Mother of Peace: Episode 50
Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes
A Memoir by Hak Ja Han Moon
Chapter 8: The Mother Builds The Family, The Family Builds The World, pg 246-250
Every year a team from the HJ Magnolia International Medical Center, together with volunteers from various walks of life, offers medical services in Southeast Asia and Africa. In these countries many people despair for lack of medical treatment. Lack of medication sometimes leads to amputation, blindness or even the loss of life.
My husband and I established the HJ Magnolia Global Medical Foundation in the hope of relieving some of this suffering. Its purpose is to serve as a foundation for humankind to achieve total health, to provide everything from voluntary medical services in impoverished areas to enlightenment as to the cause of disease and the path of true health.
Women unite religions in the Middle East
In 1969, on our first world tour together, my husband and I visited Israel. The day we arrived was extremely hot. Israel is a small country, one-fifth the size of South Korea. It did not take us so long to visit all the sites mentioned in the Bible. As we toured, we reflected on why the history of this area, which seemed to us so peaceful, has always been rife with disputes, conflicts and terrorism.
The Middle East includes the holy land, where Jesus was born 2,000 years ago. It has been the home of eminent peoples whose flourishing civilizations led global culture. Today, however, it is marred by the bitterness of religious conflict, with terrorist attacks sometimes taking the lives of innocent people.
Trusting God for our safety, our Women’s Federation for World Peace dove into the heart of the Middle East to build peace through reconciliation and love. From the late 1960s, Unification men and women missionaries from Europe went out to countries in the Middle East, including Turkey, Jordan, Iran and Lebanon. Some were arrested and some were deported, but others found ways to stay. Even so, those who entered Islamic countries that strictly forbade other faiths to proselytize risked incarceration, beatings or worse from the authorities. Despite this, through the dedication, teaching and service of our members, the local people came to understand them and gradually opened the doors to their hearts.
By the mid-1980s, these missionaries brought eminent Muslim clergy to our Assembly of the World’s Religions and Council for the World’s Religions conferences, and these clergy in turn brought Muslim citizens from the Middle East and North Africa, sometimes hundreds at a time, to attend 40-day Divine Principle workshops in New York in the early 1990s. Beginning in 1992, Islamic couples who were moved by the teachings of the Principle gratefully received the marriage Blessing.
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Upon this foundation, in November of 1993, I traveled to Turkey to speak on “True Parents and the Completed Testament Age.” People tried to deter me from visiting the Middle East, saying it would be extremely dangerous and that audiences would walk out if I delivered a speech that did not suit them. That did not deter me in the least, for I had gone through worse situations many times. Even if there is only one person waiting to receive me, I consider it my mission as God’s mediator, the only begotten Daughter, to go to the ends of the earth to meet that person and open for him or her the gate of salvation.
As I was forewarned, half the audience in Istanbul got up and left during my speech because I did not mention either Islam or the Prophet Muhammad. I realized that the road ahead in the Middle East would not be a smooth one. On the heels of that event, my next engagement was in Jerusalem. My family and movement leaders again voiced concern. They pointed out that it was an epicenter of war and tried to persuade me to wait until a calmer time.
Nonetheless, I went to Jerusalem and, after my arrival, encountered a different problem. Opposition from Jewish leaders had led to the venue abruptly canceling our reservation. We found another hall, but there, as in Istanbul, many people left during my speech because what I said was not in accord with their beliefs. As in Istanbul, neither daunted nor discouraged, I finished my speech. I knew that God had suffered over the Middle East for thousands of years, and I was experiencing a small taste of that pain. I knew that even those who left early had received something of value that would grow in their hearts.
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As the world ushered in the new millennium, the American Clergy Leadership Conference took our ministry for peace in the Middle East to a new level, with an initiative to bring reconciliation between Jews and Christians. Based on the call for Christians to embrace the Jewish people, it was discovered that the cross is a barrier to that unity. Therefore Christians called for the "end of the era of the cross," taking down their crosses and focusing instead on the resurrection and victory of Jesus in love. In May 2003, members of the Christian clergy from the United States and Europe as well as Israel marched through the streets of Jerusalem carrying a cross. In a prayer of repentance and forgiveness, they buried that cross in the Field of Blood, which is said to have been bought by Judas Iscariot with the 30 pieces of silver he received for betraying Jesus. A Jewish woman present at that event said she felt as if 4,000 years of sorrow on the part of her people had finally dissipated.
Within the same year we conducted the Jerusalem Declaration for the reconciliation of the three Abrahamic faiths and held a ceremony in Jerusalem’s main park. On that stage, Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze clergy crowned Jesus as the King of Israel. Our message was clear: Jesus came to humanity as our King of kings, but he was rejected and crucified, and so could not realize the literal kingdom of God that he declared to be near. The purpose of the coronation ceremony was for people of all the Abrahamic faiths to declare Jesus the true King, thus liberating him—and God—from sorrow. On that day, and others like it, we created the environment in which religious leaders from around the world, together with Jewish and Palestinian Israelis, embraced in tears.
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The work carried out for peace in the Middle East was the fruit of many laborers in God’s vineyard, including our women missionaries and Women’s Federation members, in particular from Japan, who were inspired by True Parents’ vision. They left their families to work devotedly for a decade or more in the desert, a land of sandstorms and extreme natural phenomena.
Half a century has passed since my husband and I first visited the Middle East. I still vividly remember the excitement, mixed with concern, that I felt when I took my first steps into the desert with the warm wind in my face. At that time, as we visited three Middle Eastern nations, we earnestly prayed for the entire region to unite in one heart and realize peace.
For me, seeking peace is comparable to searching for a needle in the middle of a sandstorm. Success is accomplished only by the intervention of God, our Heavenly Parent. Thus it was with absolute faith, love and obedience in 1960 that my husband and I resolved never to turn back until we had established a peaceful world. I am so sad that acts of terrorism still continue. When all people realize the significance of the only begotten Daughter, and that she is with them, representing the ideal of womanhood for which all religions have striven, the cycle of tragedy upon tragedy will come to an end—both in the Middle East and throughout the world.