In 2014, the Peace Advocate’s delegation traveled to the Philippines, gave lectures in many universities, and even held a Peace Walk with the university students.
The population of the Philippines is about 120 million, and the cardinal of this country is the same age as I am. So every time I visit, we have a meal together and chat at the Catholic theological seminary, and this cardinal has also signed the peace agreement.
It was September, 2013, our peace delegation was staying at a hotel in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. One day, a Catholic archbishop of the Mindanao Island came to visit us at the hotel and asked us to cease the religious conflict on the Mindanao Island. However, it was time for us to go to Thailand because we were invited to the celebration of the Supreme Patriarch’s 100th birthday anniversary by the secretary general of Thai Buddhists. Our flight was already booked and the time for us to leave was near. So for this reason, we promised to visit Mindanao next time, and we continued on to Thailand. Thailand is where the headquarters of Buddhism is located. On that day, Buddhist representatives from various countries gathered together and so I met the prime minister (female)1) of the country as well as various Buddhist representatives. I also presented a lecture to them, also well as at a Buddhist university, and had a discussion with the religious leaders. Our peace delegation pinned peace badges on the chests of the people we had met there. They signed the peace agreement and even came to see us at the hotel day and night, and promised to work for peace together.
Afterwards, our peace delegation traveled to Europe from Thailand. There we had meetings with various religious leaders and received their signatures on the peace agreement. I prayed to God after returning from abroad, and God promised to be with us on our trip to Mindanao, the Philippines.
On January 23, 2014, we went to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and met the archbishop, whom we had met the year before, and two other bishops at a nunnery in Manila. (*Coincidentally, they were in Manila attending a Catholic conference) We first received their signatures on the peace agreement and also received one from the director of the nunnery. On January 24th, the next day, our peace delegation went to the airport with a police escort, boarded the plane for Mindanao, and then arrived at the airport in Mindanao. Many youth and university students came and gave us a big welcome. God let us know that He was with us.
There, we had a meeting with the university students, delivered a speech on peace, and held a Peace Walk with the students. During the peace walk, our peace delegation took the lead with lively, confident, and hopeful steps. On the streets, many people greeted us. If you watch the video of this, you will feel the energy of this day. There was even a student band and some danced on the top of a bus. This was definite evidence that the God of peace was with us. Our peace delegation gained strength. Fear disappeared, and happiness and joy arose.
The entire world knows, Mindanao is a place of religious conflict (between the Catholic and Islam), a place where 120,000 people have been sacrificed during a 40-year conflict, and no politician could solve the conflict. This region was a battlefield fraught with tension as the government forces (Catholic) and the rebel forces (Islam) aimed their weapons towards each other. Due to this no one could walk around, even for a second, without fear. Our peace delegation and I came to this place under the name of the God of peace. Surrounded by police, we were escorted to the hotel which was our meeting place.
We gathered the community leaders of Mindanao Island, such as mayors, college professors, youth and many more, in the main conference room of the hotel. We asked the two religious representatives, a representative of the Catholic Church (Capalla) and a representative of the Muslims (Governor) and their leading figures, to join us. Many people gathered and the two religious representatives sat on the platform. The host of this meeting first asked the two religious representatives to voice their opinion. After that, he called my name as the third speaker and I went onto the stage. Firstly, I asked the audience if they want to leave conflict as a legacy to the future generations or to leave peace as a legacy to the future generations. Their answer was “peace.” And then I asked the same question to the two religious representatives. I also asked if causing conflict to bring death upon people was an act that God, the master of your religion, wants. Are conflict and killing good deeds or evil deeds? I told them that these make known whether or not their religion is a group of evil. I advised them to reject the wrong and choose the right. So they pledged before God and all the people of the world to put an end to all the conflicts and to never cause them again, and so they also signed the peace agreement. All the people in the audience who witnessed this were filled with great joy. They embraced each other in joy and danced. The 40-year conflict in Mindanao was restored through peace. The rebel forces and the government forces also signed for peace in front of their president. On January 25th, the next day, many universities gathered at Mindanao state university and held a peace festival. All these show that God was with us according to His promise.
We, the peace delegation, will leave peace as a legacy to the future generations by having all agree and sign for the enactment of the international law for the cessation of war and world peace, before God and all people of the world, and we call heaven and earth as witnesses. We will also make sure all become one under the creator God through the alliance of religions and create a world where God reigns. Amen. Hallelujah!
1) Yinglak Chinnawat (08. 2011 – 05. 2014)
※ The events above are irrelevant to Shincheonji. We are only posting this to promote peace activities done by the chairman of Shincheonji with the consent of corresponding organization.