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Speeches

H.J. Moon: A New Vision of Peace in Brazil

Keynote Address delivered at the Global Peace Festival
Brasilia, Brazil, December 7, 2008
 
Português


President Lula, Bishop Ferreira, Reverend Robert Schuller, and honored guests and dignitaries from Brazil and around the world, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Global Peace Festival in beautiful Brasilia, Brazil!

Before I begin, I want to take a moment to thank my dear friend, Bishop Manoel Ferreira, for his tireless efforts to make this Festival in Brasilia a reality. I know that many others have prayed and worked hard to prepare for this day, and I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all of you. Thank you, and may God continue to bless your efforts for global peace!

Recently the eyes of the world have been on the great changes taking place in the United States. With Barack Obama’s ascendancy to the highest office of the world’s only remaining superpower, people around the world are waiting in anticipation, hoping to witness the beginning of a new era of peace, prosperity and cooperation.

“Change, yes we can” has become the slogan of not only a successful campaign but also a message of hope at a time of national and global crisis.

Although hope is absolutely necessary at times of uncertainty, change for the sake of change is not enough. The goal and direction of that change is far more important.

As we gather here in Brasilia, the capital of this great nation of Brazil, I want to share with you a vision of change that is sweeping across our globe and, especially this hemisphere of the Americas. It is a spiritual vision rooted in time-enduring principles, values and aspirations, and it is inspiring a great peace movement throughout the world.
That unifying vision is “One Family under God!”

We have already held Global Peace Festivals in more than twenty countries around the world, and many more are planned for 2009. I believe that the universal appeal of the vision of “One Family under God” testifies to the providential time in which we live.

  • This July, the Global Peace Festival held in Paraguay helped the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power between civilian governments in that South American nation and planted the dream of creating a larger Latin American Union under the vision of “One Family under God.”
  • In Kenya, Prime Minister Raila Odinga acknowledged that the principles he had learned by attending our peace education seminars had helped him and other parliamentarians make the necessary steps to end the tribal violence plaguing so many nations of Africa, especially following last year’s presidential elections.
  • The President of Mongolia, a former Communist, recognized that the vision of creating “One Family Under God” will be an important step in establishing the spiritual and moral life of his nation and uniting his people in the wake of post-election violence.
  • At the Global Peace Festival in Malaysia, a predominately Muslim nation, the Honorable Mahathir Mohammed, Prime Minister for 22 years, warned that religious leaders, especially within his own faith of Islam, must not politicize religion for their own purposes but should go back to the original teachings of the founders of their traditions, who all sought to create the “brotherhood of man.”
  • In the Republic of Korea, religious conflict has recently emerged as yet another obstacle to reunification. The Global Peace Festival challenged religious and political leaders at the National Assembly to go beyond their narrow sectarian thinking and unite under the universal platform of “One Family under God,” so that a united Korea will hold to values and principles based upon the sovereignty of God.
  • The Global Peace Festival has also emphasized the important mission of the entire American hemisphere. In Washington DC and four other US cities, we articulated the need to expand the original American Dream of creating “One Nation under God” to a more universal dream of creating “One Family under God,” going beyond race, nationality and creed. More than thirty thousand religious leaders from all faith traditions gathered to celebrate and commit to this vision and create a new global, inter-faith peace initiative.


The need for a new vision for the Hemisphere of the Americas

Today, here in Brasilia, the capital of the largest nation in Latin America, we are being called to make history. We must see ourselves as God sees us, a people anointed and appointed by God with a mission that extends throughout all the Americas.

Although all the nations of this hemisphere have their unique histories, the common link we all share is our Christian heritage. I believe it is fair to say that God has a special providential plan for this continent and the Christian spirit it has nurtured.

Unlike the sectarian practices of European Christianity, the people who came to the Americas – both North and South – have always aspired to a more universal vision of Christianity, a vision that can lead the entire world back to God.
At the Global Peace Festival in Washington DC, I explained that the United States was created and raised by God to fulfill a biblical promise, first made in the book of the Prophet Isaiah, of a ‘New Israel’ where all of God’s children, from every race, nation and religion could come and worship Him in freedom and peace.

In the same way, God is hoping that Brazil, and all the nations of South America will play a leading role in taking the vision of “One Family Under God” beyond the Americas and throughout the world.

The Mission of Jesus

I often ask myself, and ask my Christian brothers and sisters, “What is the true mission of Jesus?” Just as we have big aspirations and hopes for our children, so too did God have great expectations for humanity. God wanted his children to establish a true family which could be the school of true love, true life and true lineage. It would have been God’s family, where he could dwell as the eternal true parent of all mankind.

Tragically, God’s first children Adam and Eve fell, and this dream was not realized. God has worked patiently throughout human history, waiting in agony and grief for someone to realize His unfilled dream.

Two thousand years ago, the young son of a carpenter changed the world in which he lived. Jesus was born into the lineage of Israel, the chosen people who believed in the one God when most other civilizations believed in many gods. They felt they alone had a sacred covenant with God.

However, Jesus taught them that God was the father of all people. He taught the message of true love, that we should love and forgive even our enemies. It was Jesus’ hope, and God’s hope, that his nation and people would receive that message and help him fulfill his original mission: to create One Family Under God.

Yet Jesus was not accepted. He began to speak of the need for new wineskins to receive that new wine. He lamented that the Son of Man had no home to rest his head. Yet the message and the vision that he gave 2,000 years ago has gradually transformed the world.

I believe that the founding of the United States of America was an event of particular importance in the providence of God. The first document that marked the birth of that nation, the Declaration of Independence, directly recognized the sovereignty of God as the basis upon which the rights of all Americans are derived, and the basis on which the nation would be established.

The American dream was never just a political or an economic dream. It is the dream of building “One Nation under God.” However, human beings are flawed, and there have been many failures along the way. Still, it was those universal principles, the founding bedrock of that nation, that brought it back on track and made it great.

The time has come to expand that vision beyond the confines of ‘One Nation Under God,’ and to fulfill the original dream and mission of Jesus to create a world that is “One Family under God.”

The one who has taken on that mantle is my father, the Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon. After receiving a revelation from Jesus Christ on a cold Easter Sunday seventy three years ago, he has devoted his entire life, resources and wealth to the fulfillment of that dream.

My father teaches that God is the God of all people, and that God is working through all religions. However, he has always emphasized that Christianity has a central role to play in bringing the entire world back to God.

To my father, the dream of building “One Family under God” is not just the dream of one man, one woman, one family or one religion, but the dream of all humanity and, most of all, the dream of God.

The True Family Model for Peace

Why “One Family” under God? The family is the cornerstone of peace. The family is universal. Regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality and religion we are all members of families.

Secondly, the family represents the most intimate of human relationships. We use familial terms to describe the closeness of any relationship saying, “that person is like my father, like my mother, my brother, my sister, my son and like my daughter.”

Therefore, the family should be the school of love where we learn to love all humanity in its richness and diversity.
Marriage and family are the fundamental building blocks of any society, but Brazil, like the United States and all other nations is in danger of losing this most valuable tradition.

Divorce and family breakdown are at an all time high. Every nation faces major challenges with its youth. The social and economic cost of the breakdown of the family is staggering.

The healing of the family is a spiritual task. We must make it our priority to bring God back into every family. When God is dwelling in our families, all our other problems will fade away.

We will create One Family Under God, one family at a time!

A New Interfaith Effort for Peace

Another urgent challenge facing Brazil, and every nation, is to integrate her many religious and cultural traditions. Peaceful relations between faith traditions are not only tolerating one another's prayers and rituals.

A true interfaith experience is a celebration of the core principles that bind all people together as one family.
The task of promoting true interfaith understanding is an urgent priority for our world and an important goal of the Global Peace Festivals.

In the Middle East, for example, the Universal Peace Federation is helping Christians, Muslims and Jews to rediscover their common heritage in Abraham.

Before we call ourselves Christian or Muslim, Catholic or Pentecostal, Buddhist or Hindu; before we see ourselves as black, white, or yellow, or identify ourselves as Brazilian, or American, we are all the sons and daughters of God and members of his eternal family.

Brazil and the Culture of Service

Building a culture of service is another core goal of the Global Peace Festival and a vital step for peace.
There is something deeply spiritual in serving others. It is not something we should do for only a day, a month or even a year. It has to become a way of life.

When living for the sake of others becomes a habit, we come to see the true value God places on all human beings.
We are promoting a spirit of volunteerism and peaceful cooperation around the world. Communities and nations are being transformed through living for the sake of others.

I’d like to see Brazil, and all South American nations build on these efforts and create a grassroots movement that will spread a worldwide culture of service.

Taking this one step further, I’d like to see Brazil’s volunteer partners joining with those of the United States, Latin America and other nations to establish a Global Peace Corps.

Imagine young people from enemy nations and from different faiths working side by side in service! Any initial misunderstandings and suspicions would fade away as they sweat, cry and laugh together with a common purpose and cause.

Call to Action

As we celebrate the Global Peace Festival here in Brasilia, we must renew the spiritual culture and traditions of this nation, continent, and all the Americas onto a global stage through the universal vision of “One Family under God.”
This will be the clarion call of our age! As my father said in a recent Peace Message, the time has come: “to tear down the man-made walls of race, culture, religion and country, and establish the peaceful, ideal world of God’s cherished desire.”

The power of one human family united with the Will of God can quell the turmoil of conflict throughout the world. It can end the strife and poverty of Africa, the conflict in the Middle East, and the final remnant of the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula.

As citizens of Brazil, the Americas and the world, let us make a solemn pledge to lead the world to peace at last through the vision of “One Family under God.”

This is a time when God is pouring out His Spirit upon the world. With God’s grace, as surely as light overcomes the darkness, an era of peace and prosperity is at last emerging from the depths of distrust and hatred.

Together, let us dare to dream the greatest dream of all! Let us own the dream to create “One Family under God.”
May God bless you and your family, and may God bless this great nation of Brazil! Thank you very much!