This blog is no longer being updated, but for further posts on the subject please see my main Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion blog.


Rev Moon’s NGO to Hold “Holocaust Commemoration” in House of Lords

Rev Sun Myung Moon’s Universal Peace Federation announces an event  to be held in the House of Lords of the British Parliament:

‘Genocide Awareness and Holocaust Commemoration’
House of Lords Committee Room 4A (Map)

Hosted by Lord King of West Bromwich

5:00 – 7:00 pm, 1st February, 2010

You are cordially invited to a discussion of ‘Genocide Awareness and Holocaust Commemoration’ soon after the internationally recognised Holocaust Memorial Day to be held in the House of Lords, Committee Room 4A. Universal Peace Federation’s (UPF) Community Cohesion Working Group is holding this event to promote awareness of ‘the path to genocide’ to assist the identification of future unfolding tragedies before they occur…The Universal Peace Federation’s (UPF) motto “One Family Under God” signifies the importance of  understanding how such atrocities have happened and the determination to strive to prevent future reoccurences…

But what of the UPF’s founder’s own views on the subject of the Holocaust? Oh dear

Who are the Jewish members here, raise your hands! Jewish people, you have to repent. Jesus was the King of Israel. Through the principle of indemnity Hitler killed 6 million Jews. That is why. God could not prevent Satan from doing that because Israel killed the True Parents.

(Hat tip to a reader)

Ambassadors for Peace: UPF and UN

From the Nigeria Daily Sun:

The desire for the promotion of world peace recently brought Christian clergymen and traditional religionists together as the United Nations Universal Federation of Peace installed the Head of Ogboni Aborigine Fraternity Worldwide, Oba Bolaji Naibi, as Ambassador for Peace.

…The occasion was a spectacle as Bishop (Dr.) A. J. Osamuyi, who is the African Director of the world, decorated Oba Naibi with a cape on which Ambassador for Peace was boldly written at the Massey Auditorium, Afromedia area of Okokomaiko in Lagos.

The bishop was assisted in the investiture rites by members of his entourage which included Bishop (Dr.) I.J.K Idiareh and Bishop (Dr.) Igoma, all representatives of the peace federation in Africa.

Alas, there is no picture of the cape. I have been unable to find out which denomination the bishops are from, but they do not appear to be either Roman Catholic or Anglican. There are various Ogboni Fraternities, which promote aspects of Yoruba religion, but “Oba Naibi” does not have much internet presence, and his name as given seems to incorporate honorifics.

There’s a bit of confusion here, though: the Universal Peace Federation is recognised as an NGO by the United Nations, but the UPF’s “Ambassador for Peace” awards are its own affair, and nothing to do with the UN’s “Goodwill Ambassadors”, who are also known as “Messangers of Peace” and often described in the media as “Ambassadors for Peace”.

However, one doubts the UPF will be rushing to put the record straight. As was noted in a 2001 paper entitled “Rev. Moon and the United Nations: A challenge for the NGO community”, by Harold Payne and Birgit Gratzer:

…The Moon organization has used the UN for conferences and for publicity events. Moon has held a mass-wedding in a UN conference room. A new Moon-sponsored “umbrella group”, known as the World Association of NGOs (WANGO), proposes itself as an authentic voice of the NGO community…

UPF Orphanage in India

From the Times of India:

COIMBATORE: In a curious case, the Coimbatore police has been rapped by a court here for prosecuting an eight-year-old boy on charges of selling drugs.

…According to Sections 82 and 83 of the Indian Penal Code, no case can be registered against boys less than 12 years of age. Following the magistrate’s observations, the police dropped the case against the boy and sent him to the Universal Peace Foundation’s home for orphans at Karumathampatti.

Moon Praised at UN Day of Families

The Baltic Review reports:

More than 400 UN diplomats, Ambassadors, NGO representatives, and faith leaders gathered at the United Nations Headquarters May 18, 2009 to celebrate the UN International Day of Families, in an event organized by the Universal Peace Federation and sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Guinea, with additional sponsorship from the Permanent Missions of Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Qatar, Sudan, and the African Union.

None other than Deepak Chopra gave the keynote address, and later Moon was praised by name:

…Closing remarks were given by Dr. Ki Heun Kim, Co-Chair of UPF. “It is important to note that for years, the UPF Founder, Dr. Sun Myung Moon, has stressed that we are in an age where the leadership of women is of paramount importance,” he said. “Moreover, all religions and traditions share the same core values, especially about the family. We need to learn from all of them if we are to establish a world of peace. This is why the UPF has summarized its message as one simple phrase,’One Family Under God.'”

Apparently there were events in 22 nations.

Finnish Christian Right Brings UPF to Parliament

The Baltic Review reports on a couple of UPF events at the Parliament of Finland:

…both events were organized by the Ambassador for Peace, Parliament Member and Lutheran pastor, Lauri Oinonen.

In the conference, the UPF had several presenters among the panellists, one from the Ministry of Education (Secretary General of Council of Youth Affairs), an Imam from Muslim faith, a representative from the Mormon church (Head of education dept.) and a panellist representing the UPF.

And at the second event

…There were about 90 people attended including Emeritus Bishop of Lutheran Church, Chairman of Jews Community in Finland, Chairman of Baptist Church of Finland, diplomats from various nations, members of ethnic groups, NGOs and women leaders.

We’re told that:

Finnish ministry of education is actively working out ways in order to support multicultural families to integrate smoothly into the Finnish society. The concept of “One Family under God” was introduced as a solution.

That was reported on 13 May.

Lauri Oinonen is a prominent Christian Right leader in Finland; a few days ago he was in the news for suggesting that allowing a gay or lesbian person to adopt the natural child of his or her partner might lead to the acceptance of bestiality. This is par for the course; a 2006 essay by Charles Silverstein in the book Ex-Gay Research tells us that Oinonen opposed civil unions for homosexuals  in 2001 on the following lines (p. 266, link added):

One of the main parliamentary religious opponents was Lauri Oinonen…He came out of Helsinki’s Parliament House to formally greet a self-proclaimed American prophet, Shirley Arnold, who then preached on Parliament’s steps…Oinonen said he regretted that some MP’s were now defending the registration of homosexuals when registration should have been enacted over ten years ago earlier to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The UPF’s founder, of course, holds eliminationist views on gays, who do not figure in the “One Family Under God” vision:

Gays will be eliminated, the three Israels will unite. If not then they will be burned. We do not know what kind of world God will bring but this is what happens. It will be greater than the communist purge but at God’s orders.

UPF and Politicians in Swaziland

From the Swazi Observer:

FORMER Minister of Health and Social Welfare Njabulo Mabuza has been conferred with the ambassador for peace award by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF).

Mabuza was awarded alongside former Principal Secretary Bremer Nxumalo and others. The awarding ceremony was held yesterday at the Tums George Hotel. Also present during the ceremony was UPF president Dr. Preston Hyun Ji-Nim Moon.

…UPF Swaziland chairperson and former Senate President Reverend Abednego Dlamini said in the global front, peace is fast disappearing and that conflict is increasingly becoming an option as opposed to peaceful engagement…