Czech Republic: "Spring" in Prague
Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, UPF Secretary General
Prague, Czech Republic
July 10, 2006
Mother Moon departed from Geneva at 7:00 AM on July 10 and arrived in Prague about 10:00 AM. She was welcomed by Professor Milan Kalal, a nuclear physicist, Hon. Jaromir Kohlicek, member of the European Parliament, and by Mr. and Mrs. Hyung Tae Kim.
As with other Eastern European countries, the early emissaries of Father and Mother Moon worked underground as early as the 1960s; many were imprisoned, all were persecuted, and at least one was martyred, Marie Zivna.
The day of Mother Moon’s arrival was beautiful. The suite at the Hotel President overlooked the Moldau River with a spectacular view of the river, the old city and the cathedral, high on a hill on the opposite bank of the river.
Prague is a beautiful city. The Czech Republic was the home of Jan Hus, the early reformer who influenced Martin Luther in Germany. Hus was himself influenced by John Wycliff. Also Jan Comenius, the great theologian, pedagogue and philosopher of education, was from the Czech Republic, as were composers Bedrich Smetana and Antonin Dvorak. In 1968 Czechoslovakia led the “Prague Spring,” rebelling against Soviet tyranny; it was put down by Soviet tanks. Later, in 1989, the Velvet Revolution was successful in leading to independence.
The main event was held in a beautiful, grand Hall in the Palace Zofin on an island in the middle of the Moldau River. The event began with a reception. There was classical entertainment in the program. Eva Kanturkova, Chair of the Writers’ Union of the Czech Republic, gave the opening remarks.
Both Kook Jin and Mother Moon spoke passionately and warmly, to an enthusiastic audience.
Following the prayer for blessing of marriage, Father and Mother Moon’s grandson Shin Joong joined in three cheers, uniting three generations in concluding a great day in Prague. It was a true Prague Spring.