By Byron Mutingwende
Reverend Bakary Camara, the Africa Regional Chairman of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) has said Dr. Sun Myung Moon had a mission to unite the human family under God.
Reverend Camara was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of FFWPU at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare on 15 April 2018.
He said the FFWPU is the flagship and dream of our Founders Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon that were affectionately called Father and Mother Moon. The late Father Moon had an encounter with God and the Lord Jesus Christ on Easter morning of April 17, 1935 while praying by the mountaintop at the age of 15. God and Jesus explained and revealed to him many hidden secrets.
“That divine encounter ignited Father Moon’s ministry as Jesus told him that he was chosen to ease and relieve the suffering heart of God, our Heavenly Parent, by bringing all humanity back to Him. Why is the Almighty God, a God of suffering? He lost His children to Satan at the outset of human history, when our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, fell. Since then, Father Moon’s mission has been to unite the human family under God,” Rev Camara said.
In 1960, Dr. Sun Myung Moon married Hak Ja Han and together they have succeeded to establish on earth the ideal of a true family centred on God. Despite all the persecutions and rejections they encountered, they never gave up. According to Dr. Richard Lowell Rubenstein, a historian of religion, history will record that Father Moon is the first religious founder who has succeeded to establish a worldwide movement in his own lifetime! This could not have been possible without the support of God and Jesus Christ as well as that of all the other religious founders that Father and Mother Moon respect very much.
In November 1985, Father and Mother Moon launched the first Assembly of World Religions at MacAfe, New Jersey, in the United States of America. In his founder’s address, Father Moon said, “As far as I know, God is not sectarian. He is not obsessed with minor details of doctrine. We should quickly liberate ourselves from theological conflict, which results from blind attachment to doctrines and rituals, and instead focus on living communication with God.
“I think we urgently need to purify the religious atmosphere into one in which believers can have living faith and every soul can communicate with God. In God’s parental Heart and His great love, there is no discrimination based on colour or nationality. There are no barriers between countries or cultural traditions, between East and West, North and South. Today God is trying to embrace the whole of humankind as His children. Through interreligious dialogue and harmony we should realise one ideal world of peace, which is God’s purpose of creation and the common ideal of humankind.”
Dr. Moon had three hopes for his FFWPU Assembly. First, that the world’s religious traditions respect each other and at least work to keep in check any inter-religious conflicts and wars. Second, that the Assembly serves the world by becoming a cooperative community of religions. It will hopefully agree upon and make resolutions calling religious people to practical action, encouraging all people to live by God-centred values, and fostering the development of human minds and spirits. Third, that the Assembly develops into an organisation in which the major leadership of all religions participate.
Father and Mother Moon’s philosophy of peace is clear and based on the biblical verse of Gen. 1:28 “Be fruitful, multiply and have dominion…” They teach that our first ancestors were created to first grow to maturity (be fruitful) by uniting they mind and body centered on God, then create an ideal family (multiply), and love and take good care of the environment as co-creators (dominion).
“I met Father and Mother Moon for the first time in 1978 and studied their philosophy of peace for more than 30 years. The essence I got is thus, 1) peace starts from myself (mind and body unity – self-discipline) 2) the Family is the school of love and peace (husband and wife unity – absolute fidelity, parents and children unity – absolute trust.) 3) Love and take care of nature or the environment as good stewards. This is the roadmap for peace in the family, society, nation and world. Father and Mother Moon have practiced this throughout their lives. They are encouraging us to follow suit.
“They have made the strengthening of marriages and families the central part of their ministry. They believe that today’s families issues stem from the fact that the first historical family failed to become Godly. The family is a divine design and an institution created by God. Anything affecting the family has far-reaching spiritual and physical consequences. Just to give an example, today’s conflicts in the Middle East are the consequences of the fact that Hagar and Sarah could not agree and love one another. Their descendants from generation to generation have been perpetuating this conflict. Please work on solving family problems. That’s the foundation for peace and development.”
Almost six years ago, Father Moon ascended to the spiritual world and since then, Mother Moon took over. She has been investing all her energy to continue the work they have been doing together. Last November, under her leadership, 300 religious leaders from all faith traditions and the world over resolved:
“To overcome the divisive tendencies that may emerge within religion, and to work to promote dialogue, mutual respect and cooperation so that we may more effectively work to solve the critical challenges of our time, including poverty, hunger, injustice, environmental degradation, family breakdown, corruption, conflict and violence.” And “On this day, November 13, 2017, we endorse the proposal to establish a new interreligious association, known provisionally as the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development.”
On January 18-19, 2018, at the Africa Summit in Dakar, Senegal, African religious leaders heard the call and launched the IAPD on the continent. During that period, Mother Moon, called on all African leaders to join her in building a New and Shiny Africa, an Africa that follows and is united with God. She made a special prayer for the liberation of the spirits of the slaves at Goree Island and freed them so that they too can join in this noble goal and vision of building together an Africa, which is no more “dark” but “bright” and respected by all humanity.
Reverend Camara said that the mission of FFWPU will only be fulfilled if people learn to go beyond their individual denomination or faith tradition by living for the sake of Zimbabwe, Africa and the world.