Cham Bumo Gyeong: Episode 314
Cham Bumo Gyeong
Book 11: Ecumenical Initiatives
Chapter 2: The Interreligious Peace Movement and the Blessing Ceremony
Section 1: IRF and the Assembly, Paragraph 07-16
7 I founded the God Conference in 1981. As indicated by its title, this is a gathering where people are invited to speak about God. It is where practitioners of Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism gather to discuss God. We created the God Conference out of the understanding that humanity will be able to fulfill the providence of God only if we can transcend the boundaries of our respective religions.
Let's bore a hole through which the religious world can pass so that we all can work together in harmony. Taking a stance beyond particular faith traditions, we must remove barriers. We need to connect to an interreligious, interdenominational standard for the sake of saving the world and completing the providence of God. It is unimportant to me how much I am abused, or told I am foolish, along the way. I have understood that someone must pioneer this course in the fulfillment of God's Will. I have done this, and I was prepared for the enormous sacrifices that were required. Through this, I have been gaining renown, even in the religious world.
8 The Unification Church is the religion that exists for the sake of saving the world. We have appeared with a tradition of thinking that we must save the world even if we have to sacrifice Christianity and America. The only thing we teach in the Unification Church is the tradition of God. It is your destiny to inherit the tradition of God and the tradition of Parents. Walking the path of this tradition is the way to heaven.
No matter how much Christianity says to believe in Jesus, that alone will not get us there. The same goes for adherence to any other particular religion. This is why I am making a huge investment in order to hold the Interdenominational Conferences for Clergy, as well as the conferences of the International Religious Foundation. I am expending great effort to unite Christianity and all religions. If I do not do this work on earth, eventually the leaders of all religious groups, all the denominations and the entire spirit world will accuse me. To accomplish this work, I am bringing together a great many scholars representing the world's peoples.
9 At the end of 1981, we held our first international gathering of theologians, entitled "God: The Contemporary Discussion" (the "God Conference"). We are transcending all the barriers of the many religions and denominations across the world. We brought together Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Confucians across the barriers of faith. We invited the great scholars of the world. That was the first time in history for a conference of this scope to be held.
The objective of the God Conferences was to discuss about God. Based on the theme of these interfaith conferences, I made the statement that "The Hindu denominations are divided and are fighting among themselves. Similar situations exist with other religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Confucianism. If there is a conference for bringing them together, I personally will provide financial support." Naturally they would be ashamed if they were to quarrel with each other at a conference such as this. It would be a disgrace, such that they would be unable to look each other in the eye.
While holding the God Conference, we created a worldwide youth organization with activities to provide multi-religious leadership to young people during their summer vacation. When those young people come to the Middle East, we will gather the best-known scholars of Islam to give lectures, and when they come to Asia, we will bring distinguished Buddhist and Confucian scholars. When they come to America, we will inspire them by bringing the most respected Jewish and Christian scholars to speak to them. If this kind of movement takes root, the conflicts between religious groups and among denominations gradually will diminish. When the top tier of world scholars have attended the Assembly of the World's Religions, the era of denominational and religious infighting will pass.
10 By now, since I have been holding conferences of scholars, such as ICUS, there are few who have not come to know of me. I built a foundation that employs and supports the talents of excellent scholars. Now I have gathered scholars from the religious field and held the God Conference, asking them to share whatever they had to say about God. To rediscover God together, we begin with the most basic question, "Does God exist?" Then we comment on historical events and processes from the perspective of providential history, and provide theoretical support for the proposition that God is alive and is involved in the world's present situation. We must also enlighten those theologians who think God does not exist. This, together with connecting leading scholars from all the world's religions with one another, is part of the work of the God Conference.
After that we began to bring together young leaders and intellectuals, who will inherit the world in the future. We are providing an excellent educational opportunity for 160 young leaders each summer. We select 20 students from each of the major world religions, students who are recommended by their professors. They participate in pilgrimages not just to their own holy land but to each religion's holy land.
11 I founded New ERA and the God Conference as two ecumenical projects coming out of the Unification Theological Seminary in the United States. The results confirm that these efforts to foster harmony and unification among Christian denominations and among other religions can succeed through patience, sacrifice and the natural process of true love. I started the Assembly of the World's Religions and the Council for the World's Religions to realize a world of peace and to advance God's Will on earth by means of earnest dialogue to build harmony among the followers of each religion. It turns out that these organizations are achieving miracles within the often stagnant religious world. I founded the Youth Seminar on the World's Religions and the Religious Youth Service to help establish an ideal world of peace in the name of God, and to prevent racial strife and religious conflict among young people. Through these organizations and conferences, I am presenting an alternative path of cooperation and harmony to the religious world.
12 A movement for religious coalition must arise in university communities, bringing the leading young scholars together as one. When they have achieved unity with one another, crossing over the lines of their differing faith traditions, they must step forward and lead the creation of a religious coalition. Through the activities of the Youth Seminar on the World's Religions and the Assembly of the World's Religions, we stimulated the imagination of religious leaders.
The title for the second Assembly was "Transmitting Religious Tradition to Society and the Next Generation." The current era is not one in which the next generation and society as a whole are able to easily accept religion. Who will take responsibility to educate people and overcome this problem? It is not the leaders of the religious status quo but the laity and the children of those in authority in each religion. Therefore, for eight years beginning in 1982, we deployed, in strategic places, intelligent young people whose hearts were moved through the youth seminars. Through them, we now have relationships with leaders in each of the major world religions. The direction has been set.
13 I initiated conferences for New ERA in 1977 in order to prevent a race war. We began educating university students in 1982, starting with the Youth Seminar on the World's Religions. The seminar began with a week of education on world religions, followed by pilgrimages to holy sites around the world, including my birthplace of Jeongju in North Korea. The young adults in their 20s and 30s are intelligent people who one day will be the leaders of their faiths. Over the past ten years, these people have come to know who I am and why I am doing this. Those among them who aspire to be religious leaders must have the same heart as I do.
14 What has the Youth Seminar on the World's Religions, that multi-religious coalition with 12 religions at its core, been doing for the last eight years? These seminars have been helping the university students who have been involved to realize that it is the responsibility of religious groups to save the world. Many of these young intellectuals from diverse faith traditions have expressed that their religious leaders' views and their doctrines differ from ours, but they hope to embrace the concept of transcending their own religious group and to save the world as I am trying to do.
I built this foundation, and it developed into the Assembly of the World's Religions. If the religions bind themselves together in harmony, eventually they will be able to eliminate the current trends toward polarization and distrust in the world and move toward a world of peace. The absolute God has one Will, not two. As ideal families centered on God, let us leave behind on earth the model of a unified family, the pattern for the heavenly kingdom.
Eminent theologians and religious leaders worldwide participated as members of the editorial committee and advisory committee for the publication of World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts, selecting 160 themes common to the scriptures of the various religions. These themes were compiled into one unified scriptural text. It was published first as an English edition on August 15, 1991, and, after being presented to True Parents, was published in Korean on May 1, 1994. Later, it was also published in Japanese. The second volume, World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, which included more excerpts from True Fathers sermons, was published on January 28, 2009.
15 On August 16, 1990, the second Assembly of the World's Religions will be held. The purpose is to support interreligious unity in every nation. With such harmony, they can live as brother and sister faiths, establishing the model of a unified nation. If the Council for the World's Religions were to issue visas, those visas would enable people to go anywhere. So, what are we doing now? We are making a scripture for the oneness of all religions. To do this, we need a historical perspective. It is crucial to organize the contents on the basis of a unified doctrine, a proper theoretical and philosophical system that can uncover the root problem that humankind faces.
16 Religion has no nation. There is no such global country. Where can you find the nation of the Owner of all religions? Through the Assembly of the World's Religions, we proposed an interreligious perspective that would digest the evil ideology of humanism, which destroys morality, and also of communism, which excludes religious truth. We must turn around and go up. A scripture that shows the oneness of all religions is needed in order to fulfill such a grand ideal. Because we have so many different sacred scriptures, we fight one another. Let us therefore compile one world scripture by identifying the moral principles of heavenly law within each scriptural work and extracting the core tenets of the great faiths. Let us make these core principles the foundation of that single scriptural work.
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