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IMAP Hosts “The Changing Landscape of Social Values in the Koreas”

USA—The International Media Association for Peace (IMAP), one of UPF’s key associations, hosted an online webinar, “The Changing Landscape of Social Values in the Koreas,” on September 28, 2021. Dr. Michael Jenkins, president of UPF International, served as moderator. There were three distinguished speakers. Approximately 62 people viewed the Zoom meeting live and on Facebook.

Mr. Michael Downey, international activist and author, was the first speaker. He lived twenty years in South Korea and recently returned to the United States. While in South Korea, he worked with North Korean refugees, teaching them English and helping them acclimate to the modern world outside of North Korea. Mr. Downey shared the stories of these North Korean families on their perilous path to the south and freedom.

The second speaker, Dr. Maarten Meijer, who also has lived many years in South Korea, titled his presentation “Building bonds of Jeong between North and South Korean young people.” He defined Jeong as a “feeling of love or heart towards others.” He stated that South Korea and now even North Korea are evolving into a “me” generation—living selfishly for themselves. He is trying to build bonds between North and South Korean youth through exchange programs using “jeong.” Mr. Meijer cited spending time with them, gift giving and acts of service as the means to achieve stronger bonds of friendship and understanding.

Dr. Tyler Hendricks, former president of Unification Theological Seminary, shared a presentation entitled “True Family Values Strategy for Reunification.” He stated that True Family Values can serve as a foundation for healing all nations. Dr. Hendricks spoke of protecting and upholding love and emphasizing the whole purpose above the self-purpose. Infidelity is leading to a decline in morality in both the north and south. “We need to apply pure love education, consisting of sexual abstinence before marriage and fidelity after marriage, as ways to promote a family culture, through education in schools and government programs,” he said.

Ms. Chanyang Joo, a refugee from the DPRK, gave a moving account of her life in North Korea, her perilous escape by swimming across the Tumen River, and eventual settlement in South Korea in 2011. She emphasized that Christian NGOs within China are working to support and aid many families on their way to freedom.

The moderator, Dr. Jenkins, concluded the program by recalling the visit to North Korea of Rev. and Dr. Moon in 1991 and their meeting with leader Kim Il-Sung, as well as the ongoing efforts of Dr. Moon today to foster reunification.


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