Cooperation and Solidarity Among Religions

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1909

The leisure industry can help people feel God’s happiness towards creation, so I am developing this by gathering all that is necessary in preparation of a sup-port system, such as a big research lab and a big testing area for farming, for the ocean industry, and for hunting and fishing. This system should bring together farmers, who live close to nature, with those who live far from nature in order to develop and educate them. The people in urban areas can support them both through the best scientific technology. That is why I am developing the hobby business while enjoying many hobbies. (279-58, 1996.6.9)

Cheon Seong Gyeong 763

The spirit world is our original home-town. During your life on earth you have to maintain a standard in order to return to your original hometown and live there for eternity. You cannot live as you wish on this earth. You cannot live like the worldly people who have been ignorant of these things. You have to know the spirit world and live accordingly. Then, when you leave this world you can go before God and form a connection with heaven. Without knowing the spirit world, it is impossible to make that connection. You need to be clearly aware, therefore, of the reality of the spirit world. (295-120, 1998.8.19)

Tolerance, Religious Freedom and Interfaith Solidarity

Tolerance begins with how we treat people of other faiths. We have gathered passages from the scriptures which urge treating non-believers and believers with equal respect. Religious disputes and doctrinal conflicts are condemnable; they are often motivated by egoism disguised as piety, and by displaying enmity they do not give fitting witness to one’s faith.
By extension, governments are to respect religious freedom and avoid any manner of compulsion in matters of faith. Most people think of religious freedom as a feature of modern democracy, emerging as it did after a long period of religious intolerance marked by wars and cruelty—the crusades, the inquisition and the 30-years’ War. Still, each of the great civilizations has enjoyed periods of religious tolerance: in India under the tolerant Buddhist King Asoka (3rd century B.C.) and the enlightened Mughal emperor Akbar (16th century), in 10th century Al-Andalus (Spain under Muslim rule), and in song dynasty china (10th-13th century). Never the-less, it was with democracy that the ideal of religious freedom became firmly established as a global value. Father Moon regards the establishment of religious freedom one of the hard-won victories of divine providence.

Beyond tolerance and beyond religious freedom is the higher vision of cooperation and solidarity among religions. This largely modern ideal was born out of people’s growing familiarity with the world’s religions and the efforts of religious leaders to dialogue with each other in order to resolve disputes and eliminate ancient prejudices. Religious unity has long been advocated by the Baha’i Faith. Relations between Christians and Jews were transformed after the horrors of the holocaust led to a widespread re-evaluation of Christian doctrines that had overtones of anti-Semitism. Still, until the late 1990s the predominant opinion was that the trend towards secularism would one day make religion—and hence religious intolerance—a relic of the past. Today that view is obsolete. Flare-ups of religious extremism and terrorism have made people realize that interfaith cooperation is a necessary condition for world peace. Yet for more than fifty years, without fanfare, Father Moon has worked for the goal of the unity of religions, regarding it as one of the chief goals of God’s contemporary providence.

1. Tolerance towards Believers of Other Religions

Those who praise their own doctrines and disparage the doctrines of others do not solve any problem.
    Sutrakritanga 1.1.50 (Jainism)
Do not dispute with the People of the Book but in the fairest manner.
    Qur’an 29.46
Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that in case they speak against you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
    1 Peter 2.12
Our rabbis have taught, “We support the poor of the heathen along with the poor of Israel, visit the sick of the heathen along with the sick of Israel, and bury the dead poor of the heathen along with the dead of Israel, in the interests of peace.”
    Talmud, Gittin 61a (Judaism)
Kapathika: “How should a wise man maintain truth?”
    Buddha: “A man has a faith. If he says ‘This is my faith,’ so far he maintains truth. But by that he cannot proceed to the absolute conclusion: ‘This alone is Truth, and everything else is false.’ ”
    Majjhima Nikaya 2.176 (Buddhism)
Like the bee, gathering honey from different flowers, the wise man accepts the essence of different scriptures and sees only the good in all religions.
    Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3 (Hinduism)
The Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ. Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel’s spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.
    Vatican II, Nostra Aetate (Christianity)

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