Düsseldorf, Germany—The International Day of Families was observed with a talk about the importance of the family, followed by prayers offered by an interfaith prayer circle.
Anja Brina of the Düsseldorf chapter of UPF opened the May 15, 2017, event with information about the United Nations-designated day.
Herbert Beyer of UPF- Düsseldorf, the main speaker, gave a talk in which he described the concept of the family as held by UPF and its affiliated organizations.
The family is no longer the center of society, he said, and the conflicts seen in society have their origins in the family. Only when the family is restored to its central position and its conflicts resolved, will it be possible to establish a peaceful society, he said.
Unfortunately, different attempts at resolution have not brought the desired result. Political and religious efforts that are not centered on God have only a secondary effect, he said, since they tackle symptoms and not the problem itself.
Following these introductory words, Mr. Beyer gave a presentation on the Three Blessings given by God to humans, as described in Genesis 1:28 of the Bible. The Three Blessings—be fruitful, multiply and have dominion—are the primary solutions that Mr. Beyer said are needed for humankind to establish lasting peace.
He focused on the Second Blessing, which describes the establishment of a family. God should be at the center of an ideal man-woman partnership, Mr. Beyer stated. Out of this marriage relationship, the center of a family, children are born. Any other family structure is not one originally intended by God, he said.
In his detailed description of the Second Blessing, Mr. Beyer described the four kinds of love (conjugal, parental, sibling and child) that are experienced within a family.
These points, Mr. Beyer said, come from the teachings of UPF founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, who with his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, established many organizations and initiatives to realize the family ideal. The World Peace Blessing contributes to the establishment of a new world of peace, Mr. Beyer said.
Following the presentation, several members of the audience took the opportunity to pose questions and engage in discussion.
Ms. Brina then read an excerpt from Dr. Moon’s autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, on the topic of family. She then led a time of prayer and suggested that the participants choose prayer partners to pray for one another.
After the prayer circle finished, the participants enjoyed an animated discussion and refreshments.