Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: Episode 120
Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: A Selection of True Parents’ Speeches
Book 3: The Mission of Religion in Achieving God’s Ideal
Speech 8: Dialogue and Alliance, pg 416-419
An interreligious movement and practical service
Respected representatives of the world’s religions, when we take an honest look at reality today, we come to see that it is time not only for belief but for action as well. Why do we find such serious problems prevailing in our societies, problems including confusion in value systems, moral corruption, drug addiction, terrorism, racial discrimination, genocide, war, unjust distribution of wealth, disregard for human rights, and totalitarian communism? These vices are the natural outcome of hedonism, atheistic materialism and secular humanism that deny the relevance of God. All these are the effects of the declining faith and the spiritual exhaustion of this generation.
Who can take responsibility for today’s world? Can the military or the politicians? Can businessmen or people with new technologies? Never. God is asking religious leaders, today’s prophets and priests, to solve these problems.
All religious people must feel responsible for the shaky spiritual foundation of this generation and repent. Throughout the long history of religion, we have not been a convincing witness for our living God. We have not been sincere in the practice of love. Our past hypocrisy has allowed atheism to prevail. We ought to feel deeply responsible for this.
Today God is calling us. All religious people, standing on the internal foundation of deep self-reflection, must challenge the prevalence of all evils and work creatively in order to realize God’s Will on earth. The living God does not want to relate with us merely in the context of scriptures and rituals. Instead, God hopes to dwell in the hearts of people who keep God’s Will in their minds and live it in everyday life.
After long prayers and reflections on the future of the world and humankind, I have begun to feel that God’s enthusiastic hope and the Holy Spirit’s strong power are sweeping through the whole world. Today the world has to be renewed. Religious leaders all throughout the world must join together and encourage a movement of purification in every religion.
There needs to be repentance and the renewal of true commitment. The world must change! There needs to be a new Reformation! The banners of “living faith” and “practical faith” ought to be waving everywhere around the world. Every religion must work beyond consideration of its own benefit to liberate the world from poverty and disease. By the practice of love and the burning conviction of faith, our witness will convince even atheists of the truth of the living God. Only through a religious and spiritual revolution bringing great harmony, love and compassion will we finally realize the ideal world of peace.
The value of harmony between religious denominations
Respected representatives! In response to God’s sublime call, the world’s religious bodies have to emerge from the quagmire of hostility, misunderstanding and ignorance. With mutual respect and friendship they need to build a large, cooperative community of religions. Then together, we will be able to show our religious will in action and practice everywhere on this planet.
Religion is not merely oriented to the world beyond. The earth is God’s creation, and it is on this earth that God’s Will is to be realized. If the kingdom of heaven, or as Buddhists say, Sukhavati, is God’s ideal place, we cannot go there merely by hoping. Rather we ought to live for, love and care for our brothers and sisters and the things of creation. It is through relationships with others that we can realize the ideal.
Even though religion transcends ordinary social ethics and social policy, we cannot ignore its function in society. Religious people ought to be concerned with actual problems and apply God’s Will to their practical solution. Moreover, religions need to stimulate spiritual renewal and give an elevated value perspective to those in charge of politics, the economy, social programs and education. People can solve the problems in their fields only when the Holy Spirit enlightens their minds. God is calling for religious people with living spirituality to uphold the truth of religion and to relate it to the situations in their societies. People who are grounded in truth and in living communication with God are bound to influence others and bring about a revival of spirituality everywhere. True religions do not follow the trends of the secular world. Emphasizing God’s Will, they enlighten the world and lead the people, even in the face of opposition and persecution.
The movement for interreligious harmony and unity, and for living faith, may go through a lonely path for some time, but it will soon receive tremendous support from many fresh-minded people who see things from a historical and global perspective.
I have been putting all my energy into reforming the world and realizing God’s ideal on earth in accordance with the direction of God’s providence. I have been mobilizing the total energy of the Unification Church to work first of all for world peace through interreligious harmony. I sincerely hope your religions also actively cooperate and join in this path, not because I want to reduce my effort or spare the financial resources of the Unification Church, but because I hope to see as early as possible a total mobilization of spiritual resources and creativity from all religious traditions in the direction of God’s providence. This path will lead to the realization of the world of peace.
The Assembly of World’s Religions will achieve the realization of God’s Will on earth
As you may know, the Assembly of the World’s Religions is a project with historic significance. While even the secular world is seeking harmony through the United Nations and similar organizations, how can religious bodies fight each other? I have long been expecting certain leaders of the elder religions to initiate an assembly of the world’s religions. After a long period of waiting, I have initiated this project because I believe it must be done at all costs. While this first event itself is a meaningful accomplishment, the Assembly will, I hope, become increasingly significant with each successive meeting.
I have three hopes for this Assembly. First, world religious traditions must respect each other and at least work to keep in check any interreligious conflicts and wars. Second, the Assembly will hopefully serve the world by becoming a cooperative community of religions. It will hopefully agree upon and make resolutions calling religious people to practical action, encouraging all people to live by God-centered values, and fostering the development of the human mind and spirit. Third, the Assembly needs, I believe, to develop into an organization in which the major leadership of all religions participate. The Assembly needs to lift up the highest values and purposes of life and offer them to all religious people, all groups and all nations. Only in communion with the Absolute and with love for one another can individuals, groups and nations prepare for and become a part of the kingdom of God on earth.
I hope all of you, as representatives of your religions, find spiritual unity that can be the foundation for a bright future and for a new religious reformation that can lead the world. Through presentations and discussions, during plenary sessions or in committee meetings, in artistic performance, meditation and prayer, please respect each other’s faiths and contribute as much as possible to the harmony of the whole. Let us all march forward to fulfill the world-historical mission of religions: the realization of God’s Will on earth.
I thank all members of the Planning Committee for their efforts in planning and preparation and all the staff serving the Assembly’s practical needs for their hard work.
May God bless this historic conference and each of you representatives.