UPF to Build Football Stadium on Israel-West Bank “Green Line”

From the Jerusalem Post:

Land disputes with Israel’s neighbors may take a long time to resolve, but MK Shakib Shanan (Labor) hopes that talks held Thursday with Palestinian Authority officials over a small piece of turf will enable big strides in normalizing relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

…Shanan visited Ramallah on Thursday afternoon to gauge Palestinian support for a soccer stadium that its sponsors hope will help draw Palestinians and Israelis together on – literally – a level playing field.

The project is the brain-child of the Peace Dream Foundation and the Universal Peace Foundation…

[Shanan] became involved in the project shortly before he was appointed to the Knesset to replace former MK Efraim Sneh on May 28, when he traveled to South Korea to watch a woman’s soccer tournament sponsored by the Peace Dream Foundation.

In Korea, Shanan said he found large support for continued soccer-for-peace initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians, including from Dr. Chung Mong-Joon, head of the Korean Football Association.

It will not be a big surprise to learn that the “Peace Dream Foundation” used to be known as the “Sun Moon Peace Football Foundation”, and is yet another brainchild of Rev Moon. It organises a regular “Peace Cup” football tournament which has brought numerous foreign teams to South Korea.

The UPF and the “Third Vatican Council”

From the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation:

Ex-communicated Catholic Archbishop, Emmanuel Milingo says the Movement for Married Priests is in the process of establishing the third Vatican Council to shape the future of the renewed Catholic Church.

Archbishop Milingo said the third Vatican Council will be launched in South Korea before the end of this month.

He told ZNBC news shortly before he and his wife Maria Sung left for South Korea that proposals for the foundation have already been made.

Archbishop Milingo also said the movement is preparing for the Universal
Peace Federation meeting.

…The Archbishop, 78, leads 150,000 married priests across the world.

Of course, the fact that the “Third Vatican Council” will be held in South Korea underlines that Rev Moon and the Unification Church will be the real guiding hand of the meeting. The UPF – which purports to bring together people of faith – has sponsored Milingo’s splinter from the Roman Catholic Church from the beginning. As the Times of Zambia reported last December:

A SPLINTER Catholic Church called the Catholic Apostolic National Church of Zambia has been launched with Archbishop-elect, Luciano Mbewe, calling for more priests to join the church and fulfill their God-given role by marrying…Archbishop Mbewe said during the ceremony held at Peace Embassy that there were moments that the priests hoped the restoration of married priests would be made possible.

The “Peace Embassy” is run by the UPF.

However, the Catholic News Service claims that Milingo has lost much of his popularity:

“As archbishop (of Lusaka) he could fill a football stadium, but now he is easily able to use the conference room of the motel he is staying in to hold his healing ceremonies. That tells the story,” Father Joe Komakoma, general secretary of the Zambia Episcopal Conference, said in a June 3 telephone interview with Catholic News Service from the Zambian capital, Lusaka.While “the media is still fascinated by him,”Archbishop Milingo “is largely ignored by Zambian Catholics now that he is no longer a member of the church,” Father Komakoma said.

… Father Komakoma said there is no evidence to back Archbishop Milingo’s claims that up to 100 former priests in Zambia have joined his movement.”You would think this visit would bring them out but it hasn’t happened,” the priest said, noting that he “has spoken to at least 10 ex-priests who want nothing to do with” Archbishop Milingo.

So much for that “150,000”, then…

Malasyian Minister and Five Vice-Chancellors Become Ambassadors for Peace

The Malaysia Star reports on a UPF-sponsored conference for academics:

The conference, themed “Culture of Heart through Character Education”, was held in Kuala Lumpur and attended by more than 200 academics from public and private universities.

In his keynote address, [Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk] Idris encouraged the participants to make concerted efforts towards nation-building through character education.

“For our global reality to be reconfigured, universities and higher education institutions should assume an even more prominent role as promoters of the crucial values that are the glue of society,” he said.

Idris and five university vice-chancellors then received Ambassador for Peace certificates (these bear Rev Moon’s signature), and there was a speech from “UPF Asia peace education director Dr Robert Kittel”.

Also present at the event were UPF senior adviser Dr Yoo Choong Young and Pure Love and True Family Malaysia for World Peace president Tan Sri Zaleha Ismail.

UK Councillor Criticised for UPF Link

One from the UK, where the Watford Observer reports that a Liberal Democrat local councillor has has to fend off criticism after attending a UPF conference in Seoul:

Councillor [Janet] Baddeley…said she was invited through her peace work with the council, where she is a regular face at community events across the town. She also does a lot of volunteer work.

She said: “This particular organisation does a lot of good work in this country.

“Where I was in South Korea, I was mixing with senators, archbishops – different people from all round the world.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it. I met people from all faiths and cultures. I learnt an awful lot.”

She said: “If they’re trying to say they’re the Moonies from the 1960s, that’s not right. It was about bringing communities together to learn about each other and work alongside each other.

“It may have been their ethos in the 1960s, but not now. They don’t come across as a cult now. They’re ordinary people with ordinary jobs.

Baddeley is of the view that those who have raised concerns are “trying to cause mischief.”

Actually, I agree with Baddeley’s view that the UPF attracts many decent and public-spirited people who wish to do good, and that Unificationists are indeed “ordinary people”. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the UPF exists primarily for the PR purposes of a man with a religio-political agenda which most people would find alarming. And if the UPF is simply about “bringing communities together”, why is it sponsoring the development of a breakaway Roman Catholic Church in Africa, led by the very clerics whom Baddeley met in South Korea?