On April 29, 2018 in Wiener Stadthalle of Vienna, Austria, True Mother joined 10,000 people for the “Peace Starts With Me” rally. In addition to various musical performances celebrating peace and unity, True Mother delivered the keynote address, encouraging everyone in attendance to become a shining light in Europe, helping actualize a world of peace as one family under God. To listen to her full message and to see the entirety of the program, watch the video above!
The Peace Starts with Me Festival began with a very warm and bilingual welcome to the many people who had gathered from all over the world to hear True Mother speak. Among the guests included a delegation from Japan, as well as the participants of the international leaders’ conference organized by the Universal Peace Federation.
The Longfield Gospel Choir kicked off the program with several energetic and beautifully-arranged gospel numbers, including Every Praise Is to Our God, which featured a group of equally energetic young Unificationist dancers who previously promoted the event in the streets of Vienna.
Family Federation for World Peace and Unification Austria National Leader Elisabeth Cook and FFWPU Europe and Middle East Regional Chair Dr. Michael Balcomb introduced the goals and purpose of the festival. Dr. Balcomb stated that it would make an impact if 10,000 people were to say “peace starts with me.” He then asked everyone to stand up and tell five other people that “peace starts with me.” Dr. Balcomb expressed his belief that just as men and women have dreamed of peace, God has also been dreaming of peace. As Dr. Balcomb explained, just as the coming spring cannot be stopped, so it is with the coming era of peace. The history of darkness is about to end and the history of peace is about to begin.
Attraction, a Hungarian shadow dance group, then took the stage. The eight dancers performed behind a special screen and created beautiful images formed by their own shadows. Then came Spark, an energetic modern ballet which featured some of our most talented young Unificationist members.
The opening prayer was a touching Christian invocation of God’s spirit by a Catholic priest who came to the podium with a young woman who then sang her own prayer in Aramaic.
A musical dedication featured our own diva Seiko Lee, who sang a classical piece by Vienna native Johann Strauss. Ms. Lee sang first by herself and was later joined in a beautiful duet by Mr. Kastriot Tusha from Albania.
Next, the crowd watched a brief but poignant video which gathered together some of the young voices explaining what Peace Starts with Me meant for them personally. The emcees asked the audience members to take a minute or two to explain their own thoughts and feelings about peace with one another. A second video presentation which briefly introduced True Parents’ global work for peace was short and to the point.
Then former Austria Defense Minister Dr. Werner Fasslabend personally introduced True Mother as the keynote speaker. Referring to his long experience in public office, he expressed his insight that it is relatively easy to disturb peace but tough and time-consuming to restore and keep peace. He concluded that the task of bringing peace is not just in the realm of religion, politics or the military, but in ourselves. “Peace is me. Peace is all of us,” he said to applause. He referred to the teachings of “the late, great Dr. Moon, and his wife” when he remarked that before anything, we must master ourselves. Dr. Fasslabend explained that we must first have inner peace as the basis to convince others to create peace among themselves, among society, and among the world.
After Dr. Fasslabend spoke briefly about True Mother’s life, including her marriage to True Father and the fact that she had 14 children and more than 40 grandchildren, True Mother came out to the podium accompanied by Sun Jin Moon, President of Family Federation International. Dr. Fasslabend welcomed True Mother warmly to “this city of music and peace,” offering her his best wishes for the future of her work.
When True Mother spoke, she welcomed everyone and thanked religious leaders, Ambassadors for Peace, and members for coming. She particularly mentioned those who had traveled from Moscow by bus on a 30-hour journey, as well as a group of important religious leaders from Africa.
She explained that although Christianity developed in Europe, Christians did not know the essence of Jesus. Through True Parents we can know that God is our Heavenly Parent, and we can understand the blood, sweat and tears that God shed to restore humankind. True Mother noted that many young Unificationists who have now received the Marriage Blessing were there, and said that it is time for them to fulfill their responsibility. She expressed her hope that everyone can become heavenly Tribal Messiahs who Bless all of their tribes, and that Unificationist families may work even beyond the level of tribe to Bless nations and the world. Through True Parents, the path has been opened and we can live centered on True Love. This is the Pacific Rim era, and the time of filial attendance centering on Heaven, a time to uphold the culture of living for the sake of others and the culture of true love by living as one human family.
True Mother acknowledged that many young Unificationists are working actively for peace in the world, and said that such a way is the only way for humanity to realize a true world of peace. Today there are seven and a half billion people in the world. They are living at the same time of True Parents, but how great their pain will be if they leave this word without knowing it! True Mother concluded her speech by encouraging everyone to become successful Messiahs to their tribes and nations and to become shining lights in Europe.
A group of beautiful young children then offered bouquets of flowers, one by one, to True Mother. Two tribute messages were read. One was from the president and deputy president of the Association for the Promotion of Peace, which bestows the Flame of Peace Award. The other was a declaration, offered by 300 Ambassadors for Peace who had gathered, of their commitment to overcome the barriers to peace.
Entertainment followed, with musical offerings by Seiko Lee and Serbian pop star Nevena Bošović. The afternoon culminated with gospel music from renowned American Gospel artist Yolanda Adams.
Peace Starts with Me Vienna 2018, True Mother’s Message
April 29, 2018, Vienna, Austria, Wiener Stadthalle
The following is an unofficial translation of True Mother’s message.
Respected distinguished guests, religious leaders, and ambassadors for peace from all around the world who came here for this day—especially ambassadors for peace and Family Federation members who made the long trip, traveling thirty hours from Russia to be here today—ladies and gentlemen, religious figures and leaders representing Heavenly Africa who came here to the Heavenly Europe region, thank you.
How can we live in a peaceful and happy world? Today we take great pains to think about what we can do to live in a peaceful and happy world. However, the things occurring around us make us anxious about the future. I see the European region especially as a region that Heaven has prepared. As Jesus Christ went the way of the cross, he prophesized that he would return. Christianity began by the Apostles that resurrected through the works of the Holy Spirit as they waited for the Messiah to return.
Christians received unspeakable persecution in the early days. After Rome recognized Christianity, it traveled through the European continent, from the Italian Peninsula, crossing to an island nation, Great Britain. Then the nations centered on Britain spread [Christian faith] out to the world under Christ’s name and opened the Atlantic Civilization Era. However, they did not know Christ’s essence. Caught up in their own selfishness, they put the benefit of their own nations first. So the result was different from what they had intended. In the end, rather than a movement that gave true love, it ended as a culture that took much away.
Externally, Europe began the industrial revolution. They achieved civilization, and due to scientific developments, people gained convenience. Yet, many problems occurred due to being unable to maintain balance. If humans continue in this way, the future of human life and even the planet we live on cannot be guaranteed. It is true we are at a point when we cannot help but worry. We have reached the limit of what human strength alone can do. People must know what kind of being the owner of the universe, God, our creator, is. Only through [knowing] that can all problems be solved.
In the beginning, originally when God created heaven, the Earth and all things, he created based on his form. He created as plus and minus in the mineral world, stamen and pistil in the plant world, and male and female in the animal world. Lastly, he created the human world as man and woman, Adam and Eve, as the Bible calls them. In particular, God gave humankind a growth period. At that time, [Adam and Eve] should have lived a life of becoming absolutely one with God, the Creator. However, during that time, when they had not fully matured, they developed greed. Due to that, the fallen human beings of today, who have no connection to God, were born.
Heaven could not just throw away fallen humanity. The omniscient and omnipotent God cannot fail. Because God gave human beings’ responsibility, unless a person who can accept Heaven’s will and become the [good] ancestor emerges from within humankind, God cannot realize his purpose of creation. Thus, Heaven had no choice but to go through the bitter and difficult providence of restoration through indemnity.
Heaven selected the Israelites as the chosen people and wished for them to achieve a foundation at the individual, people, tribal, and national levels. How difficult must that have been that it took four thousand years? After the long period of four thousand years, Heaven sent the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The longed-for messiah had come but Mary, who gave birth to him, figures in Judaism and the Israelites could not fulfill their responsibilities. The central figure who would accept the providence’s will and realize God’s purpose of creation and whom [God] had sent after the long period of four thousand years had come but a foundation to help him had not been prepared.
In conclusion, he had no choice but to go the way of the cross. Jesus went the way of the cross and prophesized that he would return. Through him the Christian cultural sphere was born.
Christians have a responsibility. They must not just blindly wait for the Messiah to come, riding on the clouds. They must know what the Messiah will do when he comes and prepare for it. The Messiah came as the only son of God and said he would hold the marriage supper of the Lamb when he returns. Then, from the Christian culture sphere, the only daughter of God who can be the Messiah’s partner must be born. However, the European region, where Christianity began, was unable to prepare this. Throughout the history of God’s providence, he has given people responsibilities. If the individual or people are unable to fulfill their responsibilities, God does not use them again. This is because they have indemnity left that must be paid.
Heaven chose a people who could give birth to the only daughter of God. Thus, in 1943 from the Korean peninsula in the East, the only daughter of God was born. This event is the truth of the providence. Korea was liberated [from Japan] in 1945. After Korea’s liberation, Korea was divided [based on] democratic and communist thought. At that time, a devout and spiritual Christian group believed the returning Lord would come somewhere near Pyongyang. Therefore, the three generations of my family, who had devout faith, did not consider going to southern Korea. Heaven gave birth to me after six thousand years and knew I needed a period of growth and thus had me head south. Then in 1950, the Korean War arose. At that time, South Korea did not have the strength to face North Korea. Because Heaven needed to give me a time of growth, God mobilized the UN Forces comprised of sixteen nations. That was how the democratic nation of South Korea came to be. We can see how much Heaven wished for the birth of a victorious person who could realize God’s purpose of creation. We can see how miserably God waited for the day when humankind’s ancestor would give rebirth to fallen humankind through the Blessing Ceremony and God could embrace them as “My son” and “My daughter.” You must know this historical truth.
The Old Testament Age is already in the past. The New Testament age is also already in the past. The prophesized Messiah returned in 1960, met the only daughter of God and they rose to the position of True Parents. Christianity should have prepared the environment for this, but Christianity is still unable to understand this foundation. Yet the providence develops. True Parents laid down roots on earth. Therefore, Heaven was able to give birth to many blessed families who could lay down roots. Just in the Europe region, there is a fifty-year history.
In that time, they went through many difficulties due to those in the Christian realm misunderstanding them. Furthermore, there were many difficulties due to Communist Thought, which came out of the Christian realm. In particular, the early European members engaged in missionary work through underground activities in “Mission Butterfly” to liberate the people of countries suffering under Communist regimes. That there were many sacrifices is true. Yet those who knew the providence and knew Heaven’s circumstances took a path of unchanging absolute faith.
I would like to say this to you all: The past Christian providence in Europe failed from being in the position of not knowing Jesus’ essence. Yet now through True Parents, we know that God, the Creator, is our Heavenly Parent. Heavenly Parent has gone through the bitter, tear-filled and painful six thousand years of searching for his longed-for children. The time has come for you that stand in front of Heavenly Parent as blessed children born through True Parents to fulfill your responsibilities.
Salvation is not only salvation for yourself. Each of you must save your tribe. That is why I have told blessed families to fulfill their responsibilities as tribal messiahs. They must do their utmost in all places around the world and realize their responsibilities as tribal messiahs. You must go on a path not only as the messiah of your tribe but as the messiah for your nation and for the world so you can become filial children and patriots in Heavenly Parent’s presence. True Parents opened the Pacific Rim Civilization Era, during which we share true love. Please be aware that there are blessed families and second- and third generation members who are embracing all humankind through the true love of living for the sake of others under the banner of the Hyo Jeong Culture of Heart Revolution. That is the only path for humankind to live in a world of peace.
How bitter will the 7.5 billion people of the world be if they go to spirit world not knowing True Parents, despite being alive at the same time as True Parents? Your ancestors headed out to the world under Christ’s name. Now in the name of True Parents, you will, I hope, become proud people of Europe who fulfill all your responsibilities as tribal messiahs, national messiahs, and messiahs who will save the world. Thank you.