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Peace Education

UPF Chairman Visits Historic Sites in Germany

Frankfurt, Germany - After arriving from Paris at Frankfurt airport in the afternoon of August 27, UPF Chairman Hyung Jin Moon and his party went to Gruneburg Park to pray at the Holy Ground established on July 29, 1965 by UPF Founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, when he first visited Europe.

The next day we traveled east to visit religious and historic sites, starting with Wartburg in Thuringia for an exclusive tour through the castle, walking along the footsteps of Elisabeth of Thuringia. Elisabeth came to the Wartburg Castle from Hungary at the age of four as a future wife of the prince. She invested her life and wealth totally for the poor and the sick, even after her husband died on a Crusade in 1227. She died at the young age of 24, leaving behind three children, and was canonized by the Catholic Church shortly afterwards.

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The other prominent religious figure in Wartburg’s history was Martin Luther. After being outlawed by Emperor Charles V, Luther was abducted by his friend Count Friedrich and brought to the castle in 1521. There Luther translated the New Testament into German in only ten weeks.

Hyung Jin Moon observed that in this sense, Wartburg is an early place of ecumenism, since a Catholic saint as well as the founder of Protestantism were living under the same roof and are both remembered there.

After a quick lunch at the Kartoffelhaus in Eisenach, we went to the former Concentration Camp of Buchenwald near Weimar to see a darker side of Germany’s history. During Hitler’s Nazi regime, some 56,000 inmates died there of overwork and malnutrition. We forming a semicircle and prayed earnestly for the many people who suffered at the hands of the SS and died.

“How is such deplorable human behavior possible?” Hyung Jin Moon reflected. “I believe it starts with a morality based on atheism.” Indeed young SS recruits did not to belong to any church. Yet despite such evidence of the vileness and corruption of humankind, God's providence continues.

The main public event was held in the Limburg City hall of Limburg, in the state of Hesse. The seating was originally planned for 900 people, but more than 1200 people showed up including 450 from neighboring countries. After being introduced by the UPF-Europe regional chair, Dr. Yong Cheol Song, Hyung Jin Moon spoke on the power of prayer and the spirituality of the world's religions, which all seek to reconnect people with God. The following day, the international guests left for London.

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