UPF Founder Speaks in Oslo
Written by Steinar Murud, UPF-Norway
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Oslo, Norway - That the UPF Founders Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon should set their eyes on Oslo, Norway, was an awesome surprise and blessing for Scandinavian Ambassadors for Peace and Unificationists. Having them as guests is a huge blessing but also a big responsibility.
Staff and volunteers worked together so smoothly in preparation for their April 30 arrival. Many rose to new heights and many went beyond their usual capacity. Everybody’s united efforts, each in their own area, impressed me deeply.
Nature too seemed to be on our side. The end of April is usually a cold time on our latitude, but nature made extra efforts this time to prepare—a very warm spell from three weeks before melted the fjord and brought the trees into that glorious fresh green of spring two weeks early. May the budding of trees and flowers for this visit herald the budding of a cosmic spring!
Their visit coincided with the UPF and Women's Federation for World Peace European Leadership Conference taking place in the Stortinget (the Parliament) in Oslo the same weekend. That evening, our international Chairman, Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, addressed the 120 participants and elaborated on the role of religion: "Some study and view religion with academic eyes as an outsider, viewing it as a phenomenon, but religion is more than a phenomenon and should not be view at a distance but rather as means for all to discover God."
The morning had seen impressive presentations on the theme "Towards Lasting Peace in a World of Rapid Change" including top speakers from Norway’s International Affairs and Peace Institutes. That evening we walked the street of Oslo surrounded by the children of Father and Mother Moon—Hyung Jin, Ye Jin, and In Jin—and enjoyed an evening meal at the Oslo Fjord.
The next morning, May 1, we shared morning devotions in the intimacy of their hotel suite. After the reading, Father Moon asked for songs from many present culminating with Mother Moon singing and him joining her in singing while all took part in the accompanying dance.
The Bristol Hotel combined the style of old-world Oslo with the elegance of a beautifully prepared function hall filled to overflowing with a dynamic mixture of young and old from all over Scandinavia and even from further afield as Father and Mother Moon’s tour draws attention from all over Europe. The hotel had never seen such a crowd before with some 700 in eager attendance.
Songs by Torhild Nigar and the Lorentzen Family provided a warmth and beauty which readied the audience for the spiritual feast ahead.
Dr. Thomas Walsh, UPF’s International President, guided the moving interreligious prayers expressed by Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Sikh representatives. Major Nils Steen Egelien, who served in the Korean War and is President of the Norwegian Korean War Veterans, spoke touchingly of his love for Korea, its people, its culture, and the phoenix-like life of Rev. Moon. Dr. Wim van Eekelen (former Dutch Defence Minister) placed Father Moon’s UPF work in the context of European efforts to make peace after the devastation of two world wars, through changing the context and understanding others.
All led beautifully to Rev. Hyung Jin Moon’s moving testimony to his parents’ love and dedication for the liberation of God and humanity in their role as the True Parents.
Father and Mother Mother came to the stage. Surveying the audience from the podium Father Moon sheltered his eyes from the lights and noted the presence of many young people: "We (older people) know what it is like to be young; we must not forget what it is like to be young!"
His message was passionately delivered and peppered with interesting extemporaneous remarks. "I am over 90 years old, why should I come all the way to Norway? Because I know what I’m talking about. I was taught by God, and have the responsibility to teach the world. I can’t bear to keep it to myself. I need to teach the world. People who pray know what I am talking about.
"Korea has moved beyond the level of Spain and is now the 13th largest economy in the world. Who assisted this? Not just Koreans—it was God who allowed Korea to advance to that level. God has established Korea as the place where I could appear. Thousands of times I could have died, but I survived—the God of the night led me through."
"Are you confident?" he continued. "What kind of confidence? You don’t know God or the nature and existence of the spirit world—you have to know God’s will. You don’t know the time we are living in, but this significant time is drawing near."
Referring to the many volumes and various anthologies of his teachings, Father Moon urged his listeners to study them: "Your property, honor, glory—these textbooks are more valuable than all of these! Many people are trying to tell you false things, but what I tell you I have learned from God. I thought I would die, and now I am talking about these things in Oslo, the home of the Nobel Peace Prize. Who would do these kinds of things? I would because these things are true. There is no other chance, no other choice—we must understand the heart of heaven. Please pray about this and you will come to understand what I am talking about."
At the conclusion, Mother Moon joined her husband in receiving flowers and a gift presented by Scandinavian Ambassadors for Peace, among them Pal Arne Davidsen (Foreign Affairs Adviser to the Progress Party), who had helped so much during the session in the Parliament the day before, and Hon. Marion Pedersen, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Danish Parliament fresh back from a trip to Bolivia.
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