Angola: Rally for Peace Sparks Hope
Rev. Kinambuta Sambu Pedro
August 10, 2006
Angola is a country located in the southern half of Africa on the Atlantic coast, the last Portugal colony until independence in 1975. The colonization lasted about five centuries. After independence, the country was controlled by a communist system. A civil war between brothers of the same country finished just after the leader of the rebels, Mr. Jonas Savimbi, died during the fighting. Both factions started negotiations for peace in 2002.
Angola is a rich country in natural resources, but its people are facing serious economic problems; the country is still in reconstruction. The country became strategically significant due to the civil war that lasted nearly 30 years.
Angola was chosen by the Universal Peace Federation as one of the stops in Africa where Mother Moon tentatively planned to hold a Rally for Peace; however, she was represented by UPF’s Continental Director for Africa, the Rev. Eiji Tokuno, on August 10, 2006 in the Tropico Hotel in Luanda, the capital city.
The attendance was not what we expected due to various circumstances. That day, Parliament members met regarding the peace settlement in the Cabinda enclave; many members of both government and civil society attended that important event. The total attendance was 160 people, including religious, political, academic, NGO and media representatives.
Among the participants, five couples were pastors of the church of Our Lord Jesus in the World, founded by the prophet Simao Toco, who passed away 25 years ago. The present leader of that church, Bishop Afonso Nunes, has attended our international gatherings and demonstrated his desire to work as an Ambassador for Peace. He is a leader of 1,000,000 people, including high-level persons of this country.
Ten new Ambassadors for Peace were nominated. Everyone in attendance participated in the holy juice ceremony and prayer for blessing of marriage officiated by Rev. Tokuno.
At the conclusion, a seven-point proposal for developing the UPF work in Angola was prepared, expressing our great desire to further the work of peace in this nation, which had suffered such devastation under communism and the long civil war.
Generally speaking, all participants had a good impression and have been making telephone calls to offer thanks to the UPF initiative. They advise us to multiply the activities that the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon is doing for the great benefit of humankind. We are preparing another activity at the end of the month to educate Ambassadors for Peace.
Rev. Tokuno arrived on August 9 from Congo Brazzaville. A delegation including Japanese volunteer Mrs. Yumiko Kudo, the Angola national leader, Dr. Manuel Adao Domingos, the vice president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification-Angola and General Consul of Angola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo welcomed him at the Luanda airport. At morning devotions following the event, he gave guidance about sincerity, pure heart and responsibility, emphasizing the need to prepare both sides—spiritually and physically. He also emphasized our special responsibility—as African people—to develop our standard of life. Finally, he gave us hope that in the future we will have an opportunity to welcome Father and Mother Moon to Angola. After cutting the celebration cake, group photos were taken, and then Rev. Tokuno left for Lesoto. It was a special experience to receive him, and we could feel Mother Moon's heart through him.