Controversial Korean evangelist and right-wing political operative Sun Myung Moon is pressing for the creation of a new body at the United Nations that would deal with religious affairs.
The Moon-owned Washington Times newspaper reported Oct. 4 that hundreds of religious leaders demonstrated at the UN headquarters in New York City, demanding a "faith-based approach to world peace."
The rally was coordinated by a Moon front group called the Interreligious and International Federadtion for World Peace. Participants at the event said they want the new UN body to "affirm the highest spiritual and moral principles and seek to apply in the broadest way possible for the sake of peace and the overall well-being of humanity."
The Times reported that officials in the Philippines have agreed to sponsor a resolution in the UN General Assembly to create the new body. To pass, it would need the consent of the 191-member Assembly, which is seen as unlikely.
Critics of Moon's Unification Church say the body would quickly become a tool for Moon's global ambitions. Unification theology teaches that all religions should merge under Moon, who now openly refers to himself as the messiah.
In other news about Moon, the online magazine Salon reported Sept. 24 about the increasing ties between Moon-related groups and the Bush administration. According to the article, written by researcher John Gorenfeld, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gave nearly half a million dollars to a group called Free Teens USA to promote "abstinence-based" sex education at public schools in New Jersey. Using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain public records, Salon determined that Free Teens is a Moon front group.
Reported Gorenfeld, "[T]he director and chief financial officer of the Free Teens USA Club, as well as others listed on the group's board of directors, are former or present high-ranking Unification Church officials who omitted those leadership roles from their applications for the federal grant."
The article noted that Attorney General John Ashcroft has attended Moon-sponsored events and that President George W. Bush's father has received millions to speak at conferences sponsored by Moon groups.
The complete article may be read online at http://www.salon.dcom/news/dfeature/2003/09/24/moon/index_np.html.