On Saturday, Jan. 22, prominent international figures such as Sir Edward Heath and Dr. Kenneth Kaunda will join religious leaders, diplomats and friends from 150 nations at the Washington Hilton and Towers to mark the 80th birthday of one of the most respectable and controversial figures of the 20th century, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The theme of the evening's program, which will include performances by the Kirov Academy, Universal Ballet, and New York City Symphony, is "Live for the Sake of Others."
A brief retrospective will chronicle the religious leader's life from Communist prison in North Korea to his work in 185 countries with leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev. Through film history and live testimony, the origins and controversy surrounding Rev. Moon's movement, his imprisonment in America and resulting support from religious and civil rights leaders, the founding of the Washington Times and his unique approach to matching and blessing marriages will be shown.
A VIP reception at 5 p.m. will include former heads of state, ambassadors and diplomats, and religious and civic leaders. Delegations from 150 countries include government ministers, university presidents, and members of Congress. Even former inmates befriended by Rev. Moon during his imprisonment will attend. A general reception at 5 p.m. will be followed by dinner and program at 6 p.m.
Besides founding the Washington Times and some 20 newspapers worldwide, Rev. Moon invested huge amounts to promote dialogue between the world's faiths, founding the Assembly of the World's Religions and Religious Youth Service. Through the Professors World Peace Academy, he redeveloped the University of Bridgeport under a charter from the state of Connecticut. His International Cultural Foundation sponsors the New York City Symphony, and he founded the world famous Kirov Academy of Ballet in Northeast Washington. Development projects in farming, fishing internationally are complemented by domestic service programs such as Project Volunteer and National Council for Church and Social Action. Last week, movement officials announced a joint venture with Fiat Motors, Inc. to build automobiles in North Korea.
The focus of Rev. and Mrs. Moon's work, however, is on lasting marriage and loving families. He has matched more couples and consecrated more marriages than anyone in history. The Jan. 22 event is co-sponsored by The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, The Washington Times Foundation, and the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace. It is the kickoff event of a global celebration, culminating in Korea on Rev. Moon's birthday, Feb. 13, with a satellite blessing of 400 million couples worldwide.
Registration for official press representatives is required.
Register by calling Lorman Lykes at 202-722-6800.
/U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/
Copyright 2000, U.S. Newswire