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Peace Education

Cameroon Hosts Seminar on Universal Principles

The beautiful Hotel Franco in downtown Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, was the venue for the May 4-5 seminar organized by the Universal Peace Federation-Cameroon Chapter, with 103 dignitaries in attendance. The theme "Universal Principles: the Foundation for Lasting Peace" was well received by participants from three nations: Central African Republic, Gabon, and Cameroon.

The first morning opened with prayer given by Pastor Ngi Mboua, followed by Hon. Francis Nkwain, former Minister of External Relations for Cameroon, who is currently Chairman of UPF-Cameroon Chapter. He stressed the importance of peace for the countries of central Africa. Prominent in the audience were religious leaders from both Muslim and Christian communities, mayors, current and former members of the National Assembly, diplomats from the Equatorial Guinea Embassy in Cameroon, and many heads of non-governmental organizations active in the region. University lecturers, business leaders, as well as 14 Traditional Rulers joined the gathering, swelling the seminar to overflowing.

Regional Director of UPF, Rev. Eiji Tokuno, gave opening remarks to state the purpose of this special seminar and introduced the philosophy, teaching and activities of Father and Mother Moon focusing on building a culture of peace.

The afternoon session focused on the worldwide achievements of the Founders in the year 2005. In describing UPF's plan for Africa in 2006, Rev. Tokuno spoke of the founders' love for Africa and its people, and the exchange program between African-American pastors and Africa. He spoke about preparations for the upcoming visit of Mother Moon and her son.

The second day of the seminar saw the arrival of additional guests. The Rev. Stephen Asong presented the main address: "Universal Principles as Foundation for Peace." For some guests, this was their first introduction to universal principles as a way to reconcile all religions. Many later expressed a better understanding the UPF's vision for world peace. One former Minister from the government of Cameroon wrote:

"I have been very impressed by the fact that UPF has no religious discrimination. All the teaching is based on the Principle of the establishment of world peace... With time, I think people have understood that the principle of peace which is promoted by Reverend Moon is one which can save this world of ours."

Also, in response to Rev. Asong's presentation, a participant noted:

"It has particularly captivated my attention because of its pertinence and accuracy. We can therefore understand why God created the world. But unfortunately today, this very creation is the cause of separation between God and itself for having violated the natural laws."

Dr. Gabriel Nkaku presented the HIV/AIDS program based on the UPF perspective emphasizing abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage. One university lecturer wrote:

"I am greatly impressed with the frankness with which we discussed the problem of HIV/AIDS. For the first time, I am going to preach that the condom is not the solution to HIV/AIDS. Thanks for added knowledge at the spiritual and physical levels."

Following the AIDS prevention session was the address by Rev. Ronald Atoh, "The Family as a School of Love," in which he explained the causes of human suffering from the sexual misconduct of our first human ancestors.

Participants had the opportunity to offer responses and to the brief but substantial content of the seminar presentations, and there were many favorable comments from the wide spectrum of guests. One university lecturer wrote:

"This conference has impressed me greatly and I believe it will not only change my life. It will change even the lives of my friends and family. The conference, I believe has created bridges where other denominations create separations. This is great!"

Finally the Chairman of UPF-Cameroon Chapter concluded saying, “There is no shelter somewhere called peace wherein we can go and escape war. Peace should be a living thing in living human beings.”

After a toast for peace, certificates were presented to 50 newly appointed Ambassadors for Peace, and the seminar closed with a joyful banquet and revival of hope and optimism for a bright future for peace in Africa. In the words of one participant, who seemed to be expressing the heart of many:

"This Seminar on the Foundation for Lasting Peace has been a very wonderful opportunity for all participants present to focus on God as the Creator, the Supreme Being and the Almighty. This seminar emphasized the fact that God is acknowledged and that as brothers and sisters with a common purpose of working together in a universal brotherhood for Peace for all mankind, we should remain united in True love.

This Search for World Peace can only be achieved through True Love of one another which breaks all earthly or human barriers of hatred, tribalism, racism, religious differences, and our social or cultural philosophies.

Learning to work together for World Peace for all humanity should be our lifelong goal. As it is our duty to make the world a better place to live in."

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