An end of the year global “Prayer Rally for Peace on the Korean Peninsula” was held December 5, 2021. The gathering was a prayer call for God to bring healing and restoration to the peninsula, which has been divided since the end of World War II. The hybrid event combined both remote and in-person attendance at the Cheongshim Peace World Center located about 20 miles outside Seoul, Korea. UPF sponsored the program which was attended by more than one million peacemakers from around the world.
Dr. Young-ho Yun, Secretary-General of the FFWPU International HQ, served as the emcee. Dr. Yun said, “The two Koreas remain divided but the separation is based on man-centered thought, so the solution is to apply a God-centered approach.” He reminded the audience that it was on December 6, 1991, 30 years ago, that UPF’s founders met North Korean Premier Kim Il Sung and opened the door towards the peaceful reunification of the peninsula.
Dr. Yun announced that UPF will host World Summit 2022 in Seoul, Korea on February 10-14, 2022 with the theme, “Toward Peace on the Korean Peninsula.” The Summit will include a one-million-person rally with representatives from the 157 countries with diplomatic ties to both Koreas.
Next on the program was a Unity Water Ceremony and prayers by interfaith leaders. Forty-two religious leaders participated on the stage in the reverent ceremony.
The welcome address was given by Pastor Paula White, Pastor, Televangelist; President, Paula White Ministries; Spiritual advisor to former U.S. President Donald Trump. She stated: “I am honored to participate in this historic prayer rally for the unification of the Korean peninsula.” Pastor White explained the Greek word, apokatastasis, meaning, “restoration,” to describe God’s work. “I believe God is restoring and reconstituting His people to His original intention.” She also compared these times to when Joshua led the people to march around the walls of Jericho. Similarly, “if faith leaders are united, then our prayers will go to heaven as a great shout,” and the man-made walls that divide us will come down.
Brief congratulatory video messages came from around the world, including: Hon. Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, who expressed his hope for the unification of Korea.
H.E. Goodluck Jonathan, Former President of the Republic of Nigeria, who said, “This prayer assembly is highly commendable. It is what the world needs now. Let us work for lasting peace.”
Sincere messages for the peaceful reunification were received from a host of distinguished leaders, including the following:
- Bishop Charles A. Hall, Founding Pastor, Prelate of Christian Ministries Far East, Japan
- Chief Priest Yoshihko Kaminaga, Christian Pastor, Japan
- Archbishop Chrysostomos Celi, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Orthodox Church of Ecuador and Latin America
- Bishop Luiz Edson, Founder, Church of the Married Founders, Brazil
- Humahyun A. Muhgal, Islamic Critic and International Journalist, Japan
- Prof. Singh Sahib Manjit Singh, Sikh Leader from Punjab State, India
- Dharmacharya Keshab Prasad Chaulagain, Secretary, Interfaith Council of Nepal
- Pastor Pavel Levushkan of the Lutheran Church of Latvia
- Ms. Seema Khan, Chairperson, Nepal Muslim Women Welfare Society, Nepal
- Father Albert Smith, Roman Catholic Priest, Soufriere Parish, St. Lucia
- Bishop Joseph Atherly, Christian Union Church of the Caribbean, Barbados
- Mrs. Mariam Kovaleva, Member of the Council of Ulema (Islamic Scholars)
- Rabbi Akiva Simja Fishman, Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Nicaragua
During the deeply moving prayer rally, three peace performances, including the famous Little Angels Children’s Folk Ballet and the Art Bul-I Troupe, provided entertainment for the heart and soul.
Other prominent world leaders representing more than 80 denominations in the 157 countries which have diplomatic relations with the two Koreas, expressed messages of peace and hope for a unified Korea, via video:
(Protestantism) Bishop Munib Younan, Former President of the Lutheran World Federation, and Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate (2020), pointed out that Korea is unique in being a majority Christian nation within Asia. He called on civil society and faith-based organizations to take action.
(Catholicism) His Eminence Cardinal Kelvin Felix, Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus of Castries, Dominica, prayed that the two Koreas would “live and work together as two lungs of the same body… may peace and harmony breathe among us as this is His mission for us.”
(Catholicism) Monseigneur Jacques Gaillot, Catholic Bishop of Partenia, France, prayed that with the sons and daughters of Abraham, with other believers and all people of good will, we will be able to tear down the walls that separate and remove the obstacles that prevent progress.
(Islam) Prof. Dr. K.H. Nassarudin Umar, Grand Imam, Istiqlal, National Mosque, Indonesia, said the problem of the peninsula affects the entire region, therefore, “we all must work together to resolve the resentment and bring about a peaceful nation, region and world. I pray for heavenly guidance and wisdom to open the door of unification and peace on the Korean peninsula.”
(Shintoism) Rev. Tokushu Murei, representing Japanese Shintoism, offered a prayer for the divided nations of the peninsula to become one.
(Hinduism) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Gurudev, Founder of the Art of Living Foundation, a humanitarian and educational NGO in Bangalore, India, said, “Whenever there is harmony among diversity, there is peace.” He expressed his gratitude to “those who are bringing peace and smiles to the faces of the Korean family. Let us celebrate the one world family.”
(Revelation Church) Prophet Samuel Radebe, Founder and Head of Revelation Church of God, South Africa, said 10 million people in Africa have joined this movement to pray for the reunification of the Korean peninsula. The way to overcome the challenges that we face begins when we invite Heavenly Parent into our hearts.
(Buddhism) Most Ven. Prof. Dr. Khy Sovanratana, Acting Rector, Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University, Kingdom of Cambodia, testified to the importance of unity among religious leaders and hope that the reunification of the Korean peninsula may be achieved soon.
Dr. Yun thanked the religious leaders for “going beyond their religions,” and bringing messages of hope and reconciliation. The 2nd set of prayers were from four religious leaders based in Korea:
- (Buddhism) Monk Ho-myeong
- (Christianity) Pastor Kim Yeong-wan
- (Islam) Dr. Hussein Kim Dong-eok
- (Unificationism) Rev. Lee Gi-seong
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, Co-founder, UPF and Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, shared her message and hope for peace. “In all areas of society, we can see division. Today’s world is characterized by selfishness. In particular, due to the COVID pandemic, in many aspects freedom of communication and understanding are being lost. The superpowers are seeking their own agenda and underdeveloped nations are facing greater challenges each day.” Dr. Moon said it is time for all religions to converge together. She said, “It feels like many streams and waterways are coming together into a tremendous river that flows into the vast ocean. Likewise, fallen humanity today is being guided by religions to unite as one to understand the true essence of the Creator.”
She recalled her late husband, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who felt called to come to America as a “firefighter to fight the moral decay that was consuming the nation…. God did not bless America for its own sake but so America could guide other nations back to God…. The mission of religious leaders is to bring humanity back to God’s bosom.” She exhorted everyone to “be bold, courageous, and march forward. It is my hope that you will join me…. I dressed in green today because green signifies hope. Let us unite in hope and action.” She also spoke about the need to take care of the environment. “If we unite as one, we can fix the problems afflicting the world and return the world to its pristine state.” Lastly, she said human history has been characterized by chauvinism. “The time has come for change. Women preachers have the heart of the mother and can convey God’s heart to His children.”
Pastor White and Prof. Yun Ah Moon, chair of UPF-Korea, offered flowers and gifts on behalf of the gathering and in honor of the 30th anniversary of the historic visit to North Korea.
The three-hour program concluded with everyone singing the Unification Holy Song, Urie So Wonun Tongil, which translates as “Our cherished hopes are for unity, even our dreams are for unity, we’d give our lives for unity, come along unity.”