Now is the time when all the world’s religions ought to feel keenly a central responsibility for the realization of world peace and take action for this purpose. The future happiness of humankind cannot be achieved through the pursuit of economic prosperity alone, but by overcoming conflicts between ideologies, between cultures and between races through interreligious understanding and spiritual harmony. Therefore, the main theme of my message at this inaugural assembly of the Interreligious Federation for World Peace is the mission of religion in the establishment of world peace.
According to the ideal of creation, mind and body unite within an ideal individual in response to God’s true love. The world of the mind and the world of the body, which are extensions of the individual’s mind and body, need to also come into a harmonious relationship. Religion and philosophy represent the world of the mind, and politics and economics represent the world of the body. Just as mind is in the subject-partner and leading position, and the body is in the object-partner position to harmonize with the mind, religion and politics ought to achieve harmony and unity in a subject-object partnership. Otherwise, the ideal society cannot be created.
We must repent that religions themselves, representing the world of the mind, have not fulfilled their responsibility for bringing about a peaceful world. Religions in their current state struggle to find the life force necessary for leading and purifying the world, and in fact are going against their original mission. Each religion needs to revitalize its internal purity and life force through God’s true love, reform itself in a determined way, and develop harmonious relationships with other religions according to God’s Will of true love.
Devotion to God and God’s great Will of true love is the mission of each religion. As such, the prosperity of each religious organization alone cannot be the purpose of religion. God demands that we come to know His Will for saving the world and that we practice it in our lives. This is more important than studying scriptures or observing religious ceremonies. Religions, for too long, have failed to relate to the living God and to bear witness clearly. The God that I know has no attachment to the content of doctrines that are put together according to human logic. Since God is the origin and Parent of us all, God does not discriminate between races or between religions.
Therefore, religious believers need to completely follow God’s Will of true love to realize the ideal world of peace and the salvation of all people. Given the contemporary reality, religious people should not lead comfortable lives. Instead they are supposed to go the way of a living faith, centered on true love and true-life energy, in conversation with the living God. This cannot be achieved in the prevailing atmosphere of religion today. Unprecedented change on a global level is needed, through the inspiring power of all religions joined together in a movement of a new dimension.
The hypocrisy of those religious people who were not sincere in their practice of God’s true love has led to the proliferation of atheism. This world must be changed. Each religion has to make efforts to purify itself and to become the leading actor in a new movement of reform. All religions need to leave behind the pursuit of their own benefit and take up the cause of world salvation that God hopes for. They must stand on the front line in the effort to eliminate poverty, disease and crime in the world, becoming a bright light in this dark world of the Last Days, and therefore teach and guide leaders in every field, such as politics, economics and social work.
|Extract from the speech "Religion’s Mission for World Peace" given by Dr Sun Myung Moon on August 27, 1991, Little Angels Performing Arts Center, Seoul, Korea, Inaugural Assembly of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace.|