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Interfaith Programs

UPF-Portugal Broadcasts to Angola’s Radio Tocoíst

Portugal-2023-08-03-UPF-Portugal Broadcasts to Angola’s Radio Tocoíst

Lisbon, Portugal—The president of UPF-Portugal, Dr. Sérgio Vieira, spoke to listeners of Radio Tocoíst in Angola.

His talk, given on August 3, 2023, was part of the radio station’s “Peace and Responsible Citizenship” segment.

Following is an English translation of Dr. Vieira’s talk. At the end there is a link to a recording of the presentation in the original Portuguese.

The Seven Great World Leaders and Activists for Peace and Responsible Citizenship

Dear listeners of Radio Tocoíst of Angola! It is with immense pleasure and joy that we are here once again, on behalf of the Universal Peace Federation, an ECOSOC NGO (meaning, with a seat at the United Nations) with headquarters in over 160 nations, originating in South Korea, and with the aim of fostering peace, brotherhood, equity, and harmony worldwide. My name is Sérgio Vieira, and I am the national president of this institution in Portugal.

I am here to offer moments of inspiration and reflection in the usual segment "Peace and Responsible Citizenship," promoted by the Universal Peace Federation of Angola and kindly provided at the invitation of this noble Radio Tocoíst in Angola.

Today I will speak about “Inspiring Global Leaders Who Promoted Peace and Reconciliation in the World.” The message, therefore, will be about "The Seven Great World Leaders and Activists for Peace and Responsible Citizenship."

Let us delve into the lives of seven great world leaders and activists from various spheres who left an immeasurable legacy in promoting peace and citizenship in their communities and the world. Throughout history, they faced numerous difficulties, misunderstandings, persecution, and injustices while trying to convey their messages of peace and reconciliation. Many even endured imprisonment and suffering for the sake of humanity. However, their struggles and sacrifices were not in vain, as they gained national and international recognition for their accomplishments.

Let's begin with Jesus Christ, a unique and central figure in Christianity for millions of people worldwide. He, who represented interreligious harmony so well, preached love, forgiveness, compassion, and reconciliation. Nevertheless, he faced opposition from many religious leaders and political authorities of his time, leading to his unjust arrest and death. But his message of peace transcended all boundaries, and even centuries after his departure, it continues to inspire countless hearts.

Let us also talk about Mother Teresa of Calcutta, an extraordinary woman who devoted her life to humanitarian work, serving the most needy. As the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, she worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of the poor and underprivileged. Despite the challenges and resistance she encountered, she never wavered in her commitment to peace and human dignity.

Born in India, Mahatma Gandhi led movements of peaceful resistance against British colonial oppression. He endured imprisonment and persecution, but his vision of nonviolence and peace led to India's independence and served as an inspiration for the civil rights movement worldwide.

Martin Luther King Jr. was another unforgettable leader and a powerful voice in the struggle for civil rights and racial equality in the United States. He faced a series of adversities, including unjust arrests and death threats. However, his nonviolent leadership and his dream of a better world for all echoed around the world, leaving a lasting impact on history.

Nelson Mandela, a leader in the political and social arena, was a symbol of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and spent many years in prison for advocating equality and peace among different ethnic groups. His persistence and the forgiveness that he showed to apartheid leaders brought a new dawn to his country, proving that peace and reconciliation are possible even in the most challenging and unjust situations.

Now it's time to celebrate another great and courageous leader, closer to us, "who knows what Christ said": Simão Gonçalves Toco (1918-1984), who in 1949 founded the Church of Jesus Christ in the World, commonly known as the Tocoíst Church. This leader played a fundamental role in the pursuit of peace and citizenship in what is now called Angola, contributing to the country's independence and spiritualizing not only Angola but also many African nations and even reaching Europe and Asia.

The legacy of Simão Toco, who also was imprisoned and unjustly treated, is an inspiring source for the Tocoíst community and beyond. Even though they faced challenges and misunderstandings, they continued to advocate for values such as peace, social justice, and solidarity, in the name of "our God who is greater than all gods," something that also has been greatly appreciated in the Christian culture of the Tocoíst Church, that of men and women dressed in the white of peace.

Considering all of humanity, unfortunately, we can count these few global citizens of peace on our fingers. But let's complete the list with the founders of the Unification Movement, the late Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012) and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon (now 80 years old and still in firm and fruitful leadership of this extraordinary peace movement). This movement has existed since 1954 and includes not only the Universal Peace Federation but also the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, the Women's Federation for World Peace, and many other international organizations founded with the goal of promoting peace, reconciliation, and unity among peoples and nations.

One of the main causes of this Unification Movement is the promotion of the family as a fundamental nucleus for building a healthy and harmonious society. It is based on the belief that humanity is one great human family under one God, as Heavenly Parent, and that through love and mutual understanding we can overcome the barriers that separate us and build a world of peace and harmony. However, the innovative Christian message and the extraordinary activities of this couple brought them distrust and persecution from some authorities and communities, even leading their leader to unjust imprisonment six times, including three years in a communist concentration camp.

Nevertheless, this couple, often referred to by many world leaders as Father and Mother Moon, have become widely respected for their efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in various spheres of society. Their accomplishments and messages have had a truly universal reach (especially through the Universal Peace Federation), encompassing various fields, from interfaith and political to academic, media, humanitarian, climate sustainability, civil society, and many others. Through their proclaimed principles of interdependence, mutual prosperity, and universally shared values, they have touched hearts around the world, including many heads of state and government.

The union between the Tocoíst Church and the Universal Peace Federation, as an interreligious NGO in Angola and also in Portugal, is an example of a special brotherhood and fraternal collaboration for common causes. His Holiness Father Mayamona, the embodiment of Prophet Simão Toco, together with the founders of UPF, Father Moon and Mother Moon, have been working side by side to spread the importance of peace, reconciliation, and responsible citizenship. Both organizations share the vision of building a more united and harmonious world through the promotion of peace, family, and environmental protection.

In this radio program, we cannot cover the full magnitude and scope of the actions of these seven great leaders and activists, but we hope that the stories offered here will inspire all of us to engage in promoting a fairer, more peaceful, and more supportive world.

I conclude here with a message of love and hope, reminding that each one of us has the power to be a transformative agent in our community and in the world. Both the founders and their followers who persevere in righteousness and follow the example of these great leaders will undoubtedly bring the victory and success that the Almighty God desires for this wonderful world He has created and for His precious and beloved children, human beings. May peace and responsible citizenship always be the compass guiding our actions, and may our interreligious, intercultural, and international unity make us stronger to heal this world, which is currently at the end of a cycle and undergoing a paradigm shift.

I speak these words on behalf of the Universal Peace Federation of Portugal, and certainly they are also the words of Radio Tocoíst of Angola. I thank all the listeners for joining us on this journey of peace and responsible citizenship, because together we can make a difference!

Until the next program—may peace always be in our hearts!

We are together, and together we always will be stronger on the side of Good! Amen and ADJU!

We are together!

Audio "Global Leaders for Peace and Reconciliation":

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_Ivt3XaJqngEPdChoC-B41X3unRx0V2e/view?usp=drivesdk

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