More than 40 participants prepare to begin their walk, led by Anja Brina, the deputy chair of UPF-Düsseldorf (left).
The participants include a number of children and youth.
The group follows the Rhine River.
Anja Brina leads the walking group toward the meeting point with the bicycling group.
As the group continues walking, the clouds give way to sunshine.
The participants stop in front of the Maritime Museum, a remnant of a 16th century castle.
A smaller group travels to the meeting point by bicycle.
The bicycling group travels a longer distance than the walking group, starting from Kaiserswerth Pier.
The bicyclists approach the Maritime Museum.
The civic park where the “Peace Road” rally is being held contains a segment of the Berlin Wall.
The two groups—walkers and bicyclists—meet in the civic park near the North Rhine-Westphalia Parliament.
With the Berlin Wall segment in the background, Sergio Brina, the deputy chair of UPF-Germany, addresses the “Peace Road” participants.
Estelle Belong-Smrtnikova
Ender Eker
Herbert Beyer
Dr. Joachim Reuter
Frank Bernhardt
Heidi Wakayama performs a song.
The participants at the end of the “Peace Road” event

Düsseldorf, Germany—Nearly 50 UPF supporters walked or bicycled in a “Peace Road” event in one of Germany’s largest cities.

Joy, new hope and confidence were all tangible from the very beginning, as the participants of the “Peace Road” event of September 25, 2021, gathered at various starting points.

Most of the participants set out from the Rhine River terraces and walked to the parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia state, while a smaller group on bicycles covered a longer distance starting from Kaiserswerth Pier.

It was wonderful to be together in person after the COVID restrictions of 2020 and 2021; to greet old friends and new, and to see for the first time the babies who not only had been born in the previous 18 months but already had learned to walk.

People from many countries, worldviews and religions—adults, toddlers, young people and seniors—all were bringing the motto of the event one step closer to reality. Wearing white “Peace Road” T-shirts, the participants drew much attention from passers-by as they distributed small “Peace Road” flags and leaflets.

Right on time, to start off the walk, bright sunshine chased away the clouds and accompanied the whole event.

The location that UPF-Düsseldorf leaders Anja and Sergio Brina chose for the closing remarks was very symbolic—a civic park very near the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, right beside a memorial with a segment of the Berlin Wall. And the time was the day before the German general election!

After Sergio Brina offered welcoming remarks, the participants listened to talks from the following speakers:

  • Frank Bernhardt, the pastor of the Old Lutheran Church;
  • Joachim Reuter, an economist and author;
  • Ender Eker, chairman of the Mihr Foundation for North Rhine-Westphalia;
  • Estelle Belong-Smrtnikova, representing Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), an organization that is affiliated with UPF;
  • Herbert Beyer, also representing FFWPU.

The speakers highlighted different aspects of the “Peace Road” initiative, such as historical developments in a once-divided Germany and in today’s Korea. They also noted the incredible contributions that “Peace Road” founders Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon have made toward world peace. Contributions made by people of goodwill from different religions toward peaceful cooperation and the realization of a one-world family centered on God were also recognized.

The speakers received much applause from the participants, as did the musical contribution of Heidi Wakayama of FFWPU.

(Translated from German by Catriona Valenta.)

 

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