Cham Bumo Gyeong: Episode 302

Cham Bumo Gyeong
Book 11: Ecumenical Initiatives

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Book 11.  Ecumenical Initiatives

Human beings live in deep ignorance of matters regarding spiritual reality because our connection of heart with God was severed due to the Fall of our first ancestors. To overcome this spiritual ignorance and complete the providence of salvation, God established religions. God has been awakening humankind through religions, whose founders expressed teachings suitable for the people of their time and culture. The emergence of True Parents on earth has opened the age of the parent religion. Accordingly, with the heart of parents, True Parents have dedicated their entire lives to establishing unity between religions and creating alliances among them to actualize God's Will.

True Father began developing ecumenical initiatives in the mid-1960s, working for unity and reconciliation between the Unification Church and the established Korean Christian denominations. In the 1970s, True Father directed the Unification Church to participate in the interfaith activities of the Association of Religions in Korea (ARK). He saw these ecumenical activities and interfaith activities as two components of the work to lead religious people in Korea toward unity and harmony.

On that foundation, after going beyond the national level, in the 1980s and subsequent decades, True Father developed international initiatives for peace among religions through organizations he established for this purpose, including the New Ecumenical Research Association (New ERA), the International Religious Foundation, the Assembly of the World's Religions, the Council for the World's Religions, the Youth Seminar on World Religions, the Religious Youth Service, the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace, the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, and the Universal Peace Federation.

The final goal of True Parents' work in forming alliances among religions is to give rebirth to all people as God's children. They have been actualizing this by conducting international and interreligious marriage Blessing ceremonies, which transcend religious differences. One of the most significant of these was the 144,000 Couples Interreligious Marriage Blessing for Clergy conducted in Washington, DC in 2002. The couples who are joined in these interreligious Blessings naturally break down walls between religions. By this work, True Parents are binding the world together as one family under God, ultimately to realize world peace.

True Parents have been able to lead such interreligious peace initiatives because of their direct understanding of the spiritual reality and their deep experience of God's heart. Their absolute conviction that a world of peace will come in the future stems from this inner experience.

True Parents understand that both the spirit world and the earthly world have been blocked by innumerable barriers that have built up over the course of history. Accordingly, as they continually achieved success in the providential course of restoration through indemnity, they broke these barriers down layer by layer, both in the spiritual world and in the physical world. In this way, they opened the path for the liberation of the spirit world and prepared the foundation for the kingdom of heaven on earth as well as in heaven. Finally, they were able to proclaim the era of Cheon Il Guk the age of the unified realm of the physical world and the spiritual world. As this new age unfolds, God will be able to reign over the spiritual world and the physical world as He desires, and earthly people will be able to communicate freely with those in the spirit world.

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