Global Peace Festival Faces PR Problem in Solomon Islands

Oh dear – from the Solomon Times:

Church leaders in Honiara are calling on all Christians in Honiara, and throughout the country, not to attend Reverend Moon’s Global Peace Festival planned for this Saturday at the Lawson Tama Stadium.

…Church leaders have told their congregations that Rev. Sun Myung Moon had undermined “the finished work of Christ on the Cross and what Moon is doing is the work of the Devil and the Anti-Christ.”…Christian ministries and organizations are unanimous in their call for a boycott of the Global Peace Festival and their description of Reverend Moon as the “Devil and the Anti-Christ, the end time figure spoken off in the Book of Revelation.”

The Catholic Church in the Philippines has expressed a similarly negative view of Moon’s “anti-Christ” activities.

(Hat tip: Moon Tribune)


Peace Festivals Round-Up

I’ve blogged some of the UPF Global Peace Festivals (UK here and here; USA here; Mongolia here); here are some reports from other locations.

The Philippines, from The News Today:

The Global Peace Festival held here Nov. 17-19 became controversial after the Roman Catholic church withdrawn their support and manifested their strong opposition to it.

The Catholic church even announced on Sunday mass calling people not to support the said festival since it is anti-Christ.

However, organizers denied they are anti-Christ saying that they are bringing people to “One Family under God” regardless of whatever religion they have.

 Japan, from the UPI:

The Japan festival, hosted by the Universal Peace Federation and other nonprofit organizations, was held Saturday in Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo, with roughly 50,000 participants and delegates from 43 countries.

…The motto Moon emphasized at the Tokyo gathering was “One Family under God,” defining it as a spiritual vision, rooted in time-enduring values, principles and aspirations. The idea is one he has inherited from his father, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who is the founder of the Unification Church and News World Communications, Inc.

…Jose De Venecia Jr., former speaker of the House of Representatives in the Philippines, underscored the importance of interfaith cooperation beyond the national, racial or religious boundaries that humankind has created.

…One urgent issue for Moon, who was born in South Korea and grew up in the United States, is the unification of North and South Korea. He urged Japan, where more than 600,000 North and South Koreans live, to support reconciliation. The two communities within Japan have been seen as a symbol of the Korean peninsula’s conflict.

Among those present in Japan was Ogtai Rustamov, of the World Congress of Azerbaijanis. De Venecia, meanwhile, is a long-standing Moon ally.

Kenya, from the Bay Area Family Church:

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his wife Ida introduce UPF Co-Chair Dr. Hyun Jin Moon to a large crowd of Kenyan youth and families at the Global Peace Festival in Nairobi.

…”This is an important day for Kenya and for Africa,” said Odinga, “It is a new beginning in the quest for our nation to be once again known as a nation of peace and security…The Universal Peace Federation and the Global Peace Festival are doing great things in Kenya,”

…Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, co-chair of the UPF and founder of the Global Peace Festival Initiative delivered the GPF keynote address. Dr. Moon, who is the third son of the international spiritual leaders and peacemakers Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, urged Kenyans to take pride in their nation and Africa’s role as the cradle of civilization.

 I blogged on the London events here and here.

The Solomon Islands, from Solomon Star News:

HUNDREDS of youths cleaned up Honiara at the weekend.

Rebekah Stone of the Global Peace Festival told the Solomon Star the clean was done mainly along Honiara’s main streets.

…The clean up is part of programmes held in the lead up to a peace festival next weekend at Lawson Tama.

An earlier report from the same source adds:

 The director of Global Peace Festival, Gregory Stone, said they are working in partnership with NGOs, Government ministries, churches and other stakeholders.

…Youth Programme Coordinator, Jerome Bellavance said the goal of the ‘HIV/AIDS Awareness and Character Education’ programme is to make Partnerships with all the Schools in Honiara and the Department of Education.

“This Partnership is for all on-going programmes relating to HIV/AIDS Awareness and Character Education with all Schools and the Department of Education,” Mr Bellavance said.


Son of Rev Moon Talks to International Politicians at UK Parliament

Ugandan journalist Robert Egwea reports from the UK Parliament, where a committee room recently hosted a “Plenary Session of the International Leadership Conference”. Egwea reports that the event was opened by David Anderson MP, and attendees included Amjad Al Majid (a Jordanian MP), Ahmad Tejan Kabbah (a former president of Sierra Leone), Anton Rop (a former Prime Minister of Slovenia), Ida Betty Odinga (Chair of the League of Kenya Women Voters and wife of Raila Odinga), and Marcus Braybrooke (World Congress of Faiths). The Georgian Times adds the detail that “Dalila Khorava, the Minister of Healthcare of autonomous republic of Abkhazia” was also planning to attend.

Also present, of course, was Hyun Jin Moon, the son of Rev Moon, who emphasised his “One Family Under God” message.

I noted Kabbah back in May, after he gave a surprising speech in which he appeared to endorse Unification Church theology and Rev Moon’s claims to special spiritual significance. David Anderson at an International Leadership Conference in Kenya in August.

Lib Dem Home Affairs Spokesman to Share Stage with Rev Moon’s Son

The Guardian reports on tomorrow’s big event:

The Global Peace Festival, at the Excel Centre in the London docklands, is expected to attract thousands of activists from across Europe and features addresses from Preston Moon, the third son of the church’s founder, and Tom Brake, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman.

Brake, however, is hedging his bets:

“I don’t see eye to eye with their views but I don’t see any particular problem with speaking at their event, especially if it gives me an opportunity to challenge what Rev Moon advocates.”

We look forward to Brake’s theological critique of Unificationism.

Apparently some other British politicians have declined to involve themselves with the Universal Peace Federation:

Earlier this year, Shahid Malik, the minister for international development, pulled out of a Commons meeting organised by the UPF after learning of its links to the church. Julia Goldsworthy, the Lib Dem MP for Falmouth and Camborne also withdrew once she too became aware of the connection.