Saturday, June 25, 2005

A group of religious figures representing Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations will rally in Washington today to “challenge America to heal racial, religious and international conflicts.”

Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, will speak at 3 this afternoon at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in a speech described as a salute to the dead and the veterans of the Korean War, marking the 55th anniversary of the beginning of the war that claimed 58,000 American lives, as well as a challenge to work for peace. If the United States does not quickly respond to the challenge, he told a similar rally last week in New York City, God will choose another nation to follow divine will.

“Now is God’s time,” he said. “He cannot be satisfied with only spiritual progress. Heaven cannot tolerate religious and ethnic divisions any longer.”

He will be joined at the rally by Christian religious figures from Canada and the District, a Jewish former member of the city council of Jerusalem, and a Muslim imam from Orange County, California.

He will present a proposal to build a 51-mile bridge/tunnel across the Bering Strait to link Siberia and Alaska. “This bridge can help make the world a single community at last,” he said. “Living for the sake of others will usher in the kingdom of peace.”

The link, which would presumably be financed by participating governments, would be intended to promote mutual prosperity and could open Siberia to tourism. “It would help Russia develop a partnership with America along democratic ideals. Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of state, William Seward, believed that it was important for America to go with the flow of human history,” according to a statement from the sponsoring organization, the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace.

“Moving ever westward from its Near East origins, Seward believed human civilization had picked up America and was now turning westward toward the Orient, where the country would find its true destiny. He advocated building a transcontinental railroad and the purchase of Alaska.

“The American notion of Manifest Destiny took a different expression in the 20th century. Presidents like [Woodrow] Wilson, [Franklin D.] Roosevelt and [John F.] Kennedy labored to make the world safe for democracy in three wars. The Berlin Wall collapsed, but the need to build bridges of peace — literally and metaphorically — remain.”

Rev. Moon will speak at similar rallies in Chicago and Los Angeles following the rally this afternoon in Washington.

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