Religion and the Creation of World Peace
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
Assembly Of The World’s Religions Founder’s Address
“This address was given at the start of the Assembly of the World’s Religions, August 24-31, 1992, in Seoul, Korea.”
It is an honor to welcome you to the third Assembly of the World’s Religions, and to express my happiness in meeting all of you, in Seoul, Korea, the homeland of my wife, Hak Ja Han, and me. I hope that you will have a rewarding and fruitful time during your stay.
This is the third conference of the Assembly of the World’s Religions. At the first conference, convened in 1985, I founded the Religious Youth Service and announced my plans for the first conference of the Council of the World’s Religions. These projects, which I support every year, together with the volume, World Scriptures, which was published last year, have become the front line of the campaign for worldwide inter-religious harmony. In particular, youth leaders of various religious bodies have united in devoted service activities, providing a stepping-stone for harmony and understanding between religions. In doing this they have set up a valuable tradition for the future of humanity.
The second conference was convened in San Francisco in 1990; there I announced the founding of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace (IRFWP). In August 1991, the historical founding conference of the IRFWP took place in Seoul. This year the IRFWP and the International Religious Foundation are jointly convening this conference.
As you know, this conference has been organized as part of the first World Culture and Sports Festival. Four years ago when the Seoul Olympics were held, I formally announced my plan for the World Culture and Sports Festival, which will open a new page of harmony, exchange and cooperation among the peoples of this world village. Although the Olympics play an extremely important role, they lack the vertical values and spiritual dimension which are bestowed by God.
Because religion lies at the heart of culture, the Assembly of the World’s Religions and IRFWP stand at the heart of the World Culture and Sports Festival. Religious ideals together with the wisdom and values that accompany them should permeate the education, scholarship, art, physical education, media, politics and economics of the world, and become their standard. The World Culture and Sports Festival seeks to guide the spiritual culture of mankind and pursues genuine values for human happiness. It will also be an historical event, pointing towards a peaceful new world culture where God, man and all things merge together.
We are all aware of the fact that our world is immersed in deep suffering. Although the Cold War may have come to an end, conflicts are still occurring in all corners of the world, and evil, hatred and injustice continue to afflict humanity. There are many people suffering in despair and spiritual poverty, even in materially abundant advanced nations. Although many people are seeking solace through drugs and indiscriminate sex, they are running headlong down the road to spiritual and physical ruin. Obviously, no one desires such a world of evil, conflict and despair.
I came seeking to open the way for the original nature of humanity to clear away this unhappiness, and to build a world overflowing with peace and joy. This is the very path which religions have sought to tread. Nonetheless, the ideal world for which humanity has been yearning has not yet been realized. At the core of religion lies the desire to reveal the source of the unhappiness and suffering of humanity. If we are ignorant of the source of suffering, we cannot even hope to get rid of it. The solution to this is only possible through the knowledge derived from divine revelation.
Cause of the problem
Today I intend to clarify the fundamental cause of this problem, and to indicate its solution. God created the ancestors of mankind, Adam and Eve, and bestowed upon them the three great blessings: to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth, and to have dominion over all things. The meaning of the first blessing, to be fruitful, is that all individuals should grow to become perfected people of character centering on God. the second blessing signifies that a perfected man and woman should become a true couple, give birth to children, and by treading the path of true parenthood become an ideal family. The third blessing is to become inheritors of a heavenly environment on earth, free of want and distress, in the environment which God has provided.
God, the embodiment of true love, hoped for all people, who are the object of His love and whom He created as His sons and daughters to become perfected incarnations of true love. Then He hoped that they could establish a heavenly environment after achieving the conjugal ideal based on true love. Tragically, Adam and Eve deviated through unprincipled love in a stage of immaturity, before they had perfected the true love that God had blessed them with, and were driven out of paradise. Consequently, the ancestors of mankind who had lost true love, which is the source of life and their original divine nature, ignored God’s blessing and started married life centering on Satan’s love. Thus, they handed down the love, life and blood lineage of Satan to their descendants.
God, determined to restore His ideal of creation not accomplished due to the Fall, and committed to save humankind from unhappiness, has guided man by establishing religions. Accordingly, in place of Adam and Eve who had become false parents, God had to send the Messiah–that is, True Parents–in order to give rebirth to all humanity. God’s ultimate and unchanging dispensational purpose is to find and establish True Parents. True Parents comes as the personification of love and the seed of true life. A true family originates with the True Parents, and this family becomes the model for all families in their path of restoration.
God’s true love is the love which invests itself, and invests itself again, and forgets that it has invested itself. When God created His object of love, He Himself, who exists for the sake of others, invested 100 percent of His being, and still desired to invest a further 100 percent, and even 1000 percent more. God wants to invest Himself still more because He wants His loving child, who is His object of love, to be better than Himself.
Thus, the path of true love is the path of giving and giving yet again. Likewise, the path of True Parents, who are the embodiment of true love, is not one which seeks recognition, but is the way of sacrifice for others. The path that should be exemplified by religions, which God established for His providence of salvation, is one of principle. Because human life is conceived centering on the ideal of love, the essence of human life is love. A being who is born on the basis of love should live a life of living for others in the same way God does. This is the principle of heaven. Consequently, one can say that people are beings who have come into existence for the purpose of true love.
True love starts from the point of living for others. Man as he was originally created contained God’s true love in his mind and body and responded to it naturally. In other words, the mind centering on true love responds to God and the body automatically acts in unison with the mind. The true united desire of mind and body, when there is no conflict between them, is to inherit God’s true love completely and to respond to it substantially. The idea of man, which is the unity of mind and body, is achieved when God’s true love is possessed in totality.
The ideal of genuine freedom, peace and happiness is attainable only when the mind and body become one centering on true love. Furthermore, one can only achieve a free and peaceful family, nation and world on the foundation of the unity of mind and body. The cardinal point of peace should be found not at the global or national level, but in the relationship between mind and body within the individual.
Yesterday, 30,000 couples from all corners of the world received the holy blessing and secured the establishment of a new family tradition centering on God. The ceremony you attended was not simply an important wedding ceremony convened by one religious order. Society is being shaken to its foundations by the collapse of sexual morality, the deviant behavior of young people and the breakdown of families.
How should we tackle this situation? The seeds of moral corruption sown by Satan and the ancestors of humankind have borne their historical fruit. The phenomena of the Last Days of hell on earth, where the way of heaven and human morality have been ravaged and where men have become animals, are quite evident. This tragedy has been further exacerbated by a tendency to extreme egocentrism and a toleration of free sex which seems to have imbued immorality with a rosy hue.
Spiritually and morally, our world is facing a profound crisis. Not only are orderly families disintegrating, but also the minds and bodies of youth, who represent the next generation, are being damaged. This crisis facing humanity can only be solved through the Messiah, True Parents, who are the owners of God’s true love and true life. Contrary to popular trends, God’s ideal of marriage places emphasis on eternal “one-man–one-woman”-hood before God, the sanctity of love and sex, God’s blessing, and marriage for one’s descendants. This movement, which aims to realize an eternal ideal of couples and families centering on God’s love in 160 nations, regardless of race and national boundary, represents the bright future and hope of humanity.
The basic unit of God’s ideal of creation is the family. The family is the basis for the establishment of the society and nation. God’s ideal of a one-world family, transcending race and based on true love, is directly connected to the realization of a peaceful world. The people of the world can have children of goodness and practice correct ethics when they build blessed families under God’s ideal of true love and become exemplary husbands and wives. Then ideal families, which are the fruit of true love, can be perfected, and ideal societies and nations–as well as the ideal whole world–will come into being. The international joint wedding ceremony is providing a fundamental solution to the chronic ailments of modern society by restoring the original ideal for the family.
Now the time has come for religions to display their leadership in the world. Leadership cannot emerge from blind faith or an arrogant and self-righteous attitude stemming from narrow-mindedness. True leadership arises when one subordinates oneself to the will of heaven and acts altruistically. It is time for religious people to appreciate their responsibility towards the conditions of this age and its unprincipled facets, and to examine themselves deeply. Religious people should repent for failing to exemplify the practice of love, and because they were engrossed in their personal salvation or the interests of their own religious denominations, for not investing their whole efforts in the salvation of humankind. At this time the practice of love is required–not only faith.
God is calling us
God is calling us. He passionately desires to challenge injustice and evil in the world and express His true love. All religions should be of one mind in making known and practicing God’s fervent hope for humanity. God, who transcends all ritual and doctrinal disputes, desires believers to raise up their spirit through profound spiritual dialogue and exchange with Him. Religions should establish the spiritual order to which man, who has a spiritual nature, should relate himself closely. They should systematize it and create a lifestyle which expresses it rationally. Religious leaders of all creeds should take the lead in self-purification and–furthermore–with mutual respect for each other, raise up influential inter-religious organizations.
Until I founded the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace last year, I endured enormous difficulties. For forty years, I trod the path of sacrifice, living for the sake of others, and envisioning the hitherto unrealized ideal of inter-religious harmony and the accomplishment of world peace centering on God’s will. Despite the persecution of a number of intolerant religious groups in various countries and a lack of understanding shown by successive generations of political regimes, and at the cost of all kinds of personal sacrifices, I determinedly worked to establish an ecumenical movement, an ecumenical theological seminary, the New Ecumenical Religious Association, and the publication of the World Scriptures. I have also continually supported the Council of the World’s Religions and the Assembly of the World’s Religions for the promotion of inter-religious harmony.
One may ask why I have initiated all these projects. All I desire when I involve myself in these activities, including the holding of the Assembly of the World’s Religions, and the activities of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace, is to fulfill the will of God, the parent of mankind. My only aspiration is, together with all of you enlightened religious leaders and religious scholars, to realize the hope of God and all people on the earth.
Rather than satisfying ourselves with inter-religious harmony, the next step from here is to involve ourselves more positively in social activities, by creating a broad-based unified organization aimed at world peace, together with opinion makers in the academic, political and media spheres. In cultivating and guiding this organization to fulfill God’s Will on earth, religions should exemplify the spirit of living for others.
Let us all open our spiritual ears once again and, inclining them toward heaven, follow God’s advice with a humble heart. Then we should become aware of the mission that God has bequeathed to the religious leaders of this age and, by correctly guiding the spirit of humanity, secure the spiritual and mental order of the new world culture. I hope that this conference will provide a forum for discussion based on God’s wisdom, transcending the dimension of human insight. I want to express my appreciation for the dedication of His Grace Dr. Gregorios, who has provided a model of organization and management as Chairman of the Conference. I would also like to thank all the Committee Chairmen and representatives for their hard work.