“I have lived my life with just one thought – I wanted to bring about a world of peace.”
This is the central precept that has motivated the life of Father Moon, the founder of UPF and the source of inspiration behind the dedicated UPF staff who organize the European Leadership Conferences. In a deeply moving presentation on the life of Father Moon, European Vice-chair Mr Timothy Miller drew extensively on the recently published autobiography of the UPF Founder, tracing his origins from his birth in a rural location in Japanese-occupied Korea in 1920 through unspeakable hardships as he sought to fulfill his profound spiritual mission.
At 16 years of age, a life-changing experience occurred on Easter morning, when Jesus appeared to Father Moon as he greeted Easter morning with prayer on a hilltop. Realizing the predicament of God's situation as He witnesses the terrible suffering of His children on Earth, Father Moon tearfully committed himself to the path of resolving His sorrow by reconciling His people to him. Even from a young age he recognized the challenges and betrayal of his trust and love that this course would bring but he never wavered in his commitment. Imprisoned numerous times as he taught the spiritual truth that God had revealed to him after his intense religious search, he resolved to never pray from weakness and instead comfort God, even as he endured the terrible conditions in the North Korean labour camp for nearly 3 years until his release by United Nations forces.
The church he founded in humble beginnings in 1954 grew worldwide as missionaries were sent to other countries. In 1960 he married Hak Ja Han, which was then followed with larger weddings for his followers, and he became know for holding Mass Weddings, whose purpose was to resolve the problems of history by bringing couples together in God-centred marriages, often from enemy nations.
Father Moon's work for world peace has taken many different forms. The World Media Association which he founded started exchanges between US and Soviet journalists. He created the Summit Council for World Peace for leading statesmen and this led to a ground-breaking meeting with President Gorbachev. He also met Kim Il Sung in North Korea in 1991 expressing his desire to open a channel for peaceful Korean reunification. Father Moon did not bear any hatred for the North Korean leader and demonstrated the heart of forgiveness for one's enemies – a fundamental condition for peace building.
Dr Ramzy commented on Mr Miller's presentation, saying that Father Moon is an amazing man of God who travels all over the world to bring a message of peace and One Family Under God. When Father Moon addressed us in a speaking event in the UK last year he was standing for several hours even though he is over 90. It is God who gives him this tremendous energy. Dr Ramzy expressed a hope that during Father Moon's lifetime the whole world will come together in peace and especially his country Korea. If anyone can accomplish this it is Father Moon.