CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Ambassadors for Peace Seminar in Korea
Written by Michael Balcomb, UPF International
Friday, April 6, 2007
Yong Pyong, Korea - More than 200 Ambassadors for Peace gathered in Yong Pyong, Korea, for a three-day study of the core values and principles of the UPF and its founder’s vision, looking for answers to the deceptively simple question, “Where does peace begin?”
Through a course of twelve lectures, panels and discussion groups, the answer became clear: Not at the United Nations, or in the relations between countries and continents. Not on the level of governments, religion, corporations or institutions. Peace starts within ourselves, and within our families. “That is why it is so difficult,” said UPF Chairman Rev. Kwak in his opening address, “for there are few, if any of us, who can truly say that they are at peace.”
The first day of the seminar covered four main chapters from the Divine Principle, the core teaching of UPF Founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. The Principle starts from the distinct perspective that peace cannot truly begin unless and until we come to know the original plan of God.
The Yong Pyong resort was the location for the Korea TV show, "Winter Sonata."
Accordingly, UPF Assistant Secretary General Jack Corley began with a presentation on God’s Original Ideal of Peace and Ursula McLackland, UPF-India, introduced the “Importance of Religious Life and the Spiritual World.” Then Andrew Wilson and Tyler Hendricks from the Unification Theological Seminary spoke on the Origin of Evil, and God’s work of restoration.
Group discussions among the participants, who came from six continents and every faith background, quickly revealed both the similarities and the differences between the world’s faiths and cultures. A large group of Buddhists from Mongolia pondered the issue of the spirit world and their own traditional belief in reincarnation; meanwhile Muslims from Jordan and Christians from Lebanon considered the similarities between Biblical and Koranic interpretations of the origin of evil.
On the second day, the focus moved to applications of the Principle, starting with the role of international and interreligious marriages in the creation of one global family. Half a dozen panelists with over 200 years married life between them then shared their own experience from intercultural and international marriages.
Bae Yong Jun and Choi Ji Woo in "Winter Sonata"
The Yong Pyong resort rather lends itself to such discussions, as it was one of the key locations for the international romantic hit TV show, “Winter Sonata.” In fact, a considerable number of the guests who visit each year come for that reason, rather than to ski. That may change if the Pyeongchang region wins the bid for the Winter Olympic games in 2014.
Another session dealt with Peace Making and Conflict Resolution. Ek Nath Dhakal from UPF-Nepal introduced a very promising case study from Nepal. Over the period of two years, the UPF has been strongly instrumental in bringing the Maoist opposition to the negotiating table with the Nepalese government, leading to disarmament and the formation of a unity government. Peace seems a real possibility after a decade of bloody civil violence.
“This conference has been outstanding,” said Dr. Habib Chirzin, a human rights commissioner from Indonesia, “a time of enlightenment and self-renewal, re-strengthening our commitment to live for the sake of others and true love.”
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