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December 2019
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Ambassadors for Peace

UPF Principles Presented in a Seaside Setting

Netherlands-2018-07-15-UPF Principles Presented in a Seaside Setting

Bergen aan See, Netherlands—Participants from seven nations of Europe, the Middle East and Eurasia attended a seminar on the UPF Vision and Peace Principles.

The seminar was presented at Glory House, a beautiful hotel located on the dunes of the North Sea in the resort village of Bergen aan See.

A total of 25 participants—including staff—attended the seminar, which began on the afternoon of July 13 and ended on the afternoon of July 15, 2018. Participants included both longtime Ambassadors for Peace and more recent contacts of UPF. In addition, on Sunday morning six local Ambassadors for Peace and guests were invited by UPF-Netherlands to join the last two sessions.

The purpose of the seminar was to share the vision of UPF founders Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, which motivates UPF activities, and to engage participants to take part in UPF peace initiatives, such as the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), which had its European inauguration in Vienna, Austria, on April 29, 2018. Several faiths were represented at the seminar: Judaism, Islam, the Druze religion, the Mormon religion, and some of the main traditions of Christianity.

After initial introductions from participants and welcoming remarks by Dr. Katsumi Otsuka, the regional president of UPF for Europe and the Middle East, a presentation on the UPF founders’ life and vision was given by Dr. Michael Balcomb, regional chair of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), an affiliated organization.

Often referring to religious scriptures, Dr. and Mrs. Moon’s philosophy, known as Unification Principle, addresses fundamental problems of human beings and society and offers new insights for building a world of lasting peace.

The seminar introduced the content in five sessions, leaving ample time for questions and discussion. Two sessions on the Principles of Peace addressed the issue of God’s relation to human beings centering on heart, as well as the purpose of life, questions of freedom and human responsibility, and life after death.

A third presentation addressed the issue of the root of human suffering, the misuse of love and its consequences in human life and society. Based on the biblical narrative, the principles of restoration of love were then outlined, emphasizing the historical role of women and the meaning of the messianic mission. A brief review of Jesus’ life and mission provided insights into the development of Christianity in Europe and contemporary religious conflicts.

The fifth presentation was titled “Toward a World of Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values.” It outlined the development of reason and faith in modern European history, concluding with the need for a new “Reformation” that would encompass both trends to build an inclusive society in the global era.

On Saturday evening a relaxing dinner at the beach was followed by lively entertainment at Glory House offered by talented participants and staff.

Saturday and Sunday morning before breakfast, optional meditation time gave a few participants an opportunity to talk about their faith.  

The seminar concluded on Sunday morning with a presentation on “Marriage and the Blessing,” which gave insights into the UPF founders’ vision and programs to strengthen family bonds as the central foundation for peace. In the final session participants described their experiences at the seminar and offered proposals for the development of the IAPD.

More seminars of this kind are being planned throughout Europe and the Middle East for interested Ambassadors for Peace and UPF contacts.

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