Largest and most diverse interfaith peace prayer gathering ever

Gapyeong, South Korea – Up to 20,000 religious leaders from all religious traditions and around the world have come together in a hybrid setting to pray for world peace and in particular for the reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

More than one million people watched the prayer rally online through various social media platforms, while 1,200 gathered under Covid protocols at the Cheongshim Peace World Center north of the capital Seoul. It was possibly the largest and most diverse interfaith gathering ever.

The event was hosted by the Universal Peace Federation and the Washington Times Foundation, both founded by the late Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Ms. Hak Ja Han Moon.

The welcoming address was given by Pastor Paula White, of the City of Destiny Church in Apopka, Florida, United States and spiritual advisor to former President Donald Trump for the past 22 years. The theme of her message was restoration, but she began by thanking Mother Moon for her vision to host this historic worldwide prayer gathering.

Pastor White went on to say, “This restoration will include… bringing in finance and property, and resources for ministries to restore the nations. And I believe that this restoration, this reconstruction, will include the reunification of North Korea and South Korea.

Prayers and messages of peace representing 80 faiths from 157 nations having diplomatic relations with North and South Korea were offered. However, due to time constraints, only six messages were broadcast. These included:

• Bishop Munib Younan, Palestinian Bishop Emeritus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church representing Protestantism;

• Teacher. Dr. KH Nasarudin Umar, Grand Imam of the Istiqlal Mosque, founder of the Indonesian interfaith organization Masyarakat Dialog Antar Umat Beragama and Deputy Minister (2011-2014) at the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs representing Islam;

• Cardinal Kelvin Felix, Roman Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Castries representing Catholicism; Reverend Tokushu Murei from Japan representing Shintoism;

• Prophet Samuel Radebe, founder and leader of the Church of the Apocalypse of God in South Africa, representing African spiritualism;

• Dr Khy Sovanratana, vice-rector of the Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, representing Buddhism; and

• Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation in India representing Hinduism.

Mother Moon, known by the title of her memoir Mother of Peace, called on religious leaders to lead the way beyond selfish secularism and materialistic self-indulgence. She urged them to lead everyone back to God.

“Our sincerest wish is to unite as one,” she said. Mother Moon went on to stress that we must “find freedom, unity, happiness, [and] the joy that was lost (at the time of the Fall). However, she cautioned, “A world of true peace and joy can only be achieved when we invite God, the True Owner and Heavenly Parent, to dwell with us.

World class entertainment was peppered throughout the 3 hour event. This included the Little Angels Folk Ballet, an international peace choir, religious interpretations of sacred Buddhist scriptures, and a traditional Korean singer.

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