2nd Global Prayer Rally Calls for Peace on the Korean Peninsula: ‘The Future Favors Faith’
WASHINGTON, DC — Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence joined Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon to headline the second virtual Prayer Rally for Peace on the Korean Peninsula: One Million Prayers for Peace where Mr. Pence declared, “Faith holds the hope for peace for the people of the Korean Peninsula and the rest of the world... The future favors faith.”
Mr. Pence, a devout Christian, delivered a keynote address during the online interfaith event — part of the ongoing Rally of Hope series sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). The prayer rally streamed live from Seoul on January 9 (KST) to 194 nations around the world. Mr. Pence recalled that throughout his travels as vice president, he saw “firsthand that truly great nations embrace the principles of freedom — beginning with religious liberty, freedom of speech, democracy, and free enterprise.”
“Our societies share a common foundation in the values we hold dear,” said Mr. Pence. “It’s this belief in religious liberty, and the strength we draw from there, that gives me my greatest confidence and hope. It’s faith that gives us the courage and conviction to stand for what’s good and right and true — for people everywhere. And as the Bible says, ‘Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.’” Mr. Pence thanked Dr. Moon for hosting the prayer rally and for “the shining example you’ve set for the world” as she faithfully continues the work she began with her late husband.
Dr. Moon and the late Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon have worked tirelessly toward bringing about a more peaceful world and reunifying their homeland. In 1992, they met late North Korea leader Kim Il Sung for unprecedented peace talks during a weeklong visit to Pyongyang. Afterward, North Korea signed a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and supported the reunification of families separated by the Korean War.
In August 2020, Dr. Moon launched the Rally of Hope during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a one-of-a-kind virtual series joining together global peacemakers, Nobel Prize laureates, and world leaders including former Republic of Korea Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun; Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen; former United Nations Secretary-General and Think Tank 2022 Chairman Ban Ki-moon; and former U.S. President Donald Trump, who met North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone in 2019.
In his remarks, Mr. Pence recalled his meeting with a North Korean defector that left him “profoundly encouraged and inspired” as he heard “her passion and love for freedom and democracy.” He outlined strong families, education, equal treatment under the law, and “the recognition of the dignity and worth of every human life, born and unborn” as the “foundation of true national greatness.” Proudly noting his father’s military service in the Korean War, Mr. Pence said these values have “united the people of Korea and the United States for nearly 70 years.”
Mr. Pence condemned the oppression of faith practitioners and called for the end of religious persecution in North Korea and China while urging free nations to “work together openly and in good faith” to build new frameworks for peace. “Free nations must call upon China to respect religious liberty, democratic principles, freedom of navigation, and to do their part to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” he said. Noting that peace follows strength, Mr. Pence stated “a renewed and unwavering commitment to our common defense and our shared values” is the “surest pathway to a final and fully verified denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to its peaceful reunification — and now, more than ever, we need to have faith... We know nothing is impossible with God.”
In her keynote remarks, Dr. Moon said God’s providence was manifested through the emergence of various religions, but the ultimate goal of religion is to connect humanity with God — and Korea plays a central role. “In particular, the Korean Peninsula, which has the task of becoming the homeland of the providence, should become the heavenly unified Korea and lead the providence to realize a heavenly unified world,” said Dr. Moon.
“There is a limit to what can be done with human efforts alone,” she said. “The time has come for the people of this nation to embrace heaven’s providence... This is how Korea can truly become a beacon of freedom, peace, unity, and happiness — a nation that truly attends our Heavenly Parent (God) and leads the charge to realize the heavenly unified world. Your prayers, your heartfelt calls to heaven, will move people around the world.”
Dr. Moon further urged people to fulfill their personal responsibility of creating peace and unity in their own lives, their families, and their communities. “Let us multiply the blessings of heaven this year,” she said. “Let us become the vanguard of heaven and become the eternal blessed families of heaven. As long as heaven is with us, without fail, we will be victorious. Let us usher in a dynamic and hopeful year and realize this hope in substance.”
The event featured a peace ceremony, traditional Korean music and entertainment, as well as messages from a multi-faith range of other religious leaders, including, Rev. Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church; Hon. Young-hwan Kim, vice president of the Christian Council of Korea; Prophet Samuel Radebe, founder of The Revelation Church of God; Dr. Young-ho Yun, international director general of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification; Dr. Young-gil Choi, member of the Supreme Islamic Council of Korea; Ven. Taishu Nara, Shinto priest and president of the Japanese Civilization Institute; Ven. Maitipe Wimalasara, president of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace; H.H Swami Hari Chaitanya Puri Ji Maharaj Ji, Hindu monk, saint and spiritual leader; Ven. Dae-woo, senior monk of the Nejan Temple and Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, and more.
Pastor Paula White-Cain, spiritual advisor to President Trump, delivered the welcoming address at the first prayer rally held Dec. 5, 2021, which featured many other religious and spiritual luminaries. The next prayer rally is scheduled for Feb. 13 in Korea as part of UPF’s World Summit 2022.