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July 2020
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UN Global Day of Parents 2020

UPF-Africa’s “Peace Talks” Webinar Attracts Over 2,000 Viewers

Africa—UPF-Africa’s second “Peace Talks” webinar had as its theme “From Global Parents Day to Global Heavenly Parent Day, the World at a Crossroads: The Need for a Paradigm Shift.” The program took advantage of the confluence of UPF Founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s May 8 creation of the organization Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community as an interfaith umbrella initiative and the annual June 1 commemoration of the UN Global Day of Parents.

The webinar’s invited speakers included representatives of three UPF associations: His Excellency Luc-Adolphe Tiao, prime minister of Burkina Faso from 2011 to 2014 and member of the International Summit Council for Peace; Prophet Samuel Radebe, founder of the Revelation Church of God in South Africa and representing the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development; and His Excellency Moussa Timbine, president of the National Assembly of Mali and member of the International Association of Parliamentarians.

(Unfortunately, technical difficulties prevented the appearance of H.E. Timbine.)

The webcast was watched by 489 participants on Zoom and 1,706 participants on YouTube. Among the viewers, 53 nations were represented, 44 of which were in Africa.

The program was opened by secretary general of UPF-West Africa, Paterne Zinsou and began with a slide and video background presentation documenting UPF Founder and Mother of Peace Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s activities from the end of her period of mourning for her husband, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, in 2015 to the present. Of particular interest in the context of this webinar were mentions of her declaration in 2015 that the correct term for God is Heavenly Parent, her prayer in 2017 at Goree Island, and her continuing activities throughout the African continent. This was followed by a welcome by Katherine Rigney, chair of UPF-Africa, who read Dr. Moon’s May 8 proclamation establishing the Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community.

The first speaker, Prime Minister Tao, noted that the UN’s creation of Global Parents Day in 2012 was important in calling to mind the central role of the family in building world peace. In observing that parents are overburdened, especially today by unemployment and poverty, H.E. Tao explained, “Political power and international development institutions must empower the family to support its members. It’s about using the family as the backbone of social policy.” He went on to emphasize the importance of the webinar’s topic and UPF: “The theme of this day organized by UPF poses the need for a paradigm shift. This is where the importance of Dr. Hak Ja Han’s vision comes to the fore. Putting spirituality at the heart of our lives helps build families that resist the shocks induced by the transformations of our societies under the pressure of the evolution of the world.”

In approaching the topic of parents and family, Prophet Radebe proclaimed, “It is a proven fact that there will never be peace in the world when there is no peace within families, that there will never be tolerance in the world when there is no tolerance within families, and that there will never be sharing of genuine love in the world when there is no genuine sharing of love within families.” He continued, “The work spearheaded by True Mother Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon is to build families and instill the practice that the foundation of any healthy society is a formidable family structure and definitely our first steps into the world. Her work is by no means magical but is an absolute revelation from God.”

In particular, Prophet Radebe upheld her World Peace Blessing ceremonies. “True Mother’s work in building these cross-cultural intermarriages has eradicated the falsehood that other races or nations have different DNAs from the rest,” he said. “The offspring of these marriages will systematically erase the notion and practices of racism in our societies and the world at large because the parents of these offspring are from different countries, different nations and cultural practices. These offspring will thus bear no hatred, no racism but will hold dear the secret of collaboration and genuine embrace of others as a way of life.”

The speeches were followed by the opportunity for participants to offer questions through the chat function. One questioner asked, “How we can honor our Heavenly Parent when churches can’t agree on a vision of peace?” In response, H.E Tiao said that being created in diversity doesn’t mean that we can’t worship together. He recalled his good experience at the marriage blessing ceremony at the World Summit, “where no one asked me about my religion.” Prophet Radebe said that religion by itself can’t solve the world’s problems because it is an ideology similar to political ideology; rather, what is needed is spirituality because it is beyond religion and embraces everyone.

At the conclusion, the speakers offered a brief closing statement. In her thank-you to the speakers, Mrs. Rigney remembered that Burkina Faso was the first country in Africa visited by UPF Founder Reverend Moon and that Prophet Radebe has hosted three major UPF events in South Africa.

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