Virginia Hosts Family World Peace Festival
Contributed by Barbara Moseley-Marks
Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Virginia hosted a Celebration of the Family World Peace Festival in Fairfax on March 16 at the Learning Center of the Northern Virginia (NOVA) Family Church.
The program began with an invocation by Pastor Werner Seubert. Tetsuya Nomura, a local Unificationist, led several youth in a Parade of Nations who carried flags representing UPF’s 120 national chapters.
Barbara Moseley-Marks, Executive Director of UPF Virginia, welcomed guests and explained the purpose of the organization. Ms. Moseley-Marks challenged the participants to “think globally, act locally,” and urged everyone to advocate for their children and the health of their families.
“‘If there is peace in the family there will be peace in the world,’” said Ms. Moseley-Marks, quoting Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.
Several speakers followed; Maria L. Vargas, Regional Executive Director of UPF USA Northeast, gave a report of the family festival national tour. Ms. Vargas described family as “the school of love” and decried pornography and its impact on the community.
“It is poisoning our families, and it is up to us to take a stand!” said Ms. Vargas.
Indira Kumar, President of the Global Economic Foundation, shared her insights on happiness in the family.
“While today’s family is confronted by many uninvited influences, the key to being happy is directly shaped by the quantity and quality of family interactions,” Mrs. Kumar said. “It all comes down to the family.”
Dr. Zulfiqar Kazmi, Chairman of Common Ground-U.S.A., spoke about UPF’s work in Pakistan. Dr. Kazmi and his wife, Tanvir Kazmi, have been actively working with UPF in their home country of Pakistan for years. He mentioned their outreach work with Imran Khan, the current prime minister of Pakistan.
Bandita Sharma Dahal, Esq., a family immigration attorney in northern Virginia, outlined many of the challenges facing immigrants. She emphasized the distinction between being illegal and undocumented.
“Our Lord taught us that we should stay connected as a family and community and that we should show kindness, especially to the vulnerable,” said Ms. Dahal.
To close the Family World Peace Festival, Dr. William Selig Office Communications Director of UPF International discussed the history of the Blessing Marriage Movement, initiated by Dr. Moon and her late husband Rev. Sun Myung Moon almost 60 years prior.
“Family is a gift from our Heavenly Parent and we must do everything possible to protect it,” said Ms. Moseley-Marks.
Plans are underway for the next UPF event to be held in Fairfax.