“Crown of Peace Award Ceremony“

Vienna - Austria, November 21st 2004

A national convocation of Ambassadors for Peace entitled “Foundations for a Culture of Heart and Lasting Peacetook place at the meeting hall of the Vienna Family Federation on November 21st 2004. 150 people, among them more than 30 Ambassadors for Peace were warmly welcomed by Rev. Peter Zöhrer, regional chair of IIFWP Central Europe.

Dr. Fuat Sanac, President of the Moslem Academics in Austria recited verses of the Koran as an invocation. The Moslems just finished Ramadan, their month of fasting, a few days ago.

To begin the program the choir of the Austrian Family Federation for World Peace made a special contribution towards the atmosphere by singing two songs relating to the theme of the afternoon: peace and unity. This choir has a special history: Rev. Moon came to Vienna in 1972. At this time he made a special visit to the home of the Vienna Boys Choir. And he founded a choir with the name “Vienna Youth Choir”. The youth from that time are the mothers and fathers of the children who are singing in the choir today. And quite a few of them were members of the Vienna Boys Choir themselves. Rev. Moon’s  inspiration is finally bearing fruit.

Peter Haider, secretary general of IIFWP Austria reported about the activities of the IIFWP in Austria and internationally. He informed the audience that the United Nations General Assembly recently passed a resolution promoting Inter-religious Dialogue. It affirms that Inter-religious Dialogue constitutes an important dimension of dialogue among civilizations and of the culture of peace. He encouraged everybody to spread the importance of this dimension of peace making to religious leaders, politicians and the media during the coming year.

The presentation of a video report introduced to the audience the meaning of the “Coronation ceremony” in the context of establishing a Kingdom of Peace. Rev. Yong Cheol Song, Chairman of IIFWP in Europe presented the main lecture of the event entitled “The Significance of Marriage, Family and the World Peace Blessing” which was very well received by the audience. Several participants asked for a written transcript of the lecture. Then three representative couples of the Ambassadors for Peace were invited to the stage to partake in the Holy Wine and Blessing ceremony.

Meanwhile ushers distributed Holy Wine and Holy Juice to all participants in the audience. Rev. and Mrs. Song concluded this solemn ceremony by giving a blessing prayer in their native language Korean. A few days later the wife of an Albanian diplomat said how happy she was to have participated in this blessing of her marriage. As she grew up in communist Albania she never had a chance to have her marriage blessed in a religious ceremony.

This part of the program, which focused on the importance of the family, was followed by honouring new Ambassadors for Peace.

The “Crown of Peace Award” was given to Prof. Dr. Josef Frickel, a Catholic Professor of patristic theology who has supported our inter-religious activities since the early nineties; Mr. Guenther Ahmed Rusznak a Moslem writer and press spokesman for FOREF- Forum Religious Freedom and Mr. Peter Jurkowitsch, a master of Japanese Kyudo archery and a supporter of our activities for many years.

Then Elder Reuben Silverbird was invited to the podium and he gave a heartfelt recommendation that Rev. and Mrs. Moon be honoured as the King and the Queen of Peace. He spoke from his heart to the heart of the audience highlighting his own encounters with Father Moon during blessing ceremonies and conferences. He told us his good memories also many projects he did together with members of the federation in Korea, Italy, Slovenia and many other countries.

Dr. and Mrs. Brockelmann carried the crowns of peace and the gowns in solemn procession, underlined by festive music. Rev. and Mrs. Song received the crowns and the robes and placed them on specially prepared chairs. Flowers were then presented to them.

 It was also significant that during the ceremony representatives from the nations of the past Danube Monarchy of the Habsburgs were present; among them the president of IIFWP Slovakia, Ambassador Harencar and leading representatives of the IIFWP chapters in Hungary and the Czech Republic. They could witness that Austria celebrated a spiritual new beginning with the crowning of the king and queen of peace and thus buried the conflicts of the past forever. In conclusion the Family Federation Choir returned to the stage and sang “Let there be Peace on Earth”. 

The Banquet was done in the traditional Viennese way and dinner was served by the young generation of the Family Federation.

Then Miss Kamio Ogawa, a young Japanese lady living in Vienna, came on stage and showed with a lot of grace, charm and dynamic energy a drum dance, which she learned in Korea. The dance symbolised the act of creation and the devotion of mankind to God. This was a fitting introduction to the “Mongolian Federation for World Peace” which was inaugurated recently in Seoul, Korea. The inaugural declaration was read by Rev. Peter Zöhrer and everyone was invited to sign it.

For a finale, Dr. Brashanti Mendis, wife of the Ambassador of Sri Lanka  performed some astonishing melodies on two Caribbean steel drums, accompanied by a pianist from the Philippines. Her repertoire ranged from Glenn Millers “In the Mood” and “Kumbaya my Lord” to music from Lehar and Strauss. With Viennese waltzes in their ears the guests left from a new Viennese Heaven of Peace.