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Peace Tours

Peace Tour Inaugurates UPF in Slovakia


The Slovak National Theatre

Slovakia offered the best it had, the Slovak National Theatre, the most beautiful and historic building in Bratislava, for the visit by Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon to inaugurate the Universal Peace Federation. The venue enjoys an international reputation and is the home of the famous opera singers Lucia Popp, Edita Gruberova, and Peter Dvorsky.

Since Bratislava and Vienna are only 60 km distant, the performances of the Slovak National Theatre regularly attract many Austrian guests every week, and more than 200 Austrian guests were very pleased to attend the event at such a famous venue. In fact, the fame of the theatre was also helpful to bring guests from all corners of Slovakia. To no one's surprise, a large crowd formed in front of the gates more than an hour before the official start.

As soon as the doors opened people rushed in and battled through the formal registration process. The hall with seats for 600 was soon filled with more than 800 people sitting and standing at every possible place. The atmosphere was filled with great excitement.

The VIP lounge was bursting with guests too – among them the Ambassador of Cuba, a representative of Embassy of Angola, and many prominent leaders of Slovak society. “This is the most beautiful venue on the tour so far,” said Mother Moon, “Wouldn’t it be great if we were in the National Theatre buildings in other countries too!”

The introduction was given by Ambassador Robert Harencar, a former Ambassador of Slovakia to Ukraine and deputy foreign minister of the Czechoslovak federal government. When Father Moon came to the stage, he gave a big smile and one could see he felt a warm welcome to Slovakia. After he gave the Peace Message of the global tour, he was joined on the stage by Mother Moon, and they received plaques of appreciation from both the Slovak Ambassadors for Peace represented by Rev. Bartolomej Göőz and the Austrian Ambassadors for Peace represented by Dr. Amir Bayati, a Muslim, and Mr. Peter Jurkowitsch, a Buddhist.

Among those receiving Ambassador for Peace certificates during the evening was Mrs. Alzbeta Daniskova, the first member of the Unification Movement in Slovakia. She had spent more than four years in prison for her faith during the communist era. Ambassador Harencar and Prof. Nohel from Slovak University of Technology received Leadership and Good Governance Awards.


Photo taken from the backstage, inside the theatre

Another highlight of the evening was Beethoven’s Song of Joy, the European Anthem, performed by the Vienna Choir. The classical song was perfectly in line with the surroundings and gave the audience new hope for a united Europe, especially for the many religious leaders in attendance who found the event deeply meaningful. A Lutheran minister and long-time friend said he understood Father Moon’s vision on a whole new level. More than 200 new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed.

The event included an invitation for couples to join in a world peace blessing toast of marriage rededication.

A happy celebration was held the following morning in the nearby Devin Hotel, on the banks of the Danube River. The Devin Hotel was the most famous hotel during the Communist area, where top Communist leaders like Leonid Brezhnev stayed.

Unfortunately all good things have to end, and after Father and Mother Moon sang a few short songs they had to leave for Geneva.

To read the inaugural peace message, click here.
To download a report booklet of the UPF Founders' 2005 World Peace Tour, click here.

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