Religious Leaders Need to Step Forward to Solve the Problems of Korean Society
Monthly JoongAng, February 2015 issue, (Korean National Major Monthly Magazine)
An interview with Kyeung-Seuk Ryu, President of FFWPU Korea and President of the Korean Multicultural Peace Federation
The idea that multicultural people are unfortunate and weak is a social prejudice…
Plans to spread multicultural peace movements centered upon true love
Monthly JoongAng, February 2015 issue (translated by PR Department of Tongil Group): The Korean Multicultural Peace Federation was founded last April, with the goal of creating a society in which “Koreans of the world and global citizens of Korea” can live together. The Korean Multicultural Peace Federation has joined the ranks of the 52 multicultural organizations of Korea, including the Korean Multicultural Peace Education Center, the Multicultural General Welfare Center and the Goesan-gun Multicultural Families Volunteer Center. Kyeung-SeukRyu of the Korean Multicultural Peace Federation is currently serving as the first director of the Multicultural Peace Education Center.
President Ryu is a 2nd generation member born from one of the International Blessing Ceremonies officiated by the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and became the Korean President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in October, 2013. He received his master’s degree in theology from the Theology Graduate School of Sun Moon University, and took the doctoral course in religious studies at the Unification Theological Seminary in the United States.
President Ryu, who has served as pastor, international evangelist and Director of the Headquarters of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, became the Vice-President of the Family Federation after serving as the Director of the Tongil Foundation.
We met Family Federation President and Korean Multicultural Peace Federation President Ryu at the Family Federation Headquarters in Cheongpa-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.
What sorts of activities did the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification carry out in 2014?
“In 2014, the Family Federation celebrated its 60th anniversary. Last year, we placed a strong emphasis on building a foundation upon which we could carry out evangelist efforts and foster the growth of leaders.
All of these efforts are so that we can become a religion that exists for the sake of society and for the sake of the citizens. Last year, we carried out many events for the sake of Korean unification, such as the ‘2014 Peace Bicycle Unification Tour,’ which we collaborated on together with The Citizens’ Federation for the Unification of Fatherland, the ‘2014 One Race Peace Unification Symposium’ and the ‘Unification Preparation Talk Concert.’ We have also been making consistent efforts to increase the communication and harmony between different religions.”
What is the Family Federation’s plan and vision for 2015?
“In 2015, the Family Federation plans to focus on the 2nd Anniversary of Foundation Day in the first half of the year, and the 3rd Anniversary of the Seonghwa in the second half of the year. On March 3rd, we will hold an international marriage blessing ceremony, the fruit of the True Family Movement which transcends national and racial barriers. We will also hold the ‘Peace Bike 2015’ Tour. Last year, 14 nations participated in the tour, but this year we plan to expand it to include 120 nations.
In August, we will host the ‘1st Sunhak Peace Prize Awards Ceremony,’ in order to spread the hopes and wishes of world peace. The prize will be awarded to an individual or organization who has greatly contributed to bringing about world peace.”
You are planning to hold a World Media Conference this year as well, correct?
“We will be holding the 21st World Media Conference in Seoul this year, with the hopes of bringing the press outlets of the world together for the sake of a peaceful world. It will be held between the end of February and the beginning of March, and will be attended by media officials from about 40 nations around the world.”
“Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon puts an emphasis on the role of the clergy.”
What is the significance of the establishment of the Korean Multicultural Peace Federation, and what major plans do you have for the organization in the future?
“Until now, government multicultural policies have had a measurable impact on society. However, they seemed to lean towards trying to turn multicultural citizens into Korean citizens. The Korean Multicultural Peace Federation will play the pivotal role of uniting all of the multicultural organizations together. Once all of the organizations have banded together, we will work to construct a system of cooperation within our society.”
The number of multicultural families living in Korea has increased greatly in the last few years. How do you view this phenomenon?
“There are about two million multicultural people living in Korea. However, society tends to hold a prejudiced view of these people. They are often seen as unfortunate and socially weak. Multicultural people are just like the people of Korea. Children born out of multicultural families often have a wider and more open mindset than children born to Korean parents. What the multicultural peace movement needs is to stop viewing multicultural people as victims who need welfare or education. Instead, we should view them from a unified perspective based in true love. This is the same teaching that Rev. Moon sought to bring about world peace during his lifetime.”
According to the “2013 Multicultural Dynamic Statistics of Population” released by the National Statistical Office last year, 21,290 children were born to multicultural families, making up 4.9% of all children born in 2013. According to statistics released by the Department of Education last April, 67,806 multicultural students made up 1.07% of the 6,332,617 students in elementary, middle and high school. The percentage has gone up 1.6% percent since last year, compared to 62,026 students in 2013.
How would you say that Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon is doing in carrying on Rev. Moon’s work with the Family Federation?
“At the end of last year, Dr. Han gave guidance to American Clergy Leadership Conference in the United States. It was a time in which she was able to reflect on the end of the year and make plans for how to make a fresh start in the New Year. She placed a strong emphasis on the role of the clergy in helping America to overcome its current social crisis. She spoke on how the clergy needs to band together with the Family Federation in order to pull the United States out of its corrupt state.”
Family Federation Korean President and Korean Multicultural Peace Federation President Kyeung-Seuk Ryu also serves as the President of the Korean Religious Association. This is the reason that he constantly stresses the role of religious leaders.
“I was recently very moved while watching the Korean drama ‘Misaeng.’ When viewed through the eyes of a religious person, it makes one reflect on how wrongly religious people have viewed our own society. I feel that religious people have failed to give a message that is truly made for the sake of the tired people of modern society. Perhaps we have only given them selfish messages that only serve our own purposes. I believe that if we want to become closer to the people of modern society, we must be able to respond to their needs. Religious people need to stop being so obstinate in the idea that only we are right. We must reflect deeply on how we can bring about symbiosis and mutual prosperity. We need to leave the role of solving the many problems of Korean society to our religious leaders.”