Spain and Portugal
September 10, 2006
Full Report and Photos(PDF)
Hotel Zurique in Lisbon was the venue for a gathering of dignitaries, Ambassadors for Peace, family and friends of UPF and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification totaling some two hundred people. Ms. Ji Yea Park, dressed in a beautiful blue suit, was a fitting representative for the King and Queen of Peace. She was such a gracious presence, sharing the precious jewels of the philosophy of peace. She was welcomed by Mr. Luis Franco, the Mayor of Alcochete, a city close by Lisbon. Songs from three young ladies prepared the atmosphere so that the environment was joyful and full of participation. The audience could feel the power of true love rooted in true families and secured through three generations. Afterwards, guests remarked that they were pleased with the content of the speech.
The following day included morning devotions with Mr. Hyun Jin Moon at the local Family Federation for World Peace and Unification center, followed by an outing to see the impressive “Sagrada Familia,” (Temple of the Holy Family), the unfinished basilica started in the 1880's by the visionary Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi. Still under construction, it rises in wonder toward the sky, with twelve spires that represent Jesus, Mary and the Apostles.
Father Jose Apeles Santolaria, a nationally known Catholic priest and media figure, came to the peace tour main event in Barcelona. Together with the UPF staff and volunteers from Barcelona and Andorra, the program was prepared to give Mr. In Sup Pak a taste of the local culture including Catalan music, so a local group of musicians performed as part of the program. Besides the event, the organizing committee took Mr. Pak to a holy ground for prayers located on a beautiful mountain near Barcelona. The peace tour presented three generations united for God’s will, and in the audience also three generations were present with elder friends and relatives and young second generation. Mr. Pak's reading of the Founder's speech was well done, and his spirit embraced everyone with words of true love and the audience responded to it, making a step forward
in the providence of ideal world of love and peace in Spain.
This was a historic day for Spain and for Andorra just one day prior to the National Day of Catalonia. A good variety of participants from different religions came to the main event. Several persons were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace, including the National President of the Theosophy Society and the President of the Buddhist Dojo Zen.
In the Cuatro Caminos area of Madrid the beautiful Metropolitan Garden Hotel served as the venue for the peace tour event, with guest speaker Mr. Shin Il Moon delivering the Founder's speech to an audience of about 100. Although he mentioned to the audience that he is not used to speaking in public, he showed a lot of charm and heart, making a very friendly atmosphere. His message was clear and uplifting, as he went beyond his personal shyness. The audience responded well, including his personal comments about his passion for cars, and the soccer team Real Madrid. This area of Madrid is quite multicultural, so it was interesting to see in the audience the combination of a strong Catholic religious presence with many nuns, as well as many Latin American guests. Professor Alfonso Ojeda from Madrid University, an expert on Korea reunification, was the special guest who had previously attended UPF events in Korea and Geneva. Music was provided by a Bolivian folk music group, giving the program a lively lift.
In the heart of medieval Madrid, in the area called Santo Domingo, Ms. Shin Sook Moon was the main speaker. Rabbi David Elzami offered some songs of peace before the main program, and Ambassador for Peace Matilde Barnatan, director of Sephardic Programming in the National Radio of Spain, spoke. Ms. Moon presented the reading of the Founder's speech coming through warm and clear. Afterward she mingled and spoke with guests and took pictures with them.
Mr. Shin Bok Hong arrived at lunch time to the Hotel Cervantes in Torremolinos, Malaga in the heart of Costa del Sol, where there was a nice view of the sea. There was time for a meal of typical Spanish food—fried fish—at a restaurant nearby. The program started at 5:15 pm with a Spanish dance by two groups of young girls and a joyful song. After the ceremonies and the video presentation, our special guest speaker read the main speech clearly and with all his heart, and the message was well received. Five new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed including the local secretary of UNICEF and the president of the Youth Association for Peace and Solidarity. The Krishna Consciousness musical group presented a song to end the program, and group pictures were taken.
All around town were posters advertising the event put up by four hard-working second generation youths who also passed out flyers. Two ladies came because of the posters they saw. One lady already has very good understanding of the work of the founder Rev. Moon and the UPF in Argentina. She was happy to attend unexpectedly and meet local Spanish UPF members; she wants to continue coming to our events. Guests were impressed by the video presentation. After the event, Mr. Hong was joined by local families to share a paella (rice and seafood) dinner near the sea.
Porto is the ‘capital’ of northern Portugal and the second city of the nation, famous for its football clubs and its hard working people. Mr. Hyung Jin Lee delivered the Founder’s message with dignity and a growing authority. The audience consisted of mainly local families associated with the UPF, including friends and associates. Four outstanding guests were appointed Ambassadors for Peace in recognition of their good example of living for others.
Sister Elena Oyarzabal, an expert in inter-religious matters from the Catholic Church, served as guest speaker at the peace tour event in Ventas. Her words were very warm as she expressed deep appreciation for the activities developed by UPF and Women’s Federation for World Peace in Spain. The main speaker, Mr. Hirotaka Otsuka, managed to create a very nice give-and-take with the audience while expounding Father Moon’s philosophy of peace. During the Holy Offering Ceremony three guests stood up spontaneously and joined three staff members in burning their visiting cards. An intercultural couple—a man from the Gnostic Christian Church and his wife who belongs to the Sikh movement—stood publicly to receive the Blessing as representative of other religions. The atmosphere was family-like and very respectful, even joyful as brothers and sisters under our common Father-Mother, God.
Hotel El Chiscon of Colmenar Viejo, the town where the ginseng company is located, served as the site for the peace tour event in Colmenar. The main speaker was Ms. Shiori Kunitoki, who did a fine job delivering her grandfather-in-law’s message of peace. Several Ambassadors for Peace were appointed, guests of one of the Ambassadors for Peace from the area. The program flowed smoothly, and there was time afterward for Ms. Kunitoki to get to know the youthful second generation, whose families work at the ginseng plant.
San Lorenzo del Escoral - The church of the Religious Residence (Convent) of the Sacred Heart was the venue for the peace tour event in this beautiful town. This same convent had been used in the past for a UPF European Symposium and several interreligious seminars and programs. Ms. Yeon Sun Yu won the heart of the audience saying a few words of greeting in Spanish. She was spontaneous and close to the audience. Esperanza Bautista, a top Catholic theologian and professor at the Jesuit College of Madrid, shared some opening remarks about her many years working with the movement. The program ended with refreshments. Afterward the staff took Ms. Yu to visit this historic town.
Cascais, Portugal, is a holiday town on the Atlantic coast about 30 kilometers west of the capital Lisbon. There is a large harbor for yachts and beautiful sandy beaches. A new page in Casais’ history opened with the visit of the third UPF World Peace Tour. Ms. Jin Hwa Yoshida was greeted by an excited audience of one hundred in one of the city halls. Her presence brought a purity and sincerity which inspired a young lady, the sister of one of the Ambassadors for Peace, to spontaneously offer a song in gratitude for her heart for God and world peace. It was a beautiful finale to the whole event. Six new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed, among them a Roman Catholic nun.
In Pamplona this peace tour was the first event sponsored by UPF, in a city that is the heart of conservative and traditional Catholicism in Spain, the national stronghold of Opus Dei. At the Blanca de Navarra Hotel seven of our guests were Catholic religion teachers, mostly nuns. One guest was a top leader of Kiko Argüello, the charismatic Catholic lay group which is growing rapidly in the world. The program was advertised by Catholic Radio in Pamplona. Guests were impressed by the speech and ceremonies and asked about future programs. The religious teachers wanted to know more about the Divine Principle. Mr. Young Jun Kim’s presence representing three generations of True Family will help establish the foundation here. Guests responded well to his dynamic spirit and heart. Afterward he enjoyed a tour of Pamplona, including the streets where the bulls run in July, a festivity that attracts tourists to Pamplona by the thousands every year.