesall the streams and forms a single flow as itcontinues toward the ocean. People in the 23
  • 24. world today do not understand this simple truth.The streams that seek out the river and flowinto it are the numerous religions anddenominations of today. Each stream traces itsorigin to a different spring, but they are allgoing to the same destination. They areseeking the ideal world overflowing with peace.Peace will never come to this earth unless wefirst tear down the walls between religions. Forthousands of years, religions have grown inalliance with particular ethnic groups, and sothey are surrounded by high cultural walls.Tearing these down is an extremely difficulttask. For thousands of years, each religion has 24
  • 25. surrounded itself with such high walls, insistingthat it is the only correct religion. In some cases,religions have expanded their influence andentered into conflicts and fights with otherreligions, using God’s name in places that hadnothing to do with His will.The will of God lies in peace. A worldfragmented by differences in nationality, race,and religion, where people attack and fight oneanother and shed one another’s blood, is notwhat God wants. When we shed blood andfight each other in His name, we only causeHim pain. A world torn to shreds has beencreated out of the desires of people to promote 25
  • 26. their own wealth and glory. It does notrepresent the will of God. God clearly told meso. I am only His errand boy, receiving Hiswords and carrying them out on Earth.There are close to two hundred countries in theworld. For all these countries to enjoy peace,the power of religion is absolutely necessary.The power of religion is in the love thatoverflows from it. I am a religious personwhose role is to convey love, so it is naturalthat I would work for world peace. There is nodifference between Islam and Christianity intheir commitment to bring about a world ofpeace. 26
  • 27. In America, I lead a movement for peace,bringing together thousands of clergy whotranscend denomination. Through thismovement, we discuss ways that people of allfaiths – Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists,etc. – can come together. We devote our fullefforts to change the hardened hearts ofpeople.My purpose is the same today as it wasyesterday. It is to create one world with God atthe center, a world brought together like asingle nation without boundaries. All humanitywill be citizens of this world, sharing a culture of 27
  • 28. love. In such a world, there will be no possibility for division and conflict. This will mark the beginning of a truly peaceful world.Those are the words of my father.My father has put tremendous energy andresources into bringing harmony among theworld’s religions. He was worked tirelessly toinspire all religious people to deepen theirunderstanding of God’s divine essence. Hebelieves that the walls that separate the majorreligious traditions today will crumble when thepeople in these traditions inherit the true love ofGod. When that happens, religious people can 28
  • 29. unite in harmony and lead the way toward a worldof peace.Many people are surprised on visiting theUnification Church World Headquarters Church incentral Seoul to find that we have a special roomto honor the prophet Mohammad, Jesus, Buddhaand Confucius, whom we refer to as the FourGreat Saints. The Unification Church maintainsfriendly relations with the major orders of KoreanBuddhism. The leaders of both faiths regularlyattend each other’s religious events.There are conflicts in every country. Thefundamental causes of these conflicts lie in the 29
  • 30. hearts of the people. It is the responsibility ofreligions to remove that cause, but religionscannot do that unless they inherit God’s true loveand relate to each other in harmony.Malaysia is showing the world a model for religiousharmony, and I look forward to seeing yourcontinued development in this area.May the abundant blessings of God be onMalaysia and your families.Thank you. 30

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