Beginnings

On 12 September 2005, Rev Sun Myung Moon made a speech at the Lincoln Center in New York:

…I declare today before all humanity the founding of a new international organization, the Universal Peace Federation. Its mission is to renew the existing United Nations and provide a new level of leadership as an “Abel-type” United Nations, that is, a United Nations whose efforts for peace are offered to Heaven, investing itself ceaselessly in living for the sake of others. To commemorate this day in its fullness, I am declaring a message from God to humanity in this age. It is entitled, “God’s Ideal Family: the Model for World Peace.”

…Respected leaders! Our bondage to the lineage of Satan has caused so much suffering throughout history. Let us now boldly step forth to sever it and be grafted onto the root of the lineage of the True Parents. Why should we foolishly continue to live and die as wild olive trees? A wild olive tree, even if it lives a thousand years, will only continue producing the seeds of more wild olive trees. Where can we find the path to escape this vicious cycle? It is through the Holy Blessing…

The speech included plans to build tunnel through the Bering Straits, “where Satan has historically divided east and west”, as well as various other construction projects designed to bring the world together. In the months that followed, Moon travelled the world setting up branches of the UPF; in December he reached the Philippines, where the Manila Bulletin reported:

World peace advocate and staunch supporter of interfaith cooperation Rev. Sun Myung Moon yesterday praised President Arroyo and Speaker Jose de Venecia for their pioneering efforts in pushing global interfaith dialogue that has won the approval of the United Nations.

Moon is in the country to open the inaugural convocation of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in Manila.

Together with peace leaders that included Neil Bush, younger brother of US President George W. Bush, Moon arrived yesterday as part of a 100-day tour that is taking him to 100 cities in 67 nations and covering a journey of almost 100,000 miles.

The links between Moon and the Bush family have been well-documented, and do not need repeating here. Of more interest is the fact that around the world dozens of politicians, including former heads of state, have enthusiastically endorsed both the UPF and its founder, and that thousands of high-achievers have accepted the title of “Ambassador for Peace” from the organisation. This is a remarkable success story, and, if the UPF itself is to be credited, is of global significance.

There are, of course, already a number of blogs that consider Moon’s significance in the USA and monitor the affairs of his Unification Church: sites run by John Gorenfeld and Scoobie Davis are probably the best-known. However, besides myself I don’t think anyone has been keeping a watch on the trickle of global news reports concerning the UPF. This blog – a spin-off from my Notes on Religion blog – is an attempt to chronicle this fascinating development.

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