October 1, 2006
Mr. Frew Bekele
The World Peace Tour rally in Ethiopia held on October 1 was the continuation of the two big rallies, on November 16, 2005 at the UN Conference Center and July 21, 2006 at the Sheraton, where True Mother and True Children were warmly welcomed.
Directions to host the third world tour in Ethiopia came a couple of weeks before the event. The first challenge was to secure a venue, the Ethiopian Conference Center (Convention Hall), which is located about 5km from the center of Addis. It was the first UPF rally to be held in this well designed and beautiful hall.
People were mobilized to prepare and distribute 1,800 invitations and make telephone calls to Ambassadors for Peace residing in Addis. Rev. SueEun Ryoo and Mrs. Junko worked along with Ethiopians, devoting their time and energy to the success of the rally.
About 400 participants attended the program from governmental institutions, religious leaders, NGOs, and youth associations. Former President of Ethiopia, Dr. Negaso Gidada, and Prince Estifanos also attended the program.
The pre-program started at 3:00 pm with a traditional Ethiopian dance performed by the Redeem the Generation YouthAssociation; this was followed by martial arts demonstration by the Yacob Tong-Il Moo-Do team.
The main program started about 3:40 with an invocation. As Islam and Christianity are the two main religions in the country, the program started with invocations by Muslim leader Haji Teshale Kero and Orthodox Christian leader Rev. Hailemariam. Both appreciated UPF’s endeavor to realize world peace and promised to work hard together.
After the invocations, opening remarks were made by Mrs. Aziza, a board member of Vision Ethiopia Congress for Democracy. She emphasized the importance of peaceful families, which will subsequently lead to peaceful communities and the larger society.
The toast to families was led by Rev. Ryoo. He briefly explained the meaning of drinking the water, which symbolized holy juice. The holy offering ceremony was led by three representatives.
Then a video about the Middle East Peace Initiative was shown on the wall of the hall. The Founder’s Address was read by Rev. Eiji Tokuno, continental director, UPF-Africa. He began by describing the guiding principles of heaven and explained the importance of reading the entire speech together.
After the speech, flowers were presented to Rev. Tokuno and Mrs. Junko, and they symbolically passed them on to Rev. and Mrs. Moon by placing them on a chair. The audience applauded.
Two couples on the stage represented all the participants during the prayer for blessing of marriage, officiated by Rev. Tokuno. Ten people were honored with Ambassadors for Peace certificates. The rally concluded at about 6:00 with three cheers.
Ethiopian television gave it good news coverage, and the program was broadcasted all over the country two times, in Amharic and English.
After the program some people ate dinner together at the Ghion Hotel, where there was opportunity for further conversation.
Reflections from some of the participants:
* I was really moved when I got the chance to know the nature of UPF and its missions. Once again, I was thrilled when I heard the preaching given by the “continental representatives” about the purity we should keep, the fidelity that we should follow and the need and importance of family love!!! Yes, I am touched because it enabled me to look inward. Thank you! (Loan officer – C.B.E.)
* I really want to give my deeper appreciation to Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon for their initiative for universal peace. Countries like Ethiopia learn a lot from your initiative. We really need peace and need to build God’s ideal family in our country. Ethiopia should have an initiative to build family based-integrated development throughout the country. So we really need your valuable attention to help poor families and empower the children and women in rural Ethiopia. Thank you. God bless our universe. (Operations manager – MMFI)
* Wow! It seems time for the world to stand for peace. The UPF is addressing one of the biggest issues which concerns everybody, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, color, etc.. I really appreciate those who produced such a unique, unusual but interesting and timely program in Ethiopia. I wish I could be one of the UPF’s members and act effectively for such a holy movement. (Senior reporter - Ethiopian Television)
* I was really amazed by your presentation of ‘God’s Ideal family and Peace Kingdom.’ At the beginning of your presentation I was passive, but in time I became surprised, especially about the nature of true love, the kingdom of heaven, family, True Parents, peace movement and some other ideas which convey such joy and grace. May God bless you as you continue spreading this peace to the world. (Haramaya University graduate).
* First of all, I personally would like to express appreciation for what UPF has been doing for world peace. The points which have been promoted by UPF are very fundamental components to assure peace throughout the world. I personally would be very happy to work with UPF in relation to my profession. Thank you for your invitation. (Journalist)