ver the last twenty years, we have come to appreciate the work that has been undertaken by your movement, which has enriched the religious consciousness of humankind. Your movement has distinguished itself in so many areas, but I would like to concentrate on five. These include renewal of the sacred and interfaith harmony, the academy, the media, human services, and spiritual awakening in secular realms of leadership.
Even though Rev. Moon’s movement might be considered by students of comparative religions to be only a small but growing plant in the garden of world religions, its fruits have far outstripped the expectations of many observers in the sphere of religious development. This movement has served as an effective platform for persons and leaders of all religions of significance around the planet.
I myself have benefited immeasurably, having been afforded the chance while a guest at Rev. Moon’s conferences to interact personally and intimately with Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and members of so many other communities. This is thanks to Rev. Moon and the international programs for the enrichment and enhancement of religious consciousness.
Furthermore, we must remain aware constantly that it is only through Rev. Moon that the possibility arose for men and women like me who came from Africa to be offered such opportunities. This includes those of us Africans who eventually came to spend most of our years in the West.
Closely related to providing this provision and platform for interreligious dialogue is the creation of a greater understanding between the races—an ideal sought everywhere, but accomplished virtually nowhere as genuinely as under the auspices of Unificationism. Through this movement the Adamite paradigm has been globalized in the sense that theism and humanism became intertwined in the unity of humankind. No religious group exists anywhere on earth which embodies this spirit of unity more thoroughly and elegantly than the Unificationist movement.
The third factor in the religious world is the Unificationist concern for the maintenance of purity with respect to family. This accomplishment cannot be taken for granted today. Unificationists excel in their response to the burgeoning laxity in the discipline to keep the family whole and pure. This movement has elevated the family to the highest level recommended by biblical standards in an age where sexual license has been justified by the competing paradigms. Furthermore, Unificationists are on the side of common sense on this issue, opposed on either side to fanaticism or licentiousness. They neither make a taboo out of what is allowable and significant, nor are they idolaters of sexual practice in the manner of much of popular culture.
In the field of advancing the frontiers of knowledge, Rev. Moon excelled once again. I recall the first Unification meeting I ever attended. It was a 1980 meeting of the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences. (Interestingly, Rev. Moon predicted—against conventional wisdom—the election of President Ronald Reagan!) At this meeting I, as a young scholar stood with my mouth agape to find myself surrounded by some of the most preeminent Muslim scholars in the world at that time: such people as Syed Hussein Nasr of George Washington University; Ismail Al Farouqi, professor of religion at Temple University; Ahurshid Ahmad from Pakistan; the internationally renowned Dr. Francis Botchway, and others.
There is no argument that Rev. Moon convened some of the best minds from around the world, including Nobel laureates and pioneers in knowledge and research. There was a widespread adage in the academy, "Unification might be small, but they have the largest Rolodex of scholars in the world." The record of the International Conferences on the Unity of the Sciences for the years of its activity will stun future researchers. This commitment to higher education continued on many fronts including the Professors World Peace Academy, and now is manifesting itself in permanent, and increasingly, internationally recognized institutions of higher learning such as Sun Moon University in Korea, and the University of Bridgeport, in the Northeast Corridor of the United States.
Like the Christian Scientists, who have now established themselves worldwide through The Christian Science Monitor, the same thing has happened with Unificationism, only perhaps more so. Rev. Moon, an Asian (not a white American), established a challenge to the prevailing media in the world’s most powerful capital, Washington D.C. With the formation of The Washington Times, he succeeded in establishing an international newspaper, which is now quoted globally for opinions regarding policy out of Washington.
The Washington Times journalists are well established among their peers in the Washington press corps and internationally. Also in The Washington Times family of media is the magazine World and I, which must be recognized for its startling achievements. World and I is an important intellectual vehicle for the dissemination of pure knowledge in the areas of science, and culture.
The list of magazines and newspapers founded and maintained by Rev. Moon is commanding. He established the first newspaper which transcended national boundaries in Latin America, Tiempos del Mundo, runs major dailies in Korea and Japan, and acquired United Press International. This means that Rev. Moon’s vision of an honest and fair media aimed at uplifting both the human and the divine has a broad capacity to grow and expand.
Because Rev. Moon’s contribution to intellectual and leadership life has been so daunting, some people are not aware of the full extent of his stake in the area of relief work, social service, and emergency aid to provide food, shelter, and medicine for displaced and war-ravaged populations. Additionally, virtually all of this relief work is structured in such a way as to integrate education, and interreligious and interracial experience for those working on the service projects.
Virtually everyone in this world has felt the outreach of Rev. Moon’s projects to uplift the weak, the poor, and the helpless. Organizations such as the International Relief Friendship Foundation and the Religious Youth Service have worked from Rome to Tonga, from Atlanta to Uganda. This movement has cast its net of care far and wide, including Africa, Europe and Asia. Here we see a humble and sacrificial work in God’s name, serving less fortunate members of humankind.
This is a timely and extremely important contribution by sensitizing public policymakers to religious leaders. The implementation of this lifelong vision of Rev. Moon is being carried out at an astonishing pace under the auspices of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, now the Universal Peace Federation. This brings the feet of the political policymakers to the fire of religious consciousness in an effective and vigorously pursued program. People who are not aware of the program and activities of the UPF are missing an historical moment of prophetic proportions.
One can do little more to serve humankind than to remind social and political leaders of their responsibility to God and to human beings. I had the great privilege to speak at these conferences a couple of times. It is humbling to be in the position to remind those in social and political power of their responsibility. Through this, one can feel all the more so the weight of Rev. Moon’s lifelong burden of responsibility. What he has accomplished in a lifetime would have taken others a thousand years to accomplish. It is remarkable for one man to have so many achievements. That is the difference between us human beings. That is the measure of the man.