Honorable chairman, distinguished scholars, respected guests, ladies and gentlemen.It is my pleasure to speak to you at this Opening Plenary Session of the 19th International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences and the fifth Professors World Peace Academy World Congress. I wholeheartedly welcome you to my homeland of Korea.
Last year, in addition to the ICUS, we had two very special conferences, the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace (IRFWP) and the Federation for World Peace. These two organizations were established to create a New World Order. The Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace, in particular, is dedicated to uniting the world's religions for the purpose of establishing world peace. In the recent Gulf War, we witnessed how the world fell into a religious war. Global disaster continues to flare up.
Until now, many politicians have exploited religious conflicts for their own selfish purposes. Religions have been powerless and confused, not clearly recognizing their responsibility in relation to world peace. Now, through the IRFWP, leaders from the world's religions will harmonize and become leaders for world peace.
In every culture, religion should be the conscience, setting the standard of public righteousness. While each religion has pride in its own teachings each has universal elements, which come from God. The one God is the God of all religions. Therefore, religions must purify themselves and elevate themselves through universal principles. The central value in religion is true love, which can be described by the teaching, "Live for the sake of others." The individual lives for the sake of the family; the family lives for the sake of the community; the community lives for the sake of the nation; the nation lives for the sake of the world. Likewise, my religion lives for the sake of other religions. This principle is true.
The source of this universal principle is God. In creating the universe, God invested Himself totally for the sake of His creation. Throughout history, it is God who has been continually sacrificing Himself in order to save fallen human beings, who have been living just as they desire. The prophets, saints and sages who knew God's will have followed God's principles in their own lives.
Not content to keep the truth to themselves, they have walked the way of sacrifice in order to teach others. Moses, Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, Socrates and Jesus are saints who suffered hardships and were persecuted, even as they taught people. They sacrificed their lives in order to enlighten and liberate humanity.
The Federation for World Peace is a cooperative federation of politicians and national organizations. Today's world cannot be maintained by nationalism. The current flare-up of ethnic violence in Eastern Europe only demonstrates its destructive nature. National pride and self-determination are good and right only when they are dedicated to serving the world community. Nationalism which places "my nation first" and promotes hatred of other nations goes against the universal principle of living for the sake of others. All such "isms" which go against the universal principle are destined to decline.
Now we are seeing a trend where nations are joining to form multinational associations, such as the European Community. This trend will intensify in the coming years. All over the world, nations will unite in regional communities: The United States of Europe, the East Asian community, the community of Islam, the community of African nations, the community of North and South America.
In order that politicians may transcend national self-interest, there must be unifying values which different nations share. What can unite the nations of Europe? Economic policies alone are insufficient. There are still many disputes between industrialized nations and nations with agrarian economies. Social policies are another source of contention. If we can identify a single common factor in the European Community, it is its Christian culture.
When compared with people from the Middle East or the Orient, it is evident that Europeans share much in common: common foods, common social customs and, most importantly, a common ethic and worldview. The root of this common European culture is Christianity.
Christian culture is the foundation for the intellectual, social and political life of Europe. However, European Christianity itself is plagued by deep historical divisions. We realize that conflicts, such as those in Northern Ireland and the former Yugoslavia, stem from an unresolved religious struggle between Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Therefore, religious harmony and unity are the necessary condition for political and social peace and unity.
The New World Order will consist of communities of nations, each bound together by a common religion and culture and joined in economic and political relationships. I foresaw this trend many years ago. That is why for more than forty years I have been promoting inter-religious activities pursuing dialogue and harmony. For a New World Order to be realized, we must prevent religious war.
To solve this problem I have been painstakingly laying the foundation that can embrace every religion. Before I began my ministry, I took the principle which was revealed to me before Jesus, Buddha, Confucius and Mohammed in the spiritual world, and they attested that it was correct. Now leaders of every religion recognize that to substantiate a world of peace all religious people must center on the original teaching and take positive steps to make harmony with each other. It is my God-ordained mission to bring the world into unity under God.
The Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace and the Federation for World Peace will work together as mind and body. Until now, fallen people have been allowing the body to dominate their individual lives, creating a world of selfish individuals, oppressing others for their own pleasures. This is hell on earth. Only a few people have followed the voice of conscience, emanating from the mind, which teaches them to pursue truth, beauty and goodness and to resist the temptations of the body. Only these people can meet God, and find heaven on earth.
Likewise, few national politicians have listened to the voice of religion. Amid the clamor of politics, the voice of moral and spiritual values was only faintly heard. In the West, as well as the East, politicians have tried to found prosperity on economic and political policies without God. Their efforts have been in vain. No nation can prosper without God's blessing.
God blesses those nations that are practicing faith, morality and the principle of living for the sake of others. Yet politicians still look only to the earth, blind to heaven's influence. Communist leaders tried for seventy years to establish prosperity without God, and now their nations are bankrupt. Likewise, the West is plagued by recession, crime and social decay; its problems will not be solved until its leaders open their eyes and discover their true cause.
When the religious leaders have united for the sake of world peace under God, the politicians will obey the teachings of religion. Then and only then will the social and economic problems be solved, and the nations of the world naturally unite on the path of peace. The Federation for World Peace will succeed where the United Nations and many other organizations have failed because it has this foundation.
The role of scholars for the sake of the New World Order is very important. To insure a well-rounded education for individuals, close communication between all segments of society is necessary. People must constantly cooperate with one another in order to raise up individuals who can develop civilized families, churches, schools and society. The greatest task of our generation is the problem of how to implement this well-rounded education in our pluralistic global village.
You scholars are the treasure-house of knowledge in this society. Your students learn more from the person you are than from the knowledge you teach. Students imitate the teacher's habits, learn the teacher's attitudes about society, and are deeply influenced by the teacher's sense of values. You professors must always, in the teacher's position, become desirable examples for the future. Your mission, which is to set up a new cultural tradition rooted in the absolute value of true love, is a precious thing.
As you know, this conference has been organized as part of the first World Culture and Sports Festival. This is a historical event, guiding the spiritual culture of humanity, searching for true values for humanity's happiness, and leading the way to a new world of peace and harmony among God, people and nature. It is a Festival gathering the world's scholars, religious figures, journalists, politicians and youth leaders, as members of the global community, combining their collective wisdom and practical experience regarding the unity of humankind.
On August 25, approximately thirty thousand couples from all regions of the world will receive the holy blessing, pledging to establish a new family tradition centered on God. The family is the most fundamental building block of society. The solution to all social problems begins with the solution to problems in the family. The ideal of "one world family in true love" transcending races is directly related to the fulfillment of a peaceful world. People pledging to become exemplary God-centered couples, creating blessed families, will provide a substantial model of ethics and morality. In this way, ideal families, societies, nations and an ideal world, representing the fruit of true love, will be realized.
The fact that sixty thousand people of the world are gathering to receive the blessing symbolizes unity under God and True Parents. I invite you all to attend this historical blessing ceremony.
In conclusion, may I introduce to you two projects that I am supporting. One involves the completion of an encyclopedia, by the International Cultural Foundation, to bring humanity's wisdom together in one place for the 21st century. The other is the creation of the World University Federation to promote the worldwide exchange of knowledge, as well as the exchange of professors and students. These two new projects will provide a great impetus for the advancement of the global village culture of the future.
Once again, I want to express my gratitude to all of you for attending this meaningful conference in Seoul. I am very grateful, especially, to Dr. Gerholm who has worked very hard as the ICUS chairman, and to Dr. Kaplan who is giving his utmost effort for the worldwide development of PWPA.
May your discussions at this conference be very fruitful. I pray for God's protection and blessing to be with you and your families.