127 US Religious Leaders To Hold DMZ Rally to End Korean Nuclear Crisis; Work for Peace in Korea and World
October 27, 2006
A delegation of 127 US pastors, imams and religious leaders held a peace rally and prayer at ImJinGak at the DMZ between North and South Korea, Friday October 27, calling on the two Koreas, the USA, China, Russia, Japan and the UN to work together to create an “Axis of Peace” that will bring lasting change to the region.
The plane-load of spiritual leaders is on a worldwide peace mission that began last Saturday with 120 simultaneous events in the United States. Peace rallies have already been held in more than 360 cities in the US, Japan and Korea. After the DMZ event, the group will leave to Europe and Africa, planning to cover nearly 100 nations by the end of the year.
The peace effort is coordinated by the Universal Peace Federation, founded by the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who have long played a significant role in efforts for North-South reconciliation. Back in 1991, the Moons, both born in the North, traveled to Pyongyangon a mission of reconciliation and were warmly welcomed by then Premier Kim Il Sung. The trust and goodwill fostered then has led to numerous cultural, commercial and sporting exchanges.
In fact only last week North Korea, in a gesture rarely seen from its leaders, sent sincere regrets to Moon that they could no longer send their women’s soccer team to the Peace Queen Cup. The contest, also founded by the Moons, starts tomorrow and would have featured a match up between North Korea and the USA women’s national team, seeded 2nd in a strong field.
For years, Moon has been calling for the creation of an interreligious peace council at the United Nations, consisting of conscientious people from all faiths who can transcend national and religious differences. The US delegation, which includes many who have worked for decades on related issues such as civil rights, religious freedom, family values and more, is expected to meet with Moon tomorrow.
“War is not the answer” says group spokesman George Stallings from Washington DC. “The UPF’s peace-building efforts are grounded in two core principles found in all great religions: the principle of true love –living for the sake of others -- and the principle of reconciliation and unification that calls us to seek mutual understanding, respect, harmony and cooperation between people of diverse races, religions, nationalities, cultures and worldviews.”
- Archbishop G. Augustus Stallings - Founder of the African American Catholic Congregation and Co-President of the American Clergy Leadership Conference with 20,000 clergy.
- Pastor Robert G. Upton - President of the Apostolic Coalition - Pentecostal Religious Association that represents 12,000,000 Pentecostals in the U.S.
- Dr. Hycel B. Taylor - Professor Emeritus of Garrett Theological Seminary (Methodist). Pastor of Christian Fellowship Church.
- Rabbi Mordecai Waldman - Rabbi of Congregation Temple Beth Tephilath Moses
- Rev. Mark Abernathy - Pastor of Christian Life Fellowship - President of Christian Impact Alliance - Representing several Million Pentecostals
- Imam Firquan Muhammad - Muslim leader of Atlanta Islamic Center
- Minister Amar Napth Gupta - Leader of 30,000 Indian Hindus in Washington D.C.
- Rev. Michael Jenkins - Chairman of Universal Peace Federation USA.