December 11, 2009
Hyun Jin Moon celebrates with 20,000 Brazilians in gathering for peace
As more than 20,000 people filled the Nelson Nilson stadium in Brasilia last December for Brazil’s Global Peace Festival (GPF), event Chairman Bishop Manoel Ferreira took a moment to reflect on the country’s “urgent moral and spiritual problems.”
“Although Brazil has its share of social and economic problems, the most urgent problems facing its people are not primarily material or economic, but moral and spiritual,” said Ferreira. “Governments can’t solve these problems alone. We have to empower our nation’s youth and heal our families. We need to restore our traditional values.”
Brazil has been a leader in faith-based programs, with churches tackling problems as substance abuse, alcoholism, domestic abuse, and other challenges faced by families among the nation’s 180 million inhabitants.
“This is a very important time for Brazil,” said Ferreira, a Federal Deputy in the Brazilian Congress and President of the 9-million member Assemblies of God fellowship in Brazil. “We are one of the fastest-growing nations in the world, and it is time for us to show the world what we can do.”
The enthusiastic crowd assembling before Ferreira in the Brazilian capital city on December 7th represented a cross-section of the country’s diverse population. The festival included representatives from hundreds of churches, mosques, synagogues, schools, and communities who participated in a gala that included traditional Indian dances, a father-and-son horse parade, and performances by many of Brazil’s top Christian and country entertainers, including crossover multi-platinum recording artist Frank Aguiar.
The gala followed a panel held by the church’s National Congress, in which faith and community leaders discussed ways to bring fresh perspectives to the Brazil’s political leaders. The event attracted more than 400 participants from diplomatic missions, non-governmental organizations and other community members from the Brazilian capital.
Panelist Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, international president of the Global Peace Festival, outlined GPF objectives: interfaith cooperation, strong families, and the creation of a culture of service. He urged the participants to consider the creation of a “global peace corps” that would give young Brazilians an opportunity to serve the region and the world.
“Imagine young people from enemy nations and from different faiths working side by side in service,” he said. “Any initial misunderstandings and suspicions would fade away as they sweat, cry and laugh together with a common purpose and cause. Serving others can be one of the fastest ways to a world of peace.”
Earlier in the day, young GPF volunteers had joined local residents to plant 150 trees and paint band shelters and playgrounds as part of United Nations International Volunteer Day in the nearby city of Gama. Coordinated by John Breyer, director of the Brazilian Chapter of the International Relief Friendship Foundation, the event was covered by local TV stations and the newspaper, Tribuna do Brasil.
“This program has been very well supported by our community,” said Gama Mayor Donizete Andrade. “Together with our police and fire departments, community health agents and schools, it’s good to see federal agencies represented here to help.”