September 26, 2009, HQ Church, Seoul Korea
We are here with members from all over the world who want to help stand up for the human rights of our brothers and sisters in Japan. They ask us, “How do I do that? How do I stand up for them in Japan? I live in Russia. I live in America. I live in Yugoslavia. How do I stand up?” Brothers and sisters, how do we stand up? We stand up by being proud Unificationists, sharing our faith, being solid in our faith, knowing that it is our democratic right to believe in our religion.
Opening Prayer by Lucilla Gray:
Let us all pray.
Our beloved Heavenly Father: Father, we’re all here today to say that we love you. We’re determined, Father, to make this world a better place, with True Parents’ hope, True Parents’ ideal and the Divine Principle vision, Heavenly Father. We want to open our hearts and minds to be connected, to stay connected to your heart every minute, every breath we take, Father. A very important thing: we all have true love in us. It’s in our DNA. It’s in our blueprint, Father. We all have true love. May we inherit this true love. May we be bold and courageous and tell the world how wonderful you are, Father, how wonderful your vision is, how great True Parents are. Father, this is a very special day, and from this moment on we’ll be connected to your heart. Let us all have a great time here. I pray in our names. Aju.
Yeon Ah Nim:
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters. It is great to see you all. Let us give praise to our Heavenly Father and True Parents, for letting us gather here and worship. Let us give praise and thanks to True Parents and Heavenly Father. Today we have such a beautiful breezy and bright day. I sincerely hope and desire that your week will be blessed and filled with Heavenly Father’s grace and true love. Welcome, Brothers, and Welcome, Sisters.
Hyung Jin Nim:
Hello brothers and sisters, let’s begin by manifesting the Principle: give and receive action, four position foundation. May I inherit the true love of God. Aju!
Welcome brothers and sisters. We want to welcome our Japanese ministers; about 40 of them are here. Let’s give them all a big round of applause. Nihon kara irashatta no bokaishatachi tate agete kudasi.( Would the ministers who are here from Japan please stand.)
Yes, let’s give them one more round of applause, brothers and sisters – all the way from Japan, our Brothers and Sisters from Japan. Thank you. Arigato Gozaimashita. We’re going to start with Cheon Seong Gyeong today. We’ll start with Book 13, Father speaks.
“From God’s viewpoint, the essence of the universe is love. With love, unification will automatically be achieved. If we love at a higher level than Satan, Satan will also be pulled in. God created heaven and earth in order to give us the utmost goodness and love.” Can we all do an Aju? [Aju!]
Brothers and sisters, it’s always so important and wonderful that we’re able to come together to worship. It’s such a blessing that we live in a free, democratic world. Let’s give it up for democracy! We have freedom of religion! This is so precious. And we know from the Principle that it is the Abel-side realm, the democratic realm that protects religion. It protects faith. So we’re so very grateful that we’re able to come together in freedom and worship together. Brothers and sisters, when we do that, we’re going to bring God and True Parents more joy, and our week is going to be stronger. It’s going to be more blessed; we’re going to be wiser. So brothers and sisters, this week we pray that truly many things can come to fruition, and the many things that have been left undone will come to fruition this week.
Let’s unify our mind, body and breath. Let’s start by unifying our body. Let’s stretch towards the earth today and receive the Universal Prime Energy that flows through, breathing in, as we pass our beating hearts, let us breathe out, stretch towards the heavens today. Let’s really stretch. Let’s stretch our bodies, stretch our faith. Let us receive what God wants to give us today, His new compassion, new wisdom, breathing in, as we pass our living hearts; breathing out, towards the earth again. Let’s stretch towards the earth, receive the beautiful stable energy, breathing in, as we pass our living hearts, breathing out towards the heavens let’s really stretch, stretch, stretch our faith today. Let’s receive this new inspiration, God’s new future for us, breathing in, and as we pass our hearts let’s breathe out.
Let us now unify our mind. Let’s take a seat and let us sit up at the front of our chairs so that we may keep our back straight and enter into our first visualization and meditation practice. Let us gently close our eyes and let us visualize, not this sanctuary but walking in a beautiful bamboo forest. It is the morning. We can smell the wonderful fragrance of this fresh bamboo grove. We can hear the leaves rustling in the winds high up above. We can see the beautiful green stalks of bamboo standing strong, but flexible in the wind. We can feel the soft earth below, and as we feel the morning sun rays and listen to the beautiful sparrows that fill the air with their song, let us walk forward and we will notice a beautiful stream that is meandering down. We notice that the bamboo grove will continue right down to the edge of the stream, and let us stand now in front of that stream and I want you to pay attention to the beautiful sound of that stream. Notice that beautiful healing water, the cool refreshing water. Notice its transparency and clarity. Notice the morning sun rays passing through and touching the streambed beneath.
We will notice also the beautiful fish and life that is awakened by the morning sun and as we stand and listen to that sound and feel the presence of this incredible creation, let us gently close our eyes – continue to hear the sound of that stream, and as we breathe in deeply, in our hearts let us say, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out deeply, in our hearts let us say, “Thank You.” Once again, as breathe in, in our hearts let us say, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out deeply, exhaling, “Thank you.” One more time, deep inhalation, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out deeply, “Thank you.”
God and True Parents have blessed us with the blessed life, to inherit the true love of God through that life, to become greater blessings to our spouse, to our family, our children, to our community, our nation, world, and to God Himself. Let us join our hands and manifest the Principle together: give and receive action, four position foundation, coming all together, may I inherit the true love of God, Aju, Aju.
Brothers and Sisters, let’s take this time to pray. We’re going to pray particularly for those in the spirit world, our “Abel angels”, the angels that look after us and those good spirits that are brothers and sisters, our parents, and grandparents. We want to pray for them, acknowledge them, and encourage them today and thank them for being with us in our daily walk with God. Let’s all join our hearts and pray – as we listen to the song, let us pray together:
Dearest most beloved Heavenly Father, thank you so much, True Parents. Father, we’re so grateful to be able to be here today. Father, we’re here because of your incredible path, the path that you had to walk, through seven deaths. But through the power of true love, the power of the parental heart, the love that will even die and die again for the sake of the children, over and over and continue to give, that incredible parental heart, Father, because of that heart you have been resurrected and give us that same resurrection power, incredible strength from within that we can inherit from your true love. Father, thank you so much for allowing us to come together here because we know there are many things that we are dealing with in our lives. We’re dealing with relationships, dealing with many different elements in our life, Father, but we know that you want to “in-dwell” and be with us and in us, in everything. Father, we want to be present, we want to be aware and awake so that we can see your miraculous workings, your supernatural love for us every single day.
Father, we thank you so much. We want to offer our hearts to you today; we want to ask you to come down, Father, and be with us today. We want to ask you, Father, to dwell amongst us and within us so that we can manifest your Principle, your true love, in our minds and in our emotions, in our actions and in our deeds, in our words. Father, we thank you so much for protecting us and surrounding us with angelic beings. We thank you for protecting us all the time. We want to thank those Abel good spirits – the spirit world, Father, which is protecting us and looking after us. We want to give them thanks today and want to acknowledge them. Thank you so much for this present day. We are grateful from our hearts. Once more we pray in the names of our Central Blessed Families, together as one heart we pray. Aju, Aju.
Thank you, Brothers and Sisters. I want to ask you all to rise, because we’re not just going to stop at prayer, we’re now going to actualize it. Brothers and Sisters, let’s encourage the person next to you. If you came with your spouse, it’s now time to give her a big hug, tell her you love her three times. Tell her thank you, three times, let’s encourage the person next to us, come on.
We like to start with something a little interesting: I heard a story about a young girl named Jenny and she was just about two. Her Mom just had a new born baby boy. So happy, happy, happy. Mom came back from the hospital and now was taking care of the baby and Jenny was experiencing the joy of having this new amazing younger brother. One day, the mother had to go back to the hospital for a check up. So, Auntie came and took care of Jenny and the Mom went to the hospital and when she came back she asked Jenny, “How was it Jenny?” And Jenny said, “Mmm, mmmm.” So then she said, “Jenny, can we pray? How about we pray and thank God for your younger brother?” Jenny said, “Ok, ok we can do that.” So they closed their eyes and folded their hands. And Jenny prayed, “Dear God, thank you so much for my wonderful younger brother. You know I asked you for a puppy. Can you at least make him bark?”
Brothers and sisters, come, let’s stand up!
Oh, that was a little delayed today. But you got it.
Main Sermon by Hyung Jin Nim:
Brothers and sisters I want to talk to you today about Fearless True Love. As you all know, as we talked about last week, there are times in a community’s life and in our Unificationist life that there are difficult things that we have to endure, different levels of persecution, because we are still a minority . There are still these difficult things that we are enduring right now and as we talked last week we are still in the midst of this incredible path. So I want to start with some of the world scriptures today.
Christianity (Luke 23:33~34)
“There they crucified him … and Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’ ”
Again we see the compassionate love of Christ, the love of Christ, even though he is enduring punishment, carrying the sins of the world. He still forgives those who are persecuting him.
Buddhism (Dhammapada 2)
“Hatreds never cease through hatreds in this world; through love alone they cease. This is an eternal law.”
The Buddha talked about how only goodness, how only positive action and thoughts can overcome hatred etc.
Let’s look at Islam. This is the Koran (Qur’an 60:7)
“It may be that God will ordain love between you and those whom you hold as enemies. For God has power over all things; and God is oft-forgiving, most merciful. “
And let’s look at True Parents’ Words today. This is from the collection of sermons, 121 (DP Predestination 121:173). We will read this together.
“True Love has influence on the enemy. If you overcome the first, second, third and fourth difficult situation with love, the enemy will disappear.”
Today I want to center my words on the book of Psalms. This is Psalm number 3. And this is a Psalm of King David when he fled from his son Absalom. Absalom was the son that betrayed his father and ended up trying to kill David and ended up mobilizing forces to destroy his father. So David is in a very akward situation because out of all the enemies that he has faced – and he has faced many battles – this puts him in a very difficult situation because this is one enemy that he does not want to kill. This is one enemy that he does not want to destroy. And so here we see the song of David. He is singing from his heart with incredible chaos arising in his mind. He is praying and singing this at the same time.
Let’s read this together.
1. Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
2. Many are saying: “ God will not deliver me”.
3. But you are a shield around me, O Lord: you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
4. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.
5. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.
7. Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God!
8. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessings be on your people.
Aju. Let’s look at these first two verses; “Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying: ‘God will not deliver me.’”
When one walks the path of the Lord, when one walks with the Lord, there are many foes that rise against that kind of person, “Who are you, who do you think you are? What makes you think that you can say that? What makes you think that you can think like that about yourself?”
Not only do they become numerous but many times they will rise up to stop us in our tracks. This happens whenever you do something that God has called you to do. It can be something as simple as having a new creative idea that helps you build a new invention. It could be starting a business or it could be something as serious as declaring your faith and professing your faith. Whatever we do that God is asking us to do we will always find people that are around us who say, “You can’t do it” or “God will not deliver you, you won’t make it. It is not going to happen”. We’ll have naysayers in our lives.
In the second verse it says that many say that God will not deliver David, that He will not bring success to him, that God will not let him have glory. And very openly we face this as Unificationists here in Korea. We face this many times. Particularly many evangelical Christians view us as a heretical cult. They call us “heretics among heretics”. They say this very publicly and openly. And so for us it is important to understand that this is part of the landscape that we live in. It is part of our reality on the ground that we are actually seen as heretics. It is important that we understand that we are a minority and that as such we have rights in a democratic world.
In the last couple of years Korean evangelicals have come under a lot of “fire”. In the 1990’s there were the burnings of Buddhist temples. This (picture) is Hwagyesa in 1996. There was a minister that was arrested, a pastor who was arrested for burning down the Blue Dragon Temple, burning it down to the ground. We were just out on the street at that time. As you walk the streets you’ll very frequently see people with placards that say, “Jesus is heaven, if you doubt that is hell.” These things were plastered all over on temples and other religious places here in Korea. Even in the land were there is relative religious harmony these kind of things happen.
In the last couple of years also the government has come under a lot of pressure, particularly for the “gospelization” of the police force. They were making posters that they were using like this, that said “Gospelization of the police force”. An electronic map was created that omitted all Buddhist Temples. Even all of the National Treasures were omitted but the recreational fishing sites were all there and the gas stations and convenience stores were all there. Churches were all there, of course, but no temples and none of the National Treasures. So, we can see, this is the kind of landscape we live in. As Unificationists we have to be aware of this, otherwise we are going to be surprised when we start sharing our faith.
So let’s look at verse 3 today of David’s Psalms (Psalms 3:3) This is a critical verse.
“But you are a shield around me, O Lord: you bestow glory on me And lift up my head.”
You see, what David is saying is that the Lord is our shield. Only the Lord can protect us. Only our faith in God can protect us. No immature actions, like violence or lashing out. These things cannot protect us. These things would only confirm our inability to stand with dignity in persecution. It is very important to understand what David is saying about being persecuted. It is so important to hold strong to our shield, which is our faith and which is God, faith in God. The only way we win in this kind of situation is by our faith.
I was talking to Rev. Fauntroy. He is a human rights activist. He walked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He’s a civil rights leader and he told us how one day in the south, they were in a church. They had been protesting that day, peacefully, and they were resting in the church. They were actually having service that morning. The children were singing hymns that morning. They were in Sunday school and all of a sudden a huge explosion occurred, a huge explosion, which literally tore that church in half, literally, physically in half. It was a bomb. It was the white supremacists that exploded that bomb and blew up that church. And he said that there was so much weeping on that day. He told us how there was so much crying. You could hear the kids crying and you could hear chaos. There was so much havoc. Rev. Fauntroy was there.
The dust settled. The day went on, and at night time it was so quiet. It was so quiet and Dr. King asked Rev. Fauntroy, “Could you please sing a song that will inspire us and give us strength?” And Rev. Fauntroy sang the Impossible Dream, a song that really touches my heart every time I hear it. I am just so moved by that song. And they listened to that song with the people that survived that terrorist attack. They listened to it, they wept, they cried tears of sorrow for those who had lost their lives on that day but they also cried tears of hope because they believed. They once again realized what they were doing. They were standing up for something that was so important. And you know the lyrics of the song:
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afarTo try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star.
This incredible song brought this church to tears in the midst of this kind of tragedy. And what was amazing, he told us, is that they slept through that night and the very next morning, they went out again, they went out to protest again, the very next day after their church had been bombed. They went out and protested for their human rights.
You see, freedom of religion and belief in God and our True Parents is our RIGHT, brothers and sisters, it is a right that we have as democratic citizens living in democratic societies. And the government must uphold this constitutional right. It must protect its citizens regardless of creed, color or religion. It must protect its citizens. And by being proud Unificationists, at this time particularly, by understanding with certainty that it is our democratic human right, our God given right, to have our faith, to practice our faith, we bring awareness and justice to the many, many families that are receiving persecution because of their faith.
I want to go to verse 4 (Psalms 3:4)
“To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.”
David is singing this song. He says to the Lord, “I cry aloud”. Brothers and sisters we can cry, we can cry if we are persecuted and we are hurt. We can cry. It is OK for us to cry. The Israelites were persecuted, they were enslaved for 430 years in Egypt, says the Scripture, 430 years they cried. They were under slavery, they were under oppression. They had tears streaming down their faces.
You may know the situation we talked about last week. 1966, starting with Pastor Murayama, an evangelical, and a group of pastors, an illegal organization was created and the abduction of Unificationists began in Japan. This was in 1966. At first it was very small like ten abductions per year. We have the graphs, the statistics. But by 1993, it was reaching a height of 375 illegal kidnappings in one year. That is one Unificationist per day, being kidnapped illegally, forced into confinement against their will in a free democratic society. More than one per day. These incredible crimes happened.
In 2009 Kook Jin Hyung was assigned to Japan. He went to reorganize the church there. And when he discovered what was happening he could not believe it. We were just briefed (informed) on this a couple of weeks ago but he was so shocked at the severity of these human rights violations. The amazing thing is that since it started in 1966 exactly 43 years have passed. It mirrors exactly the 430 years of persecution that the chosen people of Israel had to face under oppression.
Why didn’t the members do anything about this? This is an egregious crime in a democratic state. Why didn’t members do anything about it? We were so shocked. What is happening? Why are members not doing anything about it? But we realized that a certain culture had developed.
Brothers and sisters, after being kidnapped, running for life, many had to jump through windows, as you know with the Goto-san’s case. We have Goto-san here [picture]. Goto-san was abducted and kept for 12 years and 5 months. It was illegal kidnapping, forced confinement. Twelve years. He was kidnapped when he was 29. He emerged (came out) when he was 42. He is over six feet tall. He weighed 39 kilos when he got out. He was completely emaciated.
This is in Tokyo in Japan in an apartment; he was confined for12 years, all through his thirties. His entire life during his thirties is gone. And he emerged, left that area, was able to get out, 12 years 5 months later. He went to the police and they did absolutely nothing about it. And then he went out into the street and tried to find the UC HQ building. Because 12 years and 5 months had passed he did not know where to go; we could have moved, we could have changed. So he was walking in that general direction.
The first person he bumped into, he asked, “I need to find the Unification Church headquarters. Could you point me to their headquarters?” and amazingly that first person he met happened to be one of our sisters. She brought him to the church but it was very amazing. When he arrived at the church everyone was shocked. Here is this man. He is straggly, he is totally emaciated. He’s got these ragged clothes on. He’s got 12 year old shoes on and people at the HQ were saying, “Who are you? Are you sure?” And so, he explained his story. He was taken to Ilshin Hospital, this is one of our hospitals in Japan. This is where these pictures were taken. Here, he weighed 39 kilos and for 50 days he had to be treated with nutrition and exercise in order for him to get to some normal health.
But this was happening, brothers and sisters, not in Africa, not in China, not in North Korea. This is Japan, the second most powerful democratic nation in the world. Brothers and sisters, as you heard last week, we have cases of sisters that had been confined three months. They were systematically raped. One father, who paid for those abductions, found out what happened to his daughter. And the father actually committed suicide because he was so guilt ridden to what happened to his daughter.
This kind of incredible crime against humanity has happened because of their faith, because of the fact that they are practicing the Unification religion. This (kidnappings) is not permissible in a democratic society. This is not permissible, this is not correct. This is not upholding the democratic principle.
You know, we were so shocked because the brothers and sisters had contacted the police many times. The police had done nothing about it. The police had turned them away every single time. So then this culture developed: Pray for your enemies at least, pray for your kidnappers. So, they were praying, they were living the religious life. They were praying for the persecutors as Jesus said, as True Parents said, to do. But see, for us, in our perspective, we both grew up in America, we both grew up in a democracy, we both are American citizens and for us, we can pray for our persecutors. That’s fine, but we cannot throw away our human rights! We cannot throw away our human rights, Aju. We cannot throw those away. That is our God given right as democratic citizens. And we cannot let people take away our rights and just say we pray for them. There comes a point when we have to say, “No! No longer will we endure abuse because of our religion.” Stopping these “pastors” from these illegal enterprises means to be compassionate with them. It is compassionate. Because if they think they can rob people of their right to believe in God, to believe in the religion of their choice, this is a violation of democracy and religious freedom.
So, the scriptures say that God answers us and that He calls us, that He is our shield when we come to him, when we remember that He is the one who can protect us. No other force can do it. He reminds us that when we have faith we are valuable as his children. We are chosen to be brave in standing up to declare our True Parents as Messiah and Lord. Remember, we are like the apostles of Christ who declared that Jesus was the Lord even though they were persecuted. Stephen was stoned, in the Acts of the Apostles. He was stoned to death.
Let’s read verse 5 together. Let us read this all together.
Psalms 3:5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, Because the Lord sustains me.
It was September 11th, 1906, in Johannesburg, South Africa. That is a very interesting date coincidence: Nine eleven. This was the first real time that Mahatma Gandhi stood up and started organizing the Satyagraha movement. “Satya” means Truth and “graha” means “holding firm”. So “Satyagraha” means “Holding firm to Truth” – when there is injustice. He was facing the promulgation of a new act (law) that made the Indian population register themselves to the government. They were opposing that. They were saying that there is prejudice against the Indian population. And so Gandhi stood up and he called the fellow Indians to defy the new law, to suffer the punishments, but not to resist through violent means.
Seven years they struggled, seven years. Thousands of Indians were jailed, including Gandhi himself, flogged, even shot for holding strikes, for refusing to register, for burning the registration card, etc., for engaging in other forms of non-violent resistance. But while the government was successful in repressing these Indian protesters there was an outcry because of the fact that the government reacted so harshly in the face of peaceful protesters. And this actually forced a negotiation, a compromise between the South African government – particularly General Jan Christiaan Smuts – and Gandhi’s side. And so Gandhi expressed what Satyagraha means: in other words, a kind of love force, soul force – he used those words. That it is a force that stands strong in the face of injustice, it is not weak. It does not react in violence but it stands strong, it is firm, it holds strong to its place and it loves and it is love and it is based on the spirit.
Until May, as you may know, the police in Japan were imprisoning Unificationists. They were coming to our church and imprisoning Unificationists under the allegation of violation of commercial law, and this was all over the news, on NHK etc. But there were -so far – over 4,300 confirmed cases of criminal abduction, forced confinement, psychological torture, even rape. And there was not even ONE media article about it, not one apology. This is religious persecution. Some make allegations that Unificationists donated a lot to the Church. Well, we have to realize that our members are as serious as any other religious tradition, as serious about religious life as any other major religion.
When Buddhist monks or Catholic priests become ordained, there is a vow of total renunciation that they practice toward worldly attachments. Many donate their entire possessions, even houses, things that maybe could have been inherited, to the Catholic Church, to the Buddhist Temple. In the same way, many of our members around the world have practiced this of their own free will. Now saying that Unificationists are “guilty” of this means to not understand that there are these practices all over in other religions as well. But to say that because this exists in the Unification Church it is OK to rob Unificationists of their human rights, their freedom of religion, their democratic right, that it is OK to kidnap and force confinement and even rape Unificationists… this is not permissible in a democratic state. This is outrageous and egregious.
We are here with members from all over the world who want to help stand up for the human rights of our brothers and sisters in Japan. They ask us, “How do I do that? How do I stand up for them in Japan? I live in Russia. I live in America. I live in Yugoslavia. How do I stand up?”
Brothers and sisters, how do we stand up? We stand up by being proud Unificationists, sharing our faith, being solid in our faith, knowing that it is our democratic right to believe in our religion.
Let’s give it up for UC. Come on, let’s give it up!
Nobody in the free world can take our religion from us. Not the President, not anybody else. This is our freedom of religion. We must be very clear about this as our right as democratic citizens. And someone will ask us, “Why are you going out and sharing so much about UC now?” We are going out and sharing pamphlets, sharing, talking about the Church. That’s what we believe. Lots of people don’t know that the Unification Church still exists. “We do not know what you guys believe.” We are sharing what we believe. We are sharing this as our democratic freedom. We have been persecuted so much that we have kind of lost our identity. We’ve forgotten that we can stand up for our faith, that we can have belief as our democratic right. This is so important to understand.
We were talking to a brother. He is working in business, the president of a very successful clothes manufacturing company. He is a Unificationist. As you may know, in Korea and Asia there are many issues within the business world. They are drinking, when they have business partnerships and negotiating. There is drinking, there is a smoking culture, there is even an infidelity culture, where there is infidelity while business is being done. He told us that he was very upfront about his faith in the very beginning. He said, “I am a Unificationist, I am not going to drink with you guys, I am not going to smoke with you guys. I am negotiating with you, I’d love to do business with you but I am not going to drink with you.” He said that he was very upfront (open) about it in the very beginning. He said that it was so difficult at the beginning, so hard because everybody said, “What’s wrong with you? You want to do business… don’t you want to make money?” They kind of ostracized him.
He is now in his fifties, and very successful. He has a wonderful business, very successful, and he said, “At first it was tough. I was ostracized a little bit, looked at as strange, but in the long run it became easier and easier. Over time people said, “You know, he is one of those Unificationists. He doesn’t drink, leave him alone.” They ended up defending him in his faith. When we do the opposite, when we aren’t upfront about who we are, when we aren’t upfront about our faith in this situation, then, as he said, it only gets harder. Because every time those situations occur in the business world, in the drinking culture, another excuse has to be made. It is endless. It gets harder and harder to continue to make excuses. So he said that he is so happy and he is proud that he was upfront about it from the very beginning.
The reason why I talk about this is that in the long run it is so important for us to know that it is our right to be Unificationists, that it is our right to practice our faith and our religion. It is so important to declare that it is our right, to declare that it is our faith. This is so important so that in the long run we can practice our faith freely without illegal persecution, so that the day will come that the Unificationists can practice their religion without persecution. And I long for that day.
Let’s give it up once more for the Unification Church.
And let’s read the 6th verse of David (Psalms 3:6)
“I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.”
You know, brothers and sisters, when we take our stance, when we declare to the world that we have faith, that we are proud of our religion – when we do that, when we stand strong, when we stand up for our minority rights, then we can expect that there will be majority groups that will persecute us. In fact, this is something that we have to expect as a community. We have to expect that there will be narrow minded people that will persecute us because we are proud of who we are.
But we must remember, brothers and sisters, we have had a very long history with the evangelicals here in Korea. Brothers and sisters, we were persecuted many times by evangelicals. We were called heretics, Satan, Satan’s church, etc. etc. “Moonies, Moonies, antichrist!”… these kind of things, you know, and we were physically abused, too.
But we must remember this, brothers and sisters, that Christians, evangelical Christians, are not our enemies. This has to be clear, they are NOT our enemies; they are our brothers and sisters. The enemy is fear, the enemy is intolerance. The enemy is abuse of human rights, abuse of freedom of religion. It is not Christians. We have to be clear about this. We must not fear them as enemies. We must instead stand up against injustice and for human rights and tolerance for the religions.
Just as the Scriptures say, “I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side,” so we will not fear them because we believe and we have faith. We believe in the freedom of religion. We believe in our human rights, we believe that True Parents are the Messiah, that they are Lord. That it is part of our religion and our religious belief. We stand with the great human rights activists and the leaders of faith for the freedom of religion and democratic rights.
And I am particularly grateful to my many Buddhist brothers and sisters, my Buddhist friends, who stood up to protest for religious freedom when they were being misunderstood as a religion. As you remember, that happened about two years ago in Korea. They have set a precedent. Korea had to honor the democratic rights of a religion. All democracies must uphold these constitutional rights of all of their citizens regardless of creed, regardless of color, regardless of gender or religion. And it is for this reason, brothers and sisters, that we must remember that God is our shield. If we have faith, if we believe, if we are proud Unificationists, then God is our shield, God is our redemption. God will deliver us.
Let us see the last two verses of that song and I want to invite you to read these two verses with me. (Psalms 3:7)
“Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God”
(Psalms 3:8): “From the Lord comes deliverance.” And let’s say this last one together, I have to say it with you, come on, all of you… “May your blessing be on your people.” Aju
Let’s enter into our resurrected homeland practice. Let us close our eyes and let us now visualize ourselves not in this sanctuary – let us visualize ourselves now walking in a beautiful meadow, a beautiful meadow that is lush and green. And as we listen to the verses of this song about the seven deaths and resurrections, about the eight-stage perfection, about the victory of True Parents and the victory of true love, that we are alive and we say thank you that we are alive, let us walk in this field.
This meadow used to be deserts which are now bubbling springs. The parched, dry lands are now wonderful refreshing streams and overflowing rivers. When we look to our left we notice a beautiful stream that is meandering down. We will notice that the stream has a vibrancy and a life that is so purifying and as we walk in this meadow we will notice that with each step that we take, that right around our feet beautiful flowers are blooming. We notice that this land is being resurrected with the power of true love. As we walk we will notice those incredible miracles. As we look up ahead we will see True Parents in those incredible beautiful holy robes and they stand waiting there for us. Let us walk towards them. Let us kneel before them, True Father with his right hand, True Mother with her left hand, place their hands atop our head and they anoint us and they bless us. They pray, “May you inherit the true love of God.” As we receive that blessing let us feel the energy that flows from the top of our head all the way down through our feet, almost like a wave of the Holy Spirit moving through us, resurrecting ourselves and resurrecting our body, and resurrecting our spirits and our hopes. As we breathe in deeply, in our hearts let us say, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out deeply, in our hearts let us say, “Thank you.”
Once again the second inhalation as we breathe in, in our hearts, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out, second exhalation, “Thank you.”
One more time, final inhalation as we breathe in, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out, final exhalation, “Thank You.” God and True Parents have blessed us with the blessed life that is to inherit the true love of God and to become greater blessings to our spouse, to our brothers and sisters, to our world and to God. Let us join our hands and manifest the Principle: give and receive action, four position foundation, coming together – may I inherit the true love of God. Aju, aju.
Thank you, brothers and sisters. I want to invite you all to stand, and, brothers and sisters, we’re going to have time now for the Altar Call. This is the time for us to pray together as a community. We want to invite all the Japanese ministers to come up to the front. We want to pray for you, we want to pray for your ministries in Japan. Also, anybody else who feels called to prayer, who wants to pray for the brothers and sisters who are having so much difficulty or suffering, please come up to the front, where we want to join our hearts together as one heart and one community, one spirit. Please come, brothers and sisters. Nihon kara irashatta no shikutachi minnasama mae ni kite kudasai.( Would those members who are here from Japan, would all of you please come up to the front.)
Let us join our hearts in prayer, let’s pray; let us close our eyes and lift up our two hands towards the heavens and let us touch the face of God. Let us wipe away the tears of our brothers and sisters of True Parents and let us pray:
Heavenly Father, thank you so much. Father we thank you for this day that we can come together once again, that we have the freedom to live, to practice and worship you in this incredible world. Father, we thank you so much for the democratic world which was prepared by the American forefathers, guided by your hand. Father, we thank you so much, because democracy is truly freeing people, allowing us to experience our faith without persecution. And we pray that those ideals may come to pass, that they may come true in all democratic countries.
Father, we pray for our brothers and sisters, particularly in Japan, who for 43 years have endured so much persecution, illegal kidnappings and crimes against human rights, because of their faith, and their religion. Father, we pray that you may console those hearts today. We want to pray for those persecutors, we want to pray like Jesus prayed, for those persecutors. We pray that they may have forgiveness and that they may repent of their ways. We pray that we may all be delivered into your hand and your love and we want to pray particularly for our brothers and sisters who have suffered these atrocities.
Father, we want to pray for those brothers and sisters who are the true heroes of our faith, who have endured intense suffering but still hold strong with love, with conviction and with faith. Father, we thank you so much for them, because without them we would be so unable to see how blessed we can be. We pray for them today, we pray that you have your hand with them today, and that you may protect them today. We pray that Unificationists all around the world may be proud of their faith; that we may understand our right to practice our religion, our right to be proud of our faith, proud of True Parents; that we may understand our right to declare that they are the Lord, that they are the Messiah.
Father, we thank you so much, and we want to come together as a community, we want to offer grace to you and offer thanks. We want to ask you to come down and be in our lives, Father, to give us courage and strength to stand up in the face of persecution with peace, to stand up in the face of injustice with truth and stand up in the face of hatred with true love. Thank you so much. We pray, Father, that you may be with us today and as we move forward. Please guide us and give us your spirit. Thank you so much. We pray all these things in our own names, as Blessed Central families we pray. Aju, Aju.