On March 6, a special nationwide service was held at Shoto Headquarters in Shibuya, Tokyo, which welcomed Bang Sang-il, the Regional Group President of the Heavenly Japan for the Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community, along with his wife. In his message, he delivered reports on events such as the celebratory festivities commemorating the birth of True Parents as well as the Summit for Peace on Korean Peninsula, both held in Korea, and called us to become, “brave warriors of heaven, to fulfill the hopes and dreams of the Heavenly Parent (God) and True Parents.”
Good morning to the senior families, members of the Southern Tokyo District, as well as the public leaders and members nationwide who have joined online.
On behalf of Japan, Vice Regional Group President Lee Song-man; Eiji Tokuno, Cheon Eui Won Chair; Cho Seong-il, Senior Director of the Planning and Coordination Office; then-Assistant Lee Chang-mo; and I attended the events in Korea. I’d like to share with you, if I may, True Mother’s heart as well as the nature of these events.
85 national-level leaders from 70 countries attended the Summit for Peace on Korean Peninsula
We are still in the midst of the covid pandemic, and I cannot find anyone with more courage or vision to organize global events (than True Mother). Under such circumstances, her strong leadership allowed these events to be held, such as the “Cheon Il Guk Pledge Service” (Feb. 6), the “Summit for Peace on Korean Peninsula” (Feb. 11-13), and the “Sunhak Peace Prize Award Ceremony” (Feb. 12) to commemorate the birth of True Parents.
We say, “Seeing is believing,” but if you could have witnessed these events in person, you would have definitely been revived. At the HJ Global Arts Center (formerly the Cheongshim Peace World Center), the stage extended to the seats, and LED jumbotrons, installed throughout the venue, brightly lit up the performances. The sight overwhelmed those in attendance, and it reflected True Mother’s heart for this event.
Eighty-five national-level leaders from 70 nations (among 157 nations with ties to South and North Korea) attended the summit which included Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon—out of which 25 were incumbent officials. This is perhaps the biggest achievement in the nearly 70-year history of the Family Federation.
True Mother’s strong determination dedicated to heaven
In February of 2020, the 100th anniversary of True Father’s birth and the 60th anniversary of True Parents’ Holy Wedding were celebrated on a large scale in Korea. At that time as the person in charge of Taiwan, I was preparing a visit to South Korea for 51 people, including former Vice President Lu Hsiu-lien and other incumbent officials and national assembly members of Taiwan. I was convinced that if they were educated by Mother in Korea, Taiwan would be restored before heaven. However, as the novel coronavirus spread from China to the rest of the world, I received a message from World Headquarters three days before my departure asking me to postpone my visit to Korea. I still can’t forget the chagrin and heartache I experienced at that moment.
The spread of covid is even worse now than it was then. Therefore, Rev. Yoon Young-ho, Director-General of International Headquarters in charge of operations, asked Mother how to deal with the situation in regards to this year’s events. Then she strongly encouraged him and said, “We must not delay the providence. Do as you have prepared.” This is the world of Mother’s heart, where she will never let anything disrupt what she has sworn before Heaven.
When I heard this testimony, I felt our hearts are still far apart from Mother’s. When we are faced with even a little bit of a problem, we tend to be so concerned about the situation that we decide to cancel or postpone our plans.
I am certain that there was the full cooperation from True Father, the Absolute Good Spirits, and the Angelic forces in heaven. In the midst of the pandemic, the visit to Korea by the Trump administration—former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich—was so unbelievable to the Korean government that they had to confirm if this was real several times.
Magnet: an important term in the word
Two days before the pledge service, I was given the major role to give the representative prayer for it. I was nervous because it was my first time to pray at an event centered on True Parents. They asked me to keep it within three minutes; and in preparation, I wrote out a prayer, then erased it, wrote out another, then erased it again. Before I knew it, 13 hours had passed. And yet, it took me eight minutes to read the prayer I had prepared. Vice Regional Group Lee Song-man and Senior Director Cho Seong-il revised it, and we managed to get it within five minutes. However, on the day of the event, the staff strongly insisted that I had to have it within three minutes, so I had to revise the prayer until the very last moment.
I think some of you may be asked to give a representative prayer at a future public event. In such cases, you don’t have to spend 13 hours like I did, but please devote at least one or two hours of cheongseong in preparation for your prayer.
At the ceremony, on behalf of the Japanese people and their dedication, Vice Regional Group President Lee Song-man and I offered a ceremonial gift to True Parents.
If you were to ask me to select the most important word from True Mother’s words, I would have to say it’s “magnet.” Mother said, “When you are united with True Parents, and people meet you, you will draw them to you like a magnet. I wish that all of you will be filled with that kind of courage and that kind of magnetism.” When something is attached to a magnet, that object also becomes magnetized. I think “magnet” is a great word to describe the importance of being united with Mother as it also expresses the grace of that union.
Mr. and Mrs. Shin-chul Moon and Mr. and Mrs. Shin-heung Moon performed two songs. As I watched them, I was filled with joy and pride. It also reminded me of the time when the True Children were close to True Parents. I was so happy to see that the two grandchildren had grown up wonderfully under True Mother and received the Blessing, that I cried when they were on stage. There are challenges that the Family Federation has to face, but as long as the two of them are here, I don’t think there is much to worry about.
That evening, True Mother invited Vice Regional Group President Lee Song-man and I to Cheon Jeong Gung Museum. She spoke for over an hour and revealed to us the pain she had been carrying in her heart since True Father’s seonghwa. While listening to her story, I was moved to tears. I felt like a sinner because I realized that I had not been able to unite my heart with Mother’s.
Since I was allowed to give a report, I told them about the Simbang Project (Visitation by spiritual leaders), the situation with Cheonbo families, and our efforts to build a foundation of 10,000 people per district. True Mother was especially interested in the progress of the Simbang Project. She was also very pleased when I told her that Ham Jin-mo, the Okinawa District Leader; Kazuki Miyajima of Kogensha; and I had received doctorates from Sun Moon University, and she signed our dissertations and took a commemorative photo with us. Then, when Mother was leaving for her room, she said, “Take good care of the second generation, will you?”
Prime Minister Hun Sen testified about True Parents’ achievements in the position of “John the Baptist”
After the opening ceremony, the Summit for Peace on Korean Peninsula was followed by two days of lively discussions on various fields, including politics, religion, economics, and the press. Notably, the opening ceremony, which brought together leaders from around the world, was broadcast live around the world. Three thousand five hundred seventeen national and private broadcasters from around the world, including some mainstream media, streamed the event live via the internet.
Pastor Paula White of the United States, representing the Christian community; and Chief Abbot Khy Sovanratana of Cambodia, representing the Buddhist community, gave their peace and prayer messages, as well as prayers in their respective religions.
Pastor White was appointed by former President Trump as his religious advisor during his term in office. The United States is still a Christian country, as even the president runs the nation with advice from a pastor. Pastor White has deep respect for True Mother. Through her, I am confident that the day will come when former President Trump will directly attend the convention presided by Mother.
Chief Abbot Sovanratana visited Korea at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Cambodia is a Buddhist country and the social status of monks is very high. The fact that Prime Minister Hun Sen brought the most authoritative person among them shows the high level of respect he has for True Mother.
Prime Minister Hun Sen delivered the welcoming remarks and played the role of “John the Baptist” in leading the series of events successfully.
Prior to the Summit for Peace on Korean Peninsula, U.S. President Biden planned an ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit and approached Cambodia, the chairing country, about Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to the United States. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom Cambodia has strong economic ties, urged Cambodia to participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics. It is not difficult to imagine he must have been in a quandary as to which face to put forward, that with the United States or that with China.
Prime Minister Hun Sen turned down both requests and decided to participate in the (Korean Peninsula Peace) Summit. There must have been a revelation from heaven guiding him to make a high-level political decision that we do not understand. Despite last-minute requests from the Russian and Chinese embassies in Cambodia to cancel his visit to South Korea, he turned them down and traveled to South Korea.
Following the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Hun Sen held a summit meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. According to Rev. Yoon Young-ho, Prime Minister Hun Sen opened the meeting by saying, “I am here in Korea at the invitation of President Hak Ja Han,” and ended the session by calling for “cooperation between you (President Moon Jae-in) and me to solve the issue about the Korean Peninsula, centered on President Hak Ja Han.” In a subsequent meeting with former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, he is said to have said, “Let’s become one with President Hak Ja Han and do our best.”
I was moved by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s words and actions, as he called the world leaders to True Parents by testifying about their achievements, which members have failed to convey after so many years, and I thought, “He is real.”
The special performance at the HJ Global Arts Center that night was a sight to see. With “The Korean Peninsula in the world, the world in the Korean Peninsula” as its theme, the performance consisted of three parts: Land of Blessings, Land of Division, and Land of Peace. The singing, acting, and dancing were performed in a magnificent way. There was so much to behold; the performance took place in front of us, to our sides, and even behind us that it hurt my neck. Professor Kim Dong-kyu, a baritone vocalist, and veteran singer In Suni, performed at the celebration; and they could not hide their excitement even during the rehearsal and said they had never performed at such a venue.
World leaders who share the aspiration for unification of the two Koreas with True Mother
At the Sunhak Peace Prize Award Ceremony, Dr. Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford; and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which led the COVAX Facility, a system for fair distribution of vaccines to the world, were awarded, and Prime Minister Hun Sen was awarded with the Founder’s Special Honorary Award.
The Chair of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee was Jose Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission. He was the former Prime Minister of Portugal and a well-known figure in European society who won the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the EU during his term as president of the European Commission.
Prime Minister Hun Sen gave a wonderful acceptance speech, so I would like to share some of what he said.
“I would like to emphasize the following: without peace there is no hope, without peace there is no development, without peace, there is no respect for democracy, including human rights. Therefore, I agree with the belief of Presidents Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han, that peace should not be a vague dream but concrete action.”
The award ceremony was broadcast live in Cambodia and many people over there watched it.
After the main event of the summit (on February 13), a commemorative photograph was taken with True Mother at the center. There were six world leaders on Mother’s right and six on her left. These people did not attend the event as some sort of formality, but they respect Mother and wholeheartedly agree with her vision. At the venue, they sat in the front row with Mother, and everyone stood up to sing Cheon Il Guk Anthem (Peace Anthem) in unison. As I watched this scene from the back, I was just deeply moved. I felt that this was the start of Cheon Il Guk together with world leaders.
Ladies and gentlemen, if the 12 disciples had supported Jesus 2,000 years ago, wouldn’t a world of peace have been established then?
Although he was not able to come to South Korea for the occasion, former President Trump said the following in his keynote speech in a video message.
“I would like to thank President Han for her dedication to the cause of world peace. I would also like to thank President Han for launching the Washington Times with the late President Sun Myung Moon. The Washington Times is making tremendous contributions to the United States and the world in defense of faith, freedom and truth.”
All the participants from the United States talked about the greatness of the Washington Times and the influence it has. So in Japan, I think it is necessary to make the “Sekai Nippo” a daily newspaper as influential as the Washington Times.
From Africa, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and President Macky Sall of Senegal made keynote speeches.
With a population of over 200 million, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa. The incumbent president of Nigeria, who prides himself as the leader of Africa, is as influential in Africa as former president Trump was to America. He testified about True Mother. I was reminded of Mother’s foresight in investing in Africa.
Mother said the following in her speech:
“[South Korea and North Korea] is the last divided nation on Earth. Only when this country is unified will peace prevail in Eastern Europe and Northeast Asia…Please become brothers and sisters of the North and South who are one with me. At that point we will see the true unification of the Korean Peninsula. World peace and the unity of all humankind as Heavenly Parent’s sons and daughters can moreover be achieved in this age and this generation.”
If we do not unite around True Mother, who is one with heaven, we will not be able to unify North and South. Former President Trump and President Moon Jae-in have met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but there is still no sight of a unified Korea. The unification of the North and South was the wish of True Father. In order to achieve this, Mother has declared she will move forward without fail and has continued to walk a difficult path. She then welcomed like-minded leaders and said, “I did not stop. As a result, there are many allies like you on my side today. Thank you. Let us all endeavor, through True Parents, to become the true children of our Heavenly Parent and, together as filial sons and daughters, make God’s dream and wish come true on earth.”
At the end of the summit, a signing ceremony was held for the “Seoul Declaration,” which included the efforts brought about by the summit as well as the vision of “one territory, one culture, one people”, and was signed by True Mother, Prime Minister Hun Sen, and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The declaration will be sent to leaders of 157 nations.
One of the reasons the summit was a success was because of our media relations. In Korea, major TV stations such as KBS, MBC and SBS, as well as newspaper companies, reported on the summit. Even if the best leaders of the United States were to attend, if the mainstream media doesn’t cover it, it would only end up as an “internal event” and will have no impact on the world. The fact that we were able to communicate this message to the world brought great joy to heaven.
On February 15, 450 Cheon Il Guk leaders from around the world gathered at the HJ Garden Hall (Large Sanctuary of Cheonseong Wanglim Palace), where the victory banquet was held, and Mother called on the leaders and said, “Europe needs to unite and educate the two strong powers that are posing a problem right now, the two strong powers that do not know about God. Teach them, create bonds with them as your younger brothers and bring them to Heavenly Parent.”
The two nations she was referring to were China and Russia. Russia is invading Ukraine. We must convey heaven’s hopes to China and Russia as soon as possible.
To prevent the spread of covid, the annual Yut competition was not held. Mother gave the prize money to everyone, saying, “You have to come out strong! Strong! This is the last chance that heaven has given us. We must not miss this chance.”
Becoming victorious Cheonbo Families is the goal of all members and blessed families throughout the country
This is the conclusion of today’s sermon.
These events that took place, beginning with the Summit for Peace on Korean Peninsula, were successful as a result of True Mother moving forward without fail. No matter how difficult her circumstances were, Mother continued to invest in the providence with a consistent spirit. Because of her strong leadership and cheongseong she devoted day and night, all of this (the series of events) was able to be accomplished.
This is the golden age of our lives where we are able to live together with True Mother. The most precious thing in human history, in our lifetime, is that we were able to meet True Parents. And what is the best and greatest gift True Parents have given to humankind? It’s the blessing. The cheonbo providence, which looks to spread the grace from the blessing to the whole world, is also a precious gift by True Parents.
Becoming victorious Cheonbo Families is the goal that should be fulfilled by all members and blessed families in the country. Please make a list of 15 witnessing candidates and pray earnestly in the special prayer room of Cheongshimwon of your local church for the realization of the 43 families that True Mother desires. If we make a concerted effort, we will be able to establish a base of 1 million people. If you don’t make a list of 15 people even though Mother has amassed this great fortune from heaven, would that not be unfilial?
Many people in Ukraine are now standing up to the Russian soldiers in defense of their homeland. Even an 80 year-old grandmother is holding up a gun and saying, “At the end of my life, I have a chance to stand up for my country. I am happy.” We can learn from a person like this and how we need to have an attitude of fighting for our loved ones.
When True Father went to America, he said, “I came as a doctor, as a firefighter, to save America that has fallen sick.” Firefighters have to rush to the scene and fight fires when normal people would run away. “Fires” are currently burning all over the world and in many places in Japan. To all church leaders, members and blessed families: we must become “firefighters.” And we have to become “doctors” that treat people who are hurt.
If we do not fulfill our missions, it’s the same as doing nothing. Let us be at the forefront of God’s will with a faith that burns for heaven, just as soldiers who are willing to sacrifice their lives in order to fulfill their responsibility to protect their families and nations, no matter how difficult that may be.
Heaven is guarded by angels, just as soldiers defend a nation here on earth. Heavenly warriors have the responsibility to protect a world of peace on this earth. All of our brothers and sisters in Japan are expected to become heaven’s heroes. We must fulfill the hopes and dreams of our Heavenly Parent and True Parents.
Keep in mind what I told you today and pray earnestly for what True Mother hopes to achieve in 2022 as we move onward, onward, onward!