Mother of Peace: Episode 62
Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes
A Memoir by Hak Ja Han Moon
Chapter 10: The Challenge Of Realizing A Heavenly World, pg 303-307
On June 7, 2019, on the eve of the Blessing, I visited the historic township of Soweto. Soweto is known throughout the world as the location of the first anti-apartheid uprisings in 1976. The home of global luminaries such as Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, its people played an important role in the civil rights movement in South Africa.
From 1948 until the 1990s, institutionalized racial segregation, known as apartheid, was enforced in South Africa. South Africa’s minority white population dominated the nation’s political, economic, and social institutions and actively discriminated against other races. The white government removed black people from their land, forced them to learn the Afrikaans language, and required them to have special permits to travel outside designated areas. They could not eat in the same restaurants or take the same buses as white people. Interracial marriage was illegal, and black people could not own land in white-designated areas.
In 1976, high school students in South Africa protested the forced introduction of Afrikaans as the official language through the Soweto Uprising and the many other protests that followed. Thousands of people were killed or injured during these uprisings, which became a major movement against apartheid. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and others denounced the law on learning Afrikaans, saying it forced children to learn the “language of the oppressor.” The sacrifices young students made during the protests are truly heartbreaking. Police opened fire on the students and Hector Pieterson, a 12-year-old student, was killed. The photo of Hector carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo and his sister Antoinette weeping transformed South Africa and shook the world.
The day before the Blessing Festival, I visited the Hector Pieterson memorial in Soweto to pay my respects and offer a prayer for the victims of Apartheid and of all racial discrimination. I prayed to God, asking for the liberation of the black race from the painful history of racial discrimination, for the liberation of the students killed and deprived of their hopes and dreams, and for God’s blessing on South Africa and Africa. I was particularly moved to see Antoinette, along with 400 youths from throughout South Africa, gather with me at the Hector Pieterson Memorial at Prophet Radebe’s invitation. The youth danced and sang beautiful songs of hope. I felt that these young people were my children.
The events of June 2019 created the momentum upon which Prophet Radebe would prepare a Blessing Ceremony for 100,000 couples in South Africa that December.
* * *
Archbishop Johannes Ndanga of Zimbabwe is the Chairman of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ), the largest Christian council in Zimbabwe with thousands of affiliated churches and millions of members. Dr. Yun recognized Archbishop Ndanga as the third righteous man Father Moon had indicated in his dream.
Archbishop Ndanga’s relationship with our movement began when he came to Kenya to offer congratulatory remarks during an interfaith Blessing Ceremony. As he spoke, the Heavens opened and he heard, “Don’t just offer congratulatory remarks, receive the Blessing as well!” Archbishop Ndanga promptly received the Blessing and joyfully came to participate in the 2017 Peace Starts with Me Festival in Madison Square Garden. Archbishop Ndanga stated, “I recognized True Mother as the only begotten Daughter through Heaven’s revelation. I am grateful to have received the Blessing and I am now sharing the gospel of True Parents wherever I go. I hope that True Parents’ ideal of world peace can be realized.”
On the eve of the Madison Square Garden festival, I invited the three “golden key” religious leaders to dine with me at our East Garden residence. There, Archbishop Ndanga said, “You are the True Mother humankind has eagerly been waiting and longing for.” The following day, he testified to other religious leaders about his encounter with me, saying, “True Mother is our True Mother. I am her blessed son.” Inspired by what he experienced in the US, Archbishop Ndanga returned to Zimbabwe, where he mobilized over 300 bishops from ACCZ and, together with FFWPU leaders, hosted a special Divine Principle workshop and Blessing for them. With the support of the government of Zimbabwe, each of those bishops educated and blessed 210 couples. In all, more than 60,000 couples received the Blessing.
On November 11, 2017, Archbishop Ndanga offered congratulatory remarks at the 80,000 Rally of Hope to Support the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula at the Sangam World Cup Stadium in Seoul. As he was preparing to go home, he received the news that Zimbabwe was caught up in political upheaval and a change of leadership in government. The political turmoil was severe, with riots in the street and unrest throughout the nation. Archbishop Ndanga was apprehensive about the situation. When he arrived in Harare, he saw several ministers being apprehended and taken away. Yet it was as if no one recognized him. He passed swiftly through the airport and arrived home safely. Amid the turmoil engulfing the nation, as he was a prominent Christian leader, his life was certainly at risk. He firmly believes that I protected him from coming to harm, testifying, “It was True Mother’s miracle.”
In 2018, I appointed Archbishop Ndanga to the position of Cheon Il Guk Special Envoy for Zimbabwe. He responded with determination, saying, “I will be a dutiful son who will testify throughout Zimbabwe and Africa to the True Mother as the only begotten Daughter of God.” All people are God’s children. God does not discriminate based on skin color. True Parents have blessed Africa as Heavenly Africa and prayed for its liberation from past afflictions. A new history is being written, one where African families are being reborn as true families through the Blessing. This is initiating the change that will raise Africa to become the shining continent of hope for all humankind.
São Tomé and Príncipe, the model for national restoration
Following the inaugural Africa Summit held in January 2018, various nations throughout the African continent expressed a desire to host Summits and Blessings. After nearly four decades of mission work and on the foundation of the previous year’s activities and World Summit 2019, the government of São Tomé and Príncipe expressed a strong desire to host initiatives throughout the country, including a Summit, a Blessing Festival and a Youth and Students for Peace Festival.
* * *
I sent my representative to São Tomé in the Spring of 2019 and, after he met the President, His Excellency Evaristo Carvalho, the Prime Minister, His Excellency Jorge Bom Jesus, and the President of the National Assembly, His Excellency Delfim Neves, a memorandum of understanding between UPF and the government of São Tomé was signed. Hearing about São Tomé’s willingness to work together on several key initiatives, I was determined to bless it and lay the foundation for a Heavenly nation there, and I announced that I would hold the 2019 Africa Summit and the Hyojeong Family Blessing Festival in São Tomé and Príncipe.
This is a beautiful equatorial island nation in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Central Africa. It gained its independence from Portugal in 1975. After we had traveled for more than 40 hours, including two layovers, the government of São Tomé offered an extraordinary welcome. Cabinet ministers welcomed me warmly at the airport, and the next day His Excellency President Evaristo Carvalho welcomed me at the Presidential Palace for a private meeting. Following our cordial meeting, the presidential honor guard escorted me to the National Assembly building to open the Summit.
More than 800 leaders from São Tomé and throughout Africa were in attendance. The National Assembly had generously offered the use of its premises for the Summit and Blessing, and by 9:00 a.m. the main hall and surrounding overflow rooms were full. In addition to His Excellencies President Carvalho, Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus and President of the National Assembly Delfim Neves, there were hundreds of parliamentarians, dozens of government ministers, hundreds of religious leaders and leaders of civil society, as well as several former heads of state from throughout Africa in attendance.