n my long work as a university professor and a journalist I have had the opportunity to meet, speak to face to face, and hear in close proximity world-famous scientists, Nobel laureates, philosophers, political leaders and religious leaders from around the world.
However, among all these meetings one of the most memorable was the August 2000 Assembly of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace in New York, inspired and organized by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and dedicated to the renovation of the UN for the cause of world peace. It happened that I was the only representative of my little country, Bulgaria.
During this assembly I finally got the opportunity to see, hear and speak with one of the most authoritative persons of the contemporary world, a true missionary and apostle of peace—Rev. Moon. I listened to two of his remarkable speeches in the UN building and spoke to him for a couple of minutes at his home near New York City during the warm and affectionate reception which he held for the participants in the assembly. In the best meaning of the word, I was truly shocked by this charismatic and natural, magnetic and charming person.
His ideas about real family and real love, about building the culture of peace, about tolerance and dialogue between religions and civilizations, about human rights and the rights of the different ethnic, religious, racial, linguistic and cultural minorities, and about the indestructibility of our faith in God echoed very strongly and deeply in me. As a philosopher and researcher and also as a member of the minority Catholic community in an Orthodox Christian country, I often observe hostile acts of religious fundamentalists towards people of other traditions and even more towards new religious movements. These cases are unfortunately not rare.
My participation in Assembly 2000 and my unforgettable encounter with Rev. Moon remain among the most significant events in my life as a scientist, lecturer and public figure. The books of Rev. Moon are now my invariable reading, along with the Bible and the classical philosophical texts. On the basis of this considerable personal experience, I can say with easy conscience that the depth of the discussions, the warm atmosphere, and the variety and wealth of new ideas and concrete suggestions make participating in these meetings a real pleasure and aesthetic experience. This is undoubtedly due to the influence of Rev. Moon and the enthusiasm with which he stands up for the cause of peace, love and brotherhood among people.
During Assembly 2000, Rev. Moon talked about building the culture of peace, creating zones of peace, and establishing a council of religious and scientific leaders connected to the UN.
Running throughout Rev. Moon's teachings is his strong conviction that the answer to all human problems must start with an understanding of God. In his speech "How World Peace Can Be Achieved," given to the distinguished scientists of the 1980 International Conference on the Unity of Sciences (ICUS) in Miami Beach, Florida, Rev. Moon said:
First of all, we must be completely clear about the problems regarding the Absolute being and His motive and purpose for the creation of mankind and the universe. The motivation and the purpose of the creation serve as irreplaceable standards for the practice of love and the establishment of peace.
Before any plans for peace are put into operation, first there should be a definite purpose. An action without a purpose is useless. That purpose should come from the Absolute being. To give explanation of the Absolute being means to have a true conception about God.
When His motive and purpose of creation is made clear, we will understand why we should practice the love of this Absolute being as the first and necessary condition to achieve peace….
Selflessly devoted to the cause of peace between individuals, families, nations, and the whole world, Rev. Moon fervently preaches and works for the triumph of the culture of peace and love over the widespread culture of death, hate and conflict. Of special merit is his work for the recovery of political stability and democratic principles in Central America, the decrease of tensions between North and South Korea, the elimination of political and economical totalitarianism in Eastern Europe, and the consolidation of the efforts of NGOs and civil society all around the world in the name of establishing a true and lasting brotherhood of nations, peoples, cultures, denominations, races and classes.
It is my deep conviction that Rev. Moon is concerned about the fate of the Balkan region, which is complicated because of accumulated history and persistent interethnic and interreligious tensions.
The great German philosopher Hegel underlined in his philosophical conception of the historical process that in crucial times history needs universal persons, the worthiest representatives of mankind. They surpass even the most talented people, because they see further into the future and know what mankind should do to achieve the absolute good.
In today’s crucial times, when the challenges before mankind are tremendous, persons like Rev. Moon are not only a culmination of history but also messengers of God, His ambassador among people. And with such persons as Rev. Moon, we can live with more confidence in our strengths as well as in our inner spiritual resources.
After my first meeting with Rev. Moon in New York, I have experienced a constant reconfirmation of my impressions of his amazing personality and work as I participate in more meetings of global importance where I have heard him speak. My most recent meeting with Rev. Moon was in Geneva, Switzerland—a city, according to his words, with a significant history regarding the connection between the religious and the political circles. It happened exactly on my sixty-first birthday.
While I was listening to Rev. Moon, I had the strong feeling that I was getting reborn and walking with him to a wonderful world of peace, love and the triumph of the new true family, conceived by the True Parents, who came with the anointing of God to "establish the kingdom of the peaceful, ideal world, where all people can live everywhere hand in hand."
Rev. Moon’s philosophy of tolerance and unification has been revitalizing and enhancing me and my family spiritually. Brought up in the atmosphere of a true Catholic family, I did not hesitate to connect my life forever with a woman from the Orthodox Church.
What’s more, under the positive influence of Rev. Moon’s ideas about intercultural and interreligious interchange, as father and mother we accepted that our only daughter, who was baptized a Catholic, would marry a man from Lebanon who is a Shiite Muslim. In this way, we followed the admonition of Rev. Moon that the "best way to give birth to a sinless generation and build an ideal family is to receive the Holy Blessing with a partner from another race, nationality or religion."
My family and I are truly happy, and no power could divert us from the deep and fundamental understanding that this type of marriage contributes to overcoming the racial, cultural, national and ethnic barriers, thus creating a united human family.