An Article from “Chosun”, a Korean Magazine
Monthly Chosun – June 2018 Issue (Mainstream Korean Monthly Magazine)
translated by PR Department of Tongil Group
10,000 politicians and religious leaders from 60 countries gathered together, shouting, “peace starts within me,” with one united voice. Family Federation for World Peace and Unification holds a “Peace Starts With Me Conference” in Vienna, Austria.
- Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon looks back on history and stresses the importance Europe’s role in establishing global peace and prosperity.
- Family Federation “Will spread the message of hope, ‘Love, Forgiveness and Unity’” to the people of the world.
- Missionaries started the underground historical movement called “Mission Butterfly” throughout Eastern Europe
- In Communist Czechoslovakia, 25 members of the Family Federation were imprisoned for “conspiring to overthrow the state,” and one even died as a martyr.
- Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon sends religious leaders to Mauthausen, where 320,000 people were executed by Nazi Germany, to pray for the victims.
Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (Family Federation) held an international convention stressing on “peace” in Central Europe. Family Federation held an “Advancement Conference for European Peace” under the theme, “Peace Starts With Me,” on April 29 at the Wiener Stadhalle in Austria’s capital, Vienna. This large-scale event was the second in which Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon has taken part in in Europe, following Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Seonghwa (ascension).
Since last year, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon has been holding peace conventions with more than 10,000 participants throughout the US, Japan and other nations. The Family Federation is planning on spreading the message of “Love, Forgiveness and Unity” worldwide by following in the footsteps of Reverend Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who have devoted their entire lifetime toward the realization of world peace and human welfare, until 2020, which will mark 100 years since Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s birth.
The Peace Advancement Conference held this time in Vienna, Austria, had more than 10,000 participants, including former heads-of-state, former and current government Ministers and members of Parliament and professors, as well as various religious leaders from 60 countries, including England, France, Germany, Italy and Russia.
The largest event in history held in Europe under the theme, “Peace Starts With Me”
The event program included the following: Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s keynote address, Former Austrian Defense Minister Werner Pascalbendt’s introduction of the keynote speaker, the presentation of flowers from the 3rd generation members, who were born through the Blessing ceremony, greetings from Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of FFWPU-Europe and a performance by the Grammy Award winner Yolanda Adams.
On April 29 at 3pm, the audience was filled with people of various races and ages, as they entered Vienna’s largest venue, Vienna Stadthalle Hall D. The atmosphere was filled with much energy, just as if a famous singer had come to perform. More than 10,000 people had come to enjoy the Family Federation’s event, leaving others wondering if the government, as well as domestic leading companies, or even private organizations, would be able to hold an event this big in Central Europe.
The first order of the event was a performance by the biggest choir in Austria, “Long Field Gospel.” Just as the song began, 3rd generation members of the Family Federation joined in and danced to the songs. Some members of the audience also stood at their seats and danced to the music. After the choir performance, Dr. Michael Balcomb, the president of FFWPU-Europe stated, “Peace starts with me, and if that number increases from 10 people to 100, and to 10,000, peace will be achieved on a larger scale,” and encouraged the audience by saying, “Just as the coming of spring cannot be stopped, so it is the case with the coming era of peace, which God has been longing for; and you are the protagonists of peace.”
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s keynote address, was the centerpiece of the event. Former Austrian Defense Minister Werner Pascalbendt, who stood at the podium to introduce Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon stated, “It was difficult to achieve peace while having an official position,” and also stated, “I welcome Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who has been living for the sake of others, and has dedicated her whole life toward finding world peace on behalf of Vienna.” He then continued by saying, “Please welcome Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon,” and the audience welcomed her. When Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon stood on stage, an enthusiastic round of applause continued for a whole minute.
“Many sacrifices due to underground activities for missions in Communist areas”
On this day, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon stated, “The European continent is a special continent God prepared,” and continued by saying, “Just as the ancestors spread throughout the world in the name of Jesus Christ, it is now time to help save the world.” The following is a summary of what Dr. Hak Ja Han said during a 30-minute speech without a transcript.
“Europe is a continent God specially prepared. Jesus Christ stated he will “arrive again” when he passed away. Christianity started from followers who believed that Jesus Christ will come back. At first, Christianity faced persecution that cannot be put into words, but was propagated across the Italian peninsula all the way to the European continent and to England. Nations centered around England opened the “Atlantic Civilization Era” in the name of Jesus Christ, but they did not know the truth about Jesus Christ. Even though Europe’s modern civilization brought about monumental scientific and innovative advancement, it also brought about many problems, so it cannot guarantee human lives and the earth’s future. Originally, humans are supposed to know what kind of existence the Creator of the Universe is to solve all the problems. If the human population of 7.5 billion people were to go to the Spirit World while not knowing True Parents (Reverend Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon), even though they were living in the same era, how great would their resentment be? Just as your past ancestors went out to the world in Jesus Christ’s name, it is now time to become the tribal messiah, nation’s messiah and the messiah to save the world in True Parents’ name.”
Also, Dr. Hak Ja Han stated with tears, ‘The European members went on critical missions through underground activities called ‘Mission Butterfly’ to liberate those who suffered under Communism. Though they suffered a lot, knowing God’s providence, they walked their way with unchanging ‘absolute faith.’”
Family Federation’s Europe Missions starts from Reverend Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s visit to Europe in 1965
The Family Federation’s European missions spanned over 50 years of history. The European missions began in 1965 when Reverend Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon traveled around the world for 40 days, starting from Lisbon, Portugal, where they selected 19 holy grounds in 16 countries. Since then, “Marriage Blessing Ceremonies” were held in different parts of Europe, and members of the Family Federation started to increase, as well as other activities of the movement.
Reverend Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon held a Marriage Blessing for eight pairs in Essen, Germany, on March 28, 1969. The marriage blessing ceremonies, which started in 1960 with three couples in Korea, began to expand after being performed in the US, Europe and Japan in 1969.
The Family Federation also started a “Victory Over Communism” movement in Europe, along with other religious activities. In 1985, Reverend Sun Myung Moon declared the fall of the Soviet Union at the World Peace Professor Association (PWPA) international conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, through Professor Morton Kaplan of the University of Chicago. In 1987, about 2,000 members of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), an affiliated organization with the Family Federation, held a “Demonstration for World Peace and the Removal of the Berlin Wall” in front of Germany’s Berlin Wall.
Currently, the Family Federation is carrying out various “peace movements” in Europe. The Family Federation states that they have established a road map for Europe through “Austria’s Peace Advancement Conference,” which had more than 10,000 participants, the most in the history of Europe’s events. The Secretary-General of FFWPU International Headquarters, Young-ho Yun stated as follows:
“A year ago when Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon invited the continent leaders to Korea and made a strategy presentation, she stated that ‘Europe still hasn’t awakened yet,’ and that the ‘Atlantic civilization has started Christianity, but Europe is forcing churches to close down instead,’ and that we ‘must enlighten their faith.’ Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon replaced the general chairperson and prepared a ‘Peace Advancement Conference’ for a year, and established the ‘International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace(IAPP),’ ‘Interreligious Association for Peace and Development(IAPD),’ and the ‘Youth and Students for Peace(YSP),’ in order to rouse Europe.
Austria, the home base of Family Federation’s Eastern European missionaries
In Austria, where this event was held, served as a launching base for Eastern European Missionaries, due to its geopolitical location. Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938, and underwent “divisional rule” from Britain, France and Russia for 10 years following the end of World War II and eventually restored its sovereignty in 1955, declaring “permanent neutrality.”
During the Cold War, Austria’s capital, Vienna, served as a gateway to Eastern Europe. The Family Federation’s missionaries learned the languages of Eastern Europe around Vienna, and then spread out to various fields. The starting point of this same Eastern European mission providence was the Czech Republic. The missionary who spread the doctrines of the Family Federation in the Czech Republic was a missionary named Emi Sterberl, who went to Czechoslovakia in October, 1968. She settled in the city of Bratislava and began her missionary work, avoiding the surveillance of the Communist country, which did not recognize freedom of religion. At that time, she had 12 disciples and the doctrines of the Family Federation were spread out by them in secret. The Czech Public Security Authority repressed the Family Federation, which emphasized on overthrowing Communism. Due to massive crackdowns, 25 members of the Family Federation were arrested and sent to prison. The crime was named as the “crime of overthrowing of the state.”
“I couldn’t throw away Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s teachings even after being imprisoned!”
Former president of the FFWPU-Czech, Dr. Juraj Lajda, who became a follower during the early days of the Czech mission providence, was also imprisoned for three years during that time. Interview proceeds as follows:
– When was the first time you got involved with the Family Federation?
“Up until I turned 20, I kept on searching for answers for questions like ‘What is the meaning of life?’ and ‘What am I living for?,’ and then one day in March, 1971, I met a student who was studying the teachings of the Family Federation. And during our conversation, I found answers to my questions. I looked for answers through other principles and religions, but no other principle was more practical and more realistic than Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s principles.
– How did you join the Czech Family Federation?
“In October, 1968, when the Soviets suppressed the “Spring of Prague” by force, a missionary named Emi Sterberl entered Czechoslovakia. She spent two years carrying out mission work in secret, along with 12 disciples in Bratislava; but had to leave as Czechoslovakia’s police crackdowns intensified. Since then, young people, including myself, held onto our faith and started the movement. But the public scrutiny became especially severe, and finally, in 1973, 25 members were imprisoned for the crime of ‘overthrowing the state.’ I was imprisoned for three years at that time.”
– Were you tortured by the police, or forced to sign a written agreement to leave the movement?
“I wasn’t tortured, but was told that if I wanted to be freed, I would have to leave the movement.”
– I heard that someone died in the mission field. Is this true?
“At that time, the police claimed it was a suicide, but there was no proof that determined the cause of death.”
– What made you hold onto your faith even after being released after three years of prison?
“It was because of Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s teaching and philosophies.”
More than 100 religious leaders from 30 countries conduct Liberation Ceremony at Mauthausen Camp.
On April 30, the day after the “Peace Advancement Conference,” more than 100 religious leaders from 30 countries of the Family Federation visited Nazi Germany’s Mauthausen Concentration Camp and conducted a ‘Liberation Ceremony’ to liberate the spirits of those who were sacrificed.
During World War II, Nazi Germany set up concentration camps in different areas and trapped anti- Nazi parties and Judaists. The most notorious was the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Malopolskie, Poland. Being the largest concentration camp, 1,500,000 Jews were subjected to systematic torture and were killed in Auschwitz.
Although not as big as Auschwitz, the Mauthausen was also a scene of horrific war crimes. Nazi Germany built the Mauthausen Concentration Camp in 1938 when they annexed Austria and held politicians and Jews as prisoners. The prisoners had to work in the nearby quarry and carry stones weighing up to 50kg up narrow stairways. Prisoners who climbed the stairs and dropped their stones were immediately sentenced to death, so these stairs were called the “Stairs of Death.”
Nazi Germany repeatedly tortured and executed prisoners here. According to a related search, about 120,000 to 320,000 people are thought to have lost their lives here. Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon visited Senegal, Africa last January 30, and performed the “Liberation Ceremony” on Goree Island. Goree Island is located three kilometers east of Dakar, the Senegalese capital. It was the largest slave trade center on the African coast during the 15th and 19th centuries and was also once dominated by Portugal, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France.
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who visited Goree Island, prayed for two hours, comforting the spirits of those who were sacrificed hundreds of years ago. Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon stated, “Over the past 300 years, 20 million indigenous people have been dragged into slavery, and six-million noble lives had been sacrificed because of the difference in skin color,” and emphasized that “We must lead the world without further conflict, suffering and war.” Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon plans to visit each country and ask all humankind to “follow the motto of the cultural revolution of filial heart, spread true love around the world and realize true families centered on True Parents.”