Germany: 10 Years UPF Anniversary Celebration

By UPF Germany, Robert Bentele, Munich, Germany, September 20, 2015: A reason to be happy and to be proud! A reason to honour our founders, Rev. and Mrs. Moon, and a reason to celebrate this anniversary and invite our companions, Ambassadors for Peace, friends and guests!

On Sunday 20th September the Munich UPF invited for an anniversary celebration to its centre and about 70 members guests and friends came together to commemorate this valuable event.

In the beginning Dr. Alfons Wellenhofer red excerpts of the UPF founding speech of Rev. Moon which is also the first of a series of 15 peace messages to the world. After that we showed an UPF introduction video and a PowerPoint presentation about our local peace activities in the past year. In the last 10 years we have organized six to eight local interreligious and intercultural events a year.

Then three Ambassadors for Peace gave greetings to the audience. Mrs. Marlene Straub from the international Sufi-order shared how she met UPF about eight years ago and how we had organized interreligious events together. Especially she mentioned that she had the opportunity to meet Rev. and Mrs. Moon in Berlin.

Mr. Gottfried Hutter, a Rom. Catholic theologian, also shared his encounter with UPF and expressed his gratitude that he could participate in various national and international interreligious events and that he could meet many other peace makers from around the world.

Then Mr. Bilal Akkaya from the Muslim Intercultural Dialogue Centre Munich (IDIZEM) greeted the participants and expressed his interest in continuous further cooperation for peace on our Munich level. The program was enriched by several songs and musical presentations by Gianni Scarcella on the piano and by Nenad Butic with his guitar.

The highlight of the event was the speech of Karl-Christian Hausmann, the chairman of UPF Germany. In His address he raised the question why it seems to be so difficult to establish peace. He emphasized three points:

  1. The absence of clear common ideas and goals
  2. The lack of non-corrupt elites
  3. Not respecting religions and their capacities to support peace processes

He then mentioned that Rev. Moon had already called about 15 years ago for the renewal of the United Nations where God and religions could play a major role and had presented five points of reference for mankind in the 21st century:

  1. We are one human family created by God. Let’s overcome our personal interests and recognize our common humanness.
  2. There is a spiritual world, an eternal world. We are here in order to develop ourselves.
  3. The family is the school of love and the school of peace.
  4. Living for the sake of others is the way to unite humankind.
  5. We should go over the borders of religion, nationality and race

After a short brake we came to the second big part of our reunion, the prayers for peace at the occasion of the UN International Day of Peace 2015. This time it was under the motto: Partners for Peace – Dignity for all First the MC red the speech of UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, that he had published in preparation of this important day.

Our guest speakers came back on stage and presented their prayers for peace from the Sufi tradition, the Catholic Church and from Islam. Mrs. Inge Ammon, founder of the ‘Peace Prayer of the Religions’ in Munich, presented the profession of faith of the Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

I believe that God can let grow out of everything, even out of the most evil, something good…. I believe that God is not a timeless fate, but that he waits for sincere prayers and responds to them.

And finally the head of the Munich Unification Movement concluded with a deep prayer for a united world of peace. Everyone who prayed lighted a candle at our altar so that light may shine to every dark corner of the world. Vivid discussions continued at richly prepared lunch table the by the team of Jae-Sook Schmid.