Volume VIII - (2007)
Is the Unification Movement a Peace Movement? A Sociological Analysis of the Middle East Peace Initiative
- Written by Michael L. Mickler
Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 12, 2011 - Pages 57-96
The Unification movement [UM] has long been committed to the ideal of world peace. However, its standing as a peace movement, i.e., one that seeks to reduce conflict or end war through non-violent means, is open to question. During the Cold War era, the UM maintained a peace through strength, realpolitik stance. It expended significant resources in the fight against communism, and Rev. Moon was widely regarded as a Cold War warrior. At a "World Rally for Korean Freedom" in 1975, Rev. Moon warned that if "North Korea provokes a war against the South Korean people," his followers would organize a "Unification Crusade Army" and "take part in the war as a supporting force to defend both Korea and the free world." During the 1980s, the movement-funded Washington Times sup¬port¬ed Reagan administration efforts to deploy ground-based cruise missiles in Western Europe, launch the Strategic Defense Initiative and fund Nicaraguan contras. The UM and its affiliates became key supporters of anti-communist and conservative causes.
Discerning observers understood that the UM departed in significant ways from traditional conservatism. In fact, its internationalism, racial inclusive¬ness, critique of "confusion in the Western system of values," and calls for the "equalization of technology" was more akin to the Left than the Right. The UM's international, intercultural and interracial Marriage Blessings, for which it was best known, were dedicated to "World Peace through Ideal Families." The UM also funded a broad array of organizations and confer¬ences intended to promote peace through dialogue and interdisciplinary research. Nevertheless, the UM's vision and peace initiatives were overshadowed by controversies surrounding its founder, the movement's presumed "cult" status, and its militant anti-communism during the 1970s and 1980s.
With the end of the Cold War, the UM took steps to reinforce its profile as a peace movement. Even before communism's collapse, the UM cultivated contacts within the communist bloc and began identifying Rev. Moon as a "peacemaker and unifier." Afterwards, the movement established a dozen or more "Federations for World Peace," funded "sisterhood ceremonies" to promote forgiveness and reconciliation between former enemies, and extended "International Marriage Blessings for World Peace" on a mass scale. During the 1990s, several UM-related groups attained official NGO status within the UN, and in 2000, Rev. Moon called for the establishment of a "council of religious representatives within the structure of the United Nations," In 2005, Rev. Moon founded the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) as an embodiment of his vision for an "Abel" or "Peace" UN. At its inaugural convocation, he questioned the "insane barbarism" of "pouring countless dollars into wars that do not accomplish anything more than death?"
This study assesses the Middle East Peace Initiative [MEPI], the UM's most focused and sustained peace initiative since 2000, and the one that most closely resembled an on-the-ground peace movement. Begun in 2003, in the heat of the Palestinian Second Intifada, MEPI sponsored several dozen "peace pilgrimages" to Israel, the occupied territories, on occasion, to Jordan. It also included an active conference program. In its first two years, more than 10,000 religious leaders, civic officials, NGO leaders, professionals, and UM members from throughout the world participated in tours. The pilgrimages, themselves, invoked significant religious symbolism. The first, from May 13-19, 2003, included 132 U.S. clergy who took down crosses from their churches the previous Good Friday. They called for an "end to the era of cross and beginning of era of resurrection," buried a cross in the "Potter's Field" near the Garden of Gethsemane, and signed a "Jerusalem Declaration" with 120 Israeli-based rabbis and ten imams who repented of mutual sins and pledged to "forgive and reconcile with one another." Subsequent pilgrimages included "unprecedented" interfaith peace walks of Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders through the old city of Jerusalem; interfaith peace rallies in Independence Park, Jerusalem; the first interfaith visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque since the start of the Second Intifada; and trips to Gaza which ignored warnings from the U.S. consulate. A four-term member of the Jerusalem City Council spoke of the transforming impact of these pilgrimages. However, given the daily public news from the region, a MEPI leader questioned, "Are we really making a difference?"
In assessing MEPI and its effectiveness, this study utilizes an analytical model developed by sociologist John Lofland in Polite Protesters: The American Peace Movement of the 1980s. Lofland describes 1980s peace activism as a "citizen surge" opposed to the "militant foreign policy of the administration of Ronald Reagan." It "crystallized in 1980 and soared from 1981-83" when "Three-quarters of a million people or more rallied for a nuclear freeze," eleven million voted for freeze resolutions or nuclear free zones at state and local levels, and the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a nuclear freeze resolution. The movement faltered after the 1984 election which Reagan won handily and went into steep decline as the U.S. and USSR moved into constructive engagement, leaving behind a residue of peace practices and institutions.
The American Peace Movement [APM] and the UM clearly were on opposite ideological sides during the 1980s. As noted, the UM supported Reagan administration initiatives. However, as the UM took steps to rein-force its profile as a peace movement, the gap between it and traditional peace movements lessened. MEPI, in particular, exhibited striking similarities to peace activism of the 1980s in terms of its theories and methodologies of social change, movement culture, and organizational form. It also conformed to what Lofland described as the "citizen surge" dynamic of 1980s peace activism. This study will follow Lofland's analytical model in assessing the UM's Middle East Peace Initiative.
Theories of Change
The APM and MEPI both undertook activities intended to bring peace to situations of conflict. In order to understand these activities, it is first necessary to describe the theories of change upon which they rested. Lofland noted that six theories of social change underlay the American peace movement of the 1980s:
1. Transcending. This theory held that change happens through rapid shifts of mass consciousness, typically by bringing moral values into international relations. Its proponents were partial to characterizing events as "epochal" and striding "the high road" above politics.
2. Educating. Educator theory posited change happening through "facts and reason." Contrary to transcenders, educators viewed change happening slowly and incrementally.
3. Intellectualizing. Intellectuals held some of the same premises as educators but maintained that campaigns are always fought and won on the basis of new ideas. Like educators, intellectuals saw change happening slowly and incrementally as information and ideas eventually trickled down to policy-makers and the public.
4. Politicking. Political theory viewed change occurring by building majorities in a democratic process. Guided by "central concepts" of feasibility, realism, and compromise, they were willing to settle for less than the optimum in the tug and pull of competing interests. Thus, political theory tended to a slow, tortuous view of how social change occurs.
5. Protesting. Protest theory looked to force issues by noncooperation and disruption so long as this was non-violent. Those holding this position argued that no significant social change movement has ever succeeded without civil disobedience playing a significant role. They resembled transcenders in that they envisioned change being rapid and dramatic. They differed in that the "trigger" of change was "a jolt, an intentionally created... crisis."
6. Prophesying. Prophetic theory differed from protest theory in that it did not view any external party as the enemy but located the problem "in ourselves—all our selves." Engaging in dramatic acts of moral witness, its proponents were marked off from others by their commitment to a Spartan lifestyle of simple and sometimes communal living and by their embrace of a radical religious philosophy. Like transcenders and protesters, they conceived of change happening rapidly and dramatically.
Though by no means as large as the U.S. peace movement of the 1980s, which at its peak included upward of ten million supporters, MEPI constituencies held philosophies of change that corresponded to those advanced by APM proponents. This section will consider each of them in turn.
Consistent with transcender theory which held that change happens through shifts in public consciousness, MEPI spokespersons embraced the core philosophy that to reconcile enemies: "we must live for the sake of others." In the Middle East, this was to be achieved through reconciliation of the Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. During MEPI's earliest peace pilgrimages, when American clergy and Israeli-based rabbis repented of mutual sins and marched together with Muslim imams through Jerusalem's old city, expectations were rife for rapid and dramatic change. One leader declared, "the single most difficult change in the history of religion was playing out before our eyes." Others spoke of "atmospheric changes," new covenants, new eras, and "the destiny of nations... being decided in this hour." All of this transcended the problem-solving capacity of politics which was believed to be at a dead end. There might be a role for political leadership but it would follow, rather than precede the requisite change of consciousness. As another leader put it,
When this work expands and the atmosphere changes from one of revenge to one of reconciliation, a new leader will appear to guide Israel and a new leader also will appear to guide Palestine.
In the estimation of MEPI visionaries, particularly during the height of activity from 2003-05, these atmospheric changes were near at hand.
Apart from peace pilgrimages, MEPI included an active conference program. Much of this was coordinated with international gatherings sponsored elsewhere under UM auspices. However, there were also separate Middle East seminars convened in Jerusalem, Gaza, Ramallah, Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Amman, Jordan on such topics as "Innovative Approaches to Lasting Peace and Stability in the Middle East" and "Considering the Root Causes of Conflict and Forging a Path to Lasting Peace." The peace pilgrimages themselves also included educational and fact-finding components. The theories of change and premises underlying these programs were different than those held by MEPI visionaries, being much more fact and information-based. Israelis suggested that well-meaning American clergy invest more deeply in understanding the Jewish experience and it was generally agreed that the "call to harmonize... was no simple matter." These sentiments were well expressed by Hod Ben Zvi, an Israeli-based UM leader. Putting himself among "those who have difficulty imagining what symbolic gestures might mean in real, measurable terms," he defined MEPI reconciliation efforts as "groundbreaking" but called for deeper and more intensive interaction. As he put it,
Only a small fraction of the ground that has to be covered between faith groups can be done by kissing and hugging. We have to really understand different thoughts... different religions... [and] come to grips with different worldviews.
Ben Zvi was one of the moving forces behind the establishment of a Jerusalem Peace Center, solely dedicated to peace education. MEPI-based educational programs, in general, counterbalanced the quick path presupposed by its visionary activists.
Much of MEPI's educational program was dedicated to bringing participants up-to-speed on the background of the Middle East conflict. However, what really powered its campaigns were two new ideas. The first of these was the necessity of interfaith reconciliation as a precondition for peace. This idea was not unique to MEPI. It surfaced during the 1990s within the field of International Relations and gained wider visibility after 9/11. In 2000, Rev. Moon called for the establishment of "a religious assembly, or council of religious representatives within the structure of the United Nations" and the UM committed significant resources toward related initiatives, one of which was MEPI. The other idea, also not unique to MEPI, was the necessity of rethinking the viability of the cross as a central Christian symbol. UM scholars referenced Roman Catholic writer James Carroll's best-selling Constantine's Sword (2001) in defining it as a symbol of hegemony and barrier to Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations. In early 2003, Rev. Moon called for 120 Christian clergy to remove their crosses by Good Friday and journey to the Holy Land. This action, which gave birth to MEPI, reinforced the theory that campaigns are fought and won on the basis of new ideas.
While the UM-affiliated American Clergy Leadership Conference [ACLC] organized the earliest MEPIs, leadership subsequently became vested in the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace [IIFWP], renamed the Universal Peace Federation [UPF] in 2005. These UM affiliates retained core religious emphases but introduced political language and sensibilities. Both of these organizations had gained status as NGOs in the UN and convened conferences around themes of leadership and good governance. They also commissioned "Ambassadors of Peace" [APs], many of whom were civic and political leaders who participated in subsequent peace pilgrimages and whose interests, especially among European contingents, were more practical. Besides this, some MEPI associates claimed politics, not religion, was the source of division and the key to peace. David Fraser-Harris, a UM leader based in Syria, commented,
People in the region are keen to correct the foreigner who presumes the problem is a religious one, pointing out that for them the problem is one of land. They point to the harmonious relations between locals of the three Abrahamic faiths, insisting that the real problems stem from intrusion from outsiders.
Increasingly, UM leaders cultivated relationships with politicians, including those at the highest levels on all sides of the conflict. Rev. Moon noted in his autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen (2010) that he "communicated with Arafat on twelve separate occasions." MEPI pilgrimages included regular meetings at the Israeli Knesset and pilgrimage officials met with Palestinian Authority (PA) leader-designate Mahmaud Abbas as well as PA lead negotiator Saed Erekat among others. Michael Jenkins, a UM leader who spearheaded the ACLC clergy-based pilgrimages, concluded, "Without political leaders we cannot achieve peace." Though not displacing the faith component, this indicated that political realities factored into many MEPI proponents' theory of change.
MEPI departed from the APM in that it lacked a theory of change based upon protest, i.e., non-cooperation and disruption. Certain actions, such as the call for clergy to voluntarily remove crosses from their churches, skirted the borders of the acceptable. However, whether MEPI's program included marches through the Old City of Jerusalem to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall, trips to Gaza (against dire warnings from the U.S. Consulate), or rallies at Jerusalem's Independence Park, its leaders were careful to obtain authorization from Israeli and Palestinian authorities. That most MEPI participants were on foreign soil undoubtedly played a role. Nevertheless, the absence of a protest element was surprising, given the sympathy that top MEPI leaders had for the Palestinian plight and their admonition that Palestinians follow the example of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. MEPI Chairman Chang Shik Yang stated,
Israel is investing 2-billion dollars to build a defense wall in the Gaza area and the West Bank, but they seem not to be worried about the nearly 70% unemployment rate in Gaza. Our pilgrimage group personally witnessed and felt that under the pretext of national security, Israel was not simply building a boundary to stop further terrorist attacks, but at the same time it was creating a huge concentration camp that would only make the overall situation worse...
Michael Jenkins likewise asserted, "The Apartheid Wall Israel is building in the Palestinian territories should be torn down, and the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem must be protected." However rather than protest, he and others called for "the removal of the wall through dialogue, understanding and mutual agreement." Clearly, non-violent civil disobedience was not part of MEPI's calculus of change.
MEPI began with acceptance on the part of representative American Christian clergy of the need to remove their crosses and repent for perpetuating a history of Anti-Semitism. This, in turn, evoked a response from representative Israeli rabbis who signed a "Jerusalem Declaration" which repented for the crucifixion of the "simple and innocent Jewish young man Yeshua, whom G-d loved and... [who] "was betrayed by the rich and powerful among his own people." According to Michael Jenkins, repenting for mutual sins and pledging to forgive and reconcile set the condition "to heal the division of the sons of Abraham." As he put it,
Only a small number is needed to fulfill this condition, but it must be fulfilled. This condition will allow for a transformation of the culture of war that now exists in the Middle East. On this basis the Moslem family can be liberated from their pain, and massive reconciliation will occur.
The prophetic vision of affecting change from the inside-out underlay life-risking forays of MEPI vanguards into Gaza and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque when it came under siege by the Israeli army. MEPI "Peace Task Force" volunteers preparing for rallies worked for weeks, up every day for devotionals at 5 a.m., organizational meetings at 6:30 a.m., then out visiting "nearly every mosque, synagogue, kibbutz, and community center in Israel." Testimonies of personal transformation animated those who engaged in dramatic acts of moral witness or who submitted themselves to Spartan regimens and communal living.
Lofland found that APM organizations "tended to adopt one or another of these six theories as their dominant... orientation" and that organizations sharing the same theories grouped together in clusters. He also correlated clusters with socio-economic and cultural status, the extent to which proponents were moderate or radical in the degree of change sought, whether they were "talkers" or "doers," and whether their organization was hierarchical or democratic. Despite a significant degree of internal diversity, Lofland found "the level of intra-movement conflict was quite low... far short of the disdain or even hate seen in many other movements." He attributed this to several factors including "the role of 'peace ideology' in holding strife in check."
MEPI participant organizations also tended to adopt one or another of the six theories as their dominant orientation. For example, American Clergy Leadership Conference [ACLC] participants, particularly during MEPI's early phases, were practitioners of prophetic theory and engaged themselves in dramatic acts of moral witness, i.e., burying the cross, journeying to Gaza, exhibiting solidarity with Israeli rabbis as well as imams at Al-Aqsa Mosque. On the other hand, the dominant orientation of the International and Interreligious Federation for World Peace [IIFWP], later the Universal Peace Federation [UPF], was educational, as manifest in its active conference program. UM-commissioned Ambassadors of Peace [APs], an international network of current and former government officials, religious and NGO leaders, women and youth leaders who came by the hundreds on week-long MEPI pilgrimages in 2004-05, tended toward the transcender end of the change theory spectrum. They stayed in upscale hotels, spent most of their time on guided tours of holy sites, MEPI seminars or shopping and had limited opportunity for meaningful interaction on-the-ground. European delegations tended to have political interests and angled for meetings with Israeli Knesset and PLA representatives, as did Middle East-based UM leaders.
MEPI organizational clusters did correlate with socio-economic and cultural indicators, moderate or radical expectations, and talking vs. doing. African-American clergy, many from independent churches, took the lead in the earliest MEPI pilgrimages and continued to exercise a lead role within ACLC contingents. This, in part, was due to UM difficulties in engaging the Christian mainstream. However, MEPI leaders perceived that African-Americans and Jews shared a bond of common suffering and that African-American participation was crucial in the work of reconciliation. Dr. Andrew Wilson, a leading Jewish Unificationist, commented,
[W]hen a Jew sees a white Christian, he sees power, he sees arrogance, he sees a man who thinks that his faith is superior. This sets up a wall that no one can break down. But when an African-American clergyman meets a Jew in the atmosphere of God's love, there is humility; there is a common obedience to a God who commiserates in their sufferings. This penetrates those walls of doctrine that have kept them apart, and allows a coming together.
The African-American and Unificationist vanguard as well as a smattering of American imams and clergy from the region, many of whom embraced a life of economic simplicity or even poverty, tended to call for more thorough-going and radical social changes. They also considered themselves to be doers. As Abuna Hatoum, a Melkite priest and important MEPI supporter from Nazareth, Galilee, put it, "The key to Father Moon's teaching is very simple—we don't talk about peace; we do the peace." This contrasted with the socioeconomically privileged and culturally upscale, including current and former heads of state who participated in UM-sponsored symposia and "World Summits." IIFWP/UPF published conference proceedings under such titles as,
• Developing the Culture, Structures and Policies of Peace for a World in Crisis, World Summit on Leadership and Governance, Seoul, Korea, February 4-7, 2003.
• The World at a Turning Point: A Global Vision of Peace and Good Governance, Summit of World Leaders, Seoul, Korea, August 11-16, 2003;
• Global Governance for a New Realm of Peace, Interreligious and International Peace Council Inaugural meeting, New York, October 1-4, 2003.
• Establishing a World Culture of Heart: Innovative Approaches to Peace in a Changing World, Assembly 2004, Seoul, Korea, July 23-27, 2004.
Sections on the Middle East in these volumes envisioned more restricted and "surface," i.e. moderate, social changes. Presenters' activities also tended to be limited to conference participation, i.e., talking.
There were cleavages among MEPI groupings, but as with the APM the level of internal conflict was generally low. Some questioned the facile optimism and preaching of visiting clergy. Hod Ben Zvi, the Israeli-based MEPI leader whose comments on premature "hugging" were cited previously, acknowledged,
[T]here are different views in our movement. For some the bridge ceremony [note: a rite in which former enemies crossed a "bridge of peace" and embraced] was the most important thing... But we felt it was necessary to go a step deeper... bringing them on the stage may produce a bubble, a feeling of reconciliation, but in fact it's one moment of hope and then it's gone. People say, "Well, that was a nice event," but the daily reality is different... So we say we don't want people to so much preach as to teach by their example of service and love... If some of us may have the role to proclaim, some must have the role to embody...
Michael Jenkins also emphasized complementarities in stating, "There must be a synthesis and a synergy between the faith component and the political component. Neither one can dominate the other; each must have its proper role." The sense that different MEPI components had complementary roles was an important factor muting differences which otherwise might have led to more serious rifts.
A second strain existed between who wished to develop policy positions and those who wished to avoid political issues. Apart from the "Apartheid" wall already mentioned, there was an internal debate within the Universal Peace Federation over a proposed statement on the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon/ Hezbollah War. A major UM leader who opposed issuing a statement commented,
Regarding the current crisis in Lebanon, the more I think about it, the more I think it would be best for us to avoid it. (with regrets to everyone who has worked so hard on statement drafts so far.) I think we stand to lose much more than we gain from issuing a statement at this time, which is bound to be controversial both internally and externally. If we do issue a statement, it should be something more general and "timeless" than what we've seen so far.
In the end, the statement was withdrawn. Besides the sense that different MEPI components had complementary roles and the determination to avoid divisive issues, MEPI's overriding commitment to peace worked, as it did within the APM, to keep internal conflict in check.
Lofland differentiated between conflict and consensus movements in his analysis. Conflict movements, he stated, make up "the vast bulk" of social movements which seek "to change the behavior of authorities or officials (the establishment)." In these movements,
A program of action targets authorities and demands are made. Disagreement and dispute with authorities are openly asserted and pressed... [and] Negotiation over differences is undertaken with an eye to bargaining and settlement.
Consensus movements, on the other hand, "addressed matters that were definitely political in the ordinary meaning of the term... [but] movement members claimed their enterprises were nonpolitical, educational, nonpartisan, or humanitarian." Identifying the cluster of transcender groups within the larger APM of the 1980s a consensus movement, Lofland wrote,
[C]onsensus movements are disguised or timid politics... a way of safely posturing as a social movement without the problems of real conflict that genuine – that is, conflict movements—engender. Consensus movements are subterfuge conflict movements; they are derailed dissent and the disguised rebellions of timid rebels.
Avoiding references to politics or political interests, these groups, nonetheless, believed they were addressing social problems and questions of social policy. However, "their mode of address... [centered] on achieving mass changes in perception or consciousness."
In support of his position, Lofland described a "citizen diplomacy," i.e., ordinary citizen effort to establish sister-city relations with cities in the USSR. He noted that the paired city movement included ideological and emotional components, appealed to mainstream peace progressives, and garnered a broad spectrum of community support. Its ideological underpinning included such guiding ideas as,
1. Soviet people are like you and me.
2. Face-to-face contact with Soviets reveals our alikeness.
3. Differences are educative not divisive
4. Citizen diplomacy is not political
5. Solutions come from the bottom up.
Its dominant emotional motifs were "variations on joy... upbeat cheerfulness, friendliness, optimism, graciousness, and good will." However, as they "evolved in the eighties," consensus movements "became ever-more spectacle and 'good time' oriented, turning problems raised into occasions of celebration and festival." This led to characterizations of them as "shallow dilettantes in the quest for peace." He noted that leaders of the city-pairing effort admitted that their movement "failed to have policy effects."
Like the transcender cluster within the APM, MEPI transcenders tended toward the consensus side of the conflict-consensus scale. As noted previously, top MEPI leaders sympathized with the Palestinian plight and issued rebukes against the "Apartheid" wall, going so far as to state publicly that it should be torn down. In an "Open Letter to Israel," a MEPI Peace Volunteer wrote,
Yes you were utterly betrayed by humanity... But now in some bizarre twist of fate you are building [and not without reason] a wall similar to the one others once built around you. And now you require IDs by which you can tell the race and religion of another not unlike the badges that others had you wear. And you setup checkpoints and sometimes round them up in the middle of the night and search their homes. Almost unconsciously you're making their land into the very ghetto you once despised, slowly, little by little, hardly noticing the callousness that is taking root in your soul. I wonder how far this will go?
Despite these sentiments, despite sponsoring dozens of conferences on global governance, despite regular communication with politicians, and despite frank recognition that without political leaders they could not achieve peace, MEPI maintained its nonpartisan profile and studiously avoided statements or activities that could be construed as conflict-inducing. A MEPI Interim Report prepared by UPF's Department of UN Relations referred to MEPI's "unique 'restoration' methodology" which lay "in the practice of the 'parental heart'," elevating "the thinking, leadership, and planning at the international as well as grassroots, people-to-people levels so as to result in actions that genuinely work in the best interest of all parties—beyond blame, fault-finding and the tendency to take sides."
MEPI's "heart-to-heart," "person-to-person" activities followed charac¬teristic "citizen diplomacy" principles—that Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims are "like you and me," that "face-to-face contact reveals our alikeness," that "differences are educative, not divisive," that "citizen diplomacy is not political," and that solutions emerge "from the bottom-up." However, the difference between MEPI and the citizen diplo¬macy efforts that Lofland described was that MEPI volunteers, especially during MEPI's early stages, affirmed these principles under exceedingly difficult, even life-threatening circumstances. As noted, MEPI was launched at the height of the Second Intifada (2000-2005). During the first pilgrimage, a suicide bombing took place at 6 a.m. on a bus two blocks away from where MEPI clergy stayed. The pastors had departed at 5:30 a.m. to symbolically bury the cross. Seven people died and twenty-two were injured. A MEPI busload of pastors, crossing "the line of life and death at the Erez border between Israel and the Gaza Strip," found the Israeli border closed for hours on return. Shortly before the launch date of MEPI's fifth pilgrimage, Sheikh Yassin, the "spiritual head" of Hamas, was obliterated by an Israeli missile, and the U.S. State Department issued a no-travel advisory. According to one account, four MEPI participants on that tour "had gone to Al-Aqsa Mosque... to arrange logistics... [when] matters took a turn for the worse and hundreds of Israeli soldiers began to storm the... compound." They only escaped with thousands of Friday worshippers when Al-Aqsa leaders negotiated the safe passage of those trapped inside.
Over time, drama lessened. Hundreds joined MEPI tours which became more routine and festive. Even during the early tours, the bulk of participants were not exposed to danger. One UM participant's account captured the mood,
Being in Israel was much like a high school reunion... So many of the people that I have known over the past 27 years were there, many of whom I haven't seen in 10 or 20 years... The march began promptly at 9am, and 500-700 pilgrims marched in unity to the holy shrines of the Wailing Wall and the Temple Mount at the Dome of the Rock. At each shrine we gathered for pictures, prayer, and celebration... After a wonderful lunch in a kibbutz restaurant overlooking Bethlehem, we arrived at Independence Park about 2pm to enjoy the day's festivities... The program was a wonderful blend of peace, repentance, and reconciliation. It ended with the stage being filled with Christians, Muslims, Jews, Americans, Israelis and Arabs, all standing together in harmony.
Some MEPI events may have become more spectacle and "good time" oriented, and at least one leader questioned their efficacy by asking,
Are we really making progress? Are we really making a difference?" Daily public news from the region (the Middle East) is mixed. Some news is promising, but most is despairing. We must ask as we write these great testimonies and web-reports, Are we living in a fantasy in which our outreach touches only pure hearted dreamers, but is without an effective strategy, and cannot reach up to the realms of power and influence where true change can occur?
Although critical of consensus movements, Lofland acknowledged the "exhaustion of negativism" and "weariness" at the psychic level with the "jaded cynicism, anger, and fear" that characterizes conflict movements. He questioned whether there might be a package that combined "(1) programs of political substance... (2) generous and humane idealism; and, (3) an emotional motif that is upbeat, joyous, and inclusive." That was a question MEPI leaders also pondered.
Lofland notes that all movements "exhibit culture" but vary to the extent that participants "agree or share the same complex of cultural items" and to the extent that cultural items are distinctive to the movement. He distinguishes between "rich" and "impoverished" movement cultures and argues that the "cultural profile" of a movement has influences that movement's "mobilization potential... persistence and resilience in the face of adversity, retention of participants, and achievement of success in campaigns."
Lofland defines culture as a "collection of values, ideas, and practices that are publicly regarded in positive terms" and maintains that the best way to grasp movement culture is to "think about the social locations where... [it] can be most easily observed." He identifies seven such locations:
1. Expressions of general values;
2. Material objects and associated iconic personages that express culture;
3. Everyday stories circulated among participants;
4. Characteristics of the movement's occasions;
5. Specialized cultural roles;
6. Ways in which roles are expressed in the persona exhibited by participants;
7. Features of desired relations.
Lofland proceeds to analyze the APM along these seven dimensions of culture. This section will describe MEPI's culture as it was expressed in these seven locations.
MEPI's core value undoubtedly was peace, though it was variably understood, particularly its operational principles. Most sectors of MEPI understood belief in God and the necessity of interreligious dialogue and unity to be essential operational principles for peace, but this was not universally the case. In fact, MEPI's Secretary General of the World Peace Pilgrimages in the Holy Land, stated,
The ambassadors for peace are leaders in their own right in their communities, in politics, media, culture, science, government, etc. Yet, in matters of religion many are basically agnostics... It is very difficult for us to penetrate that shield of agnosticism and skepticism. It is therefore difficult for us to inspire them to become workers for peace because the peace we're talking about... is basically the use of faith, religion and spirituality to work out problems.
It also was noted that vast numbers of Israelis are secular, or atheists. A second core value which was generally accepted but variously applied was that to reconcile enemies and realize a world of peace, one must "live for the sake of others." MEPI Peace Task Force volunteers lived this out with dedication in door-to-door visitation among the bereaved and in service work. Others complained that time spent touring, in seminars and at rallies would have been better spent in grassroots work. A third core value related to marriage and family as sacred institutions. This played out in MEPI's hallmark peace strategy, "the practice of parental heart" and in its vision of "one family of God." The terminology and practice of MEPI core values were not familiar to many participants and needed to be continually reinforced. In fact, the first recommendations of a 2006 Interim Report were that pre-Peace Mission orientations educate Ambassadors for Peace in MEPI's "peace principles and methodology."
Symbolic Objects and Iconic Personages
MEPI's organizational culture included a rich mix of religious symbols and personages. Early on, the cross was a symbol of violence was preeminent. A plethora of associated pilgrimage sites—the Garden of Gethsemane, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Potter's Field supplemented the cross and spoke to early participants. As MEPI's scope expanded beyond Christianity, the Western (Wailing) Wall and Al-Aqsa Mosque became stopping off points for MEPI Interfaith Peace Marches. Jesus, Moses and Muhammad, as the originators of the three Abrahamic traditions, were central iconic personages, although Sarah and the Egyptian bondmaid Hagar were perceived to have a special relevance to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rev. Moon, commonly referred to as Father Moon, also was an iconic personage, certainly for Unificationists but more broadly as well within the constellation of MEPI participants. An American rabbi was given to blowing the shofar, an act signifying the coming of the Messiah, on occasions when Rev. Moon spoke. Eliezer Glaubach, a former City of Jerusalem councilman and MEPI supporter, stated,
What Rev. Moon has been able to do in the Holy Land over the past months is both extraordinary and astonishing. He has mobilized people from over 190 nations and the 5 continents to come to Jerusalem and work for peace. Which other historic person has ever done such a thing?
With the exception of Rev. Moon, there was nothing particularly distinctive about these symbols and personages. It was the use MEPI made of them that made them distinctive, i.e., burying the cross. Beyond religious symbols and personages, a few secular monuments spoke to MEPI points of view, notably Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and to a lesser extent, the Separation Wall.
Stories, as well as short anecdotes and testimonies, contributed to MEPI movement culture and were of four types. One type, which Lofland also noted in the APM, were "social change" stories. These tended to be accounts of how bystanders—a police officer observing a peace rally, a Palestinian girl, an Israeli woman—were struck, moved, inspired by MEPI events. A second category of stories were accounts of how MEPI participants, themselves, were transformed—a not necessarily religious Guatemalan journalist who dissolved in tears at the Wailing Wall, a Pentecostal pastor who had an immediate change of heart in the Dome of the Rock, saying, "the Muslims are my brothers. The God of Muhammad is my God." A third category of accounts were miracle stories, often people appearing or circumstances changing at precisely the right moment. The fourth category of stories were heroic accounts of MEPI breakthroughs, the signing of the Jerusalem Declaration by Israeli rabbis and Christian pastors, dangerous trips into Gaza, the harrowing escape of four MEPI leaders from Al-Aqsa Mosque after it came under siege. These were narratives of high drama, as exemplified by the following section from a frequently referenced account describing the narrator's heightened sense of tension as leaders prepared to sign the Jerusalem Declaration,
The declaration was read slowly, clearly, and without drama, emotion, or expectation... [It was] translated completely, fully, and directly. As such the moment of the reading was one of the most dramatic and frightening moments of my life... [T]ime slowed down to a crawl. My heart ripped through my chest for what felt like hours.
One UM writer pulled together a series of MEPI vignettes into a printed volume. As with the APM, these stories circulated unevenly among MEPI organizational clusters, appealing primarily to UM members and fellow religionists.
MEPI "occasions" were gatherings in which participants met face-to-face. The major ones were conferences and pilgrimages. MEPI sponsored separate conferences and sessions within UM-sponsored conferences on dozens of occasions in the Middle East and elsewhere. Topics varied but mainly dealt with what were called "innovative" approaches to peace. They were usually well-heeled affairs convened in often plush settings. In this respect, they were not much different from large-scale professional meetings. The other major gathering, MEPI "World Peace Pilgrimages," included tours of holy sites, briefings with officials (for some), voluntary devotions, marches and rallies. These also resembled non-MEPI gatherings—Christian holy land pilgrimages and familiar forms of peace activism. However, there were some distinctively MEPI elements. For one, MEPI spokespersons claimed that large-scale interfaith peace marches made up of Jews, Christians and Muslims chanting "Peace, Shalom, Salaam Alaikum" through the Old City of Jerusalem were unprecedented.
There also were at least three distinctive, "providential" one-time events. The cross burial and Jerusalem Declaration were already noted. The third was the "crowning" of Jesus at a December 23, 2003 rally at Jerusalem Independence Park. As described in a UPI report,
Two Jews slowly approached yellow armchairs on a platform in Jerusalem's Independence Park. The man, in a red gold-embroidered skullcap, bowed and placed a silver crown on one seat. The woman beside him placed a robe on the other. Both bowed repeatedly as spectators from 70 countries as far apart as South Korea and the United States stood watching.
Michael Jenkins, the event's master of ceremonies, proclaimed, "The [Jews'] rejection of Jesus is restored and He is honored as king of peace, welcomed by the Jewish people and embraced and loved as the Lord." Two Muslims then presented a Jewish professor a golden menorah as a symbol of recon¬cili¬ation with the Jews. After that, Christian leaders presented a robe to a Muslim representative symbolizing the confirmation that Muhammad is God's prophet. Michael Jenkins commented, "Jesus, Moses and Muhammad are one. The era of conversion is over and the Era of the Peace Kingdom is now realized." A Unificationist present claimed she "felt the ground tremble like an earthquake." The coronation motif subsequently attained prominence within UM circles.
Roles, Personae, Relations
MEPI participants had a variety of "specialized cultural roles," personal styles connected to those roles, and characteristic ways of relating "among themselves and with various categories of outsiders." The major MEPI participant roles were visionary leaders, educator-intellectuals, politicians, and peace activists. Visionary leaders, of whom Rev. Moon was the foremost, lay claim to the prophetic mantle. As Rev. Moon put it some years previously, "leading figures of the world... [have] only a faint idea of the forces that shape the future... I know the direction that humankind must go, and I, with the help of God, will lead the world there." Elite MEPI leaders, on the basis of their access to or interpretation of Rev. Moon's pronounce¬ments, did not hesitate to proclaim turning points and new eras of history as has been shown. Educator-intellectuals held sway in conferences and lectures. Their style was more restrained and informational. Unification intellectuals, who sought to elaborate reasoned explanations of MEPI initiatives, were more "upbeat and can do." Politicians were of two types. Major UM-sponsored conferences attracted eminent speakers, including former and current heads of state, even Nobel Peace Laureates. On the other hand, the MEPI World Peace Pilgrimages attracted a range of lesser-tier current or former civic officials. Their style was decidedly more pragmatic. Peace activists included clergy and spiritual leaders, Peace Task Force volunteers and service workers, one-time pilgrimage goers, and a smattering of artists. Their profiles ranged from "solemn believers" to "gee-whiz enthusiasts," types Lofland identified in his earlier study.
Regardless of roles or personal styles, MEPI participants maintained a culture of civility in relations among themselves and with outsiders. To be sure, there were internal disagreements and even heated exchanges over strategy. Participants also publicly criticized the Israeli Separation Wall. However, these were rather minor and isolated departures from the movement's overriding preference for cooperation and cordiality in relation¬ships. A select number of participants went even beyond this in repenting for sins of their collective past. On that foundation, it was believed that forgiveness and reconciliation could take place. This ethos characterized MEPI's earliest pilgrimages. As Michael Jenkins put it, "Christian leaders must take the cross down as a symbol and instead walk the 'way of the cross' in sacrifice to heal the division of the sons of Abraham." This understanding and practice may have receded in later pilgrimages and in other sectors of the movement. Nevertheless, it was only within the context of a culture of repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation that MEPI's culture of civility made sense.
Lofland concludes that the APM as a "civil, uneven, two-tiered culture." He notes that the it "had quite a limited degree of culture" at the movement-wide level but that culture "was developed to a much greater degree" at the level of intra-movement clusters. This is why he termed the APM "culturally two-tiered." He attributed the uneven, two-tiered effect to the fact that the movement was growing very rapidly and sprang from a variety of social groupings. He also cautioned that "more" culture is not necessarily "better" in that "truly strong movement or organizational cultures tend to stimulate commitment and participation but to be authoritarian." The "trick," he says, is "to elaborate culture that sustains participation without stifling democratic participation." He suggests that the APM of the 1980s might be a new, generic type of social movement, what he terms "polite protester" movements that sustained a variety of cultural styles under the rubrics of politeness and civility.
MEPI fit the "polite protester" movement profile. Its culture at the movement-wide level tended to be expressed at high levels of generality and abstraction, i.e., living for the sake of others. However, the culture of its intra-movement clusters was richer and more developed. To this extent, MEPI resembled the APM in being two-tiered. It also grew rapidly and sprang from diverse social sources. Certain UM sectors tended to be authoritarian. For example, continental directors sent official memos to U.S. regional leaders and members enumerating "spiritual conditions" and pilgrimage quotas that "must" be fulfilled. Nevertheless, MEPI as a whole sustained participation on the basis of its vision, opportunities for peace activism and diverse cultural styles linked together by shared commitments to peace, reconciliation and civility.
Lofland characterizes social movements as "sprawling and complex ensembles of organizations." He focuses on "two aspects of the American peace movement's organizational ensemble... its varied and distinctive organizational forms... and its equally varied and distinctive forms of funding." In terms of organizational forms, he divides the APM into "firms," "bureaus" and "associations." Firms offered a product or service to a market in order to make a profit. Bureaus included churches and NGOs which lived on a yearly funding cycle and maintained salaried staffs. Associations were volunteer organizations whose programs "were heavily or mostly dependent on... uncompensated labor." In terms of funding, Lofland devotes the bulk of his attention to funding sources. He reviews a variety of in-kind and direct monetary support. He also makes an important distinction between self-terminating, i.e., one-time and continuing or on-going funding. Because a very large portion of APM's funding was self-terminating, he terms its economy "extremely fragile." He contrasts this with other social movement organizations and the American war system.
Firms constituted only one percent of APM organizations according to Lofland, and they consisted almost entirely of "radical educators... selling educational materials." Firms also were a tiny percentage of MEPI organizations. There was an effort on the part of several artists to market "Halelu," a classical cantata inspired by MEPI, and a Native American organization partnered with a craftsman to produce "Peace Totem Poles" for Jerusalem. Palestinian and Israeli tour companies were more significant. They competed for MEPI business and in the case of the Palestinian-based company, Garabidian (GGC), helped MEPI officials gain access to leaders at the highest level of the Palestinian Authority and Al-Aqsa Mosque as well as to back channels for equipment, banners and the like at short notice. In early 2010, UPF-Israel established its own tour and conference company, UNI-SARA, to host MEPI trips. It publicized program and rate information to UPF chapters throughout the world.
Bureaus, by Lofland's count, constituted "10 percent or so" of APM organizations. MEPI's most bureaucratic organization was IIWFP/UPF. It had UN standing, a yearly budget cycle, and maintained a salaried staff. It organized and managed the major conferences and, beginning in late 2003, coordinated MEPI's World Peace Pilgrimages. In fact, IIFWP/UPF's website listed MEPI as one of its numerous programs. IIFWP/UPF included a Presiding Council, International Chairman, President, Secretary-General, various departments and chapters in more than 150 nations. It also ran a Global Peace Council and the Ambassador for Peace program, launched in 2001, which claimed to be "the world's largest and most diverse network of peace leaders." IIFWP/UPF possessed a good deal of organizational savvy and influence. Nevertheless, it was dependent on regional and local chapters which were staffed by volunteers, mostly UM leaders who accepted responsibilities as add-ons to what they already were doing. Lofland counted churches and educational institutions as bureaus in that they had cycles of funding upon which APM participants from those organizations could rely. A number of churches, mosques, spiritual communities and to a lesser degree synagogues supported MEPI. MEPI also drew support from a few research institutes and educational institutions. Nevertheless, such bureaus as provided direct or indirect funding to participants were a small percentage of MEPI related organizations.
Associations made up the vast bulk of APM organizations, 90 percent according to Lofland. Volunteer-based associations were also the predominant form of organization within MEPI. Many of them, especially those that were UM-based—IIWFP/UPF, ACLC, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification [FFWPU], the Women's Federation for World Peace [WFWP], Service for Peace, the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations [WANGO], and the Washington Times Foundation among others—were managed by salaried staff working with large numbers of volunteers. The same was true of participating organizations not affiliated with the UM. MEPI Peace Task Force volunteers responsible for grassroots mobilization received consideration for housing and food expenses but not for travel and were otherwise entirely uncompensated. A number took leadership roles on outreach teams or in logistical support for varying lengths of time. Ten thousand APs who traveled to the Holy Land in MEPI's first two years and those traveling thereafter received travel discounts and subsidies on occasion but were in the main responsible for their expenses.
MEPI, like the APM, depended on both in-kind donations and direct funding. In-kind donations included the amounts participants who met their own expenses spent to participate in MEPI events, donated labor, and donated supplies. These were especially significant for the World Peace Pilgrimages. MEPI's direct funding came mainly from the world-wide Unification Movement its subsidiaries, notably FFWPU. This funding was especially important for MEPI conferences and to maintain staffing in its lead organizations. A few organizations collected or attempted to collect dues, and there was some fund-raising. At one point, FFWPU requested that 330 members donate $1000 toward support of a major mobilization and Jerusalem rally. Those who did were promised "Gethsemane Stones from the place where Jesus prayed." All of its membership was requested to give a minimum of $100 and encouraged to "adopt" a task force member by contributing $500 to their support. Despite these efforts, MEPI was hampered in that virtually all of its funding was terminating, i.e., either one-time or subject to renewal rather than continuing. This meant that its economy, like the APM's, was fragile. As Lofland notes, this was in contrast to other movements, such as organized labor, which held to "strict policies of collecting significant dues from members." It also contrasted "war system" organization and funding. Considering the billions invested in that system, both MEPI and the APM were more than justified in utilizing David vs. Goliath terminology.
Citizen Surges and Surge Stages
Lofland types the APM a "citizen surge" which he defines as "a generic class" of periods during which "significant numbers of citizens define some social situation as a dire threat, injustice, and/or opportunity requiring urgent action which will forestall the threat, right the wrong, and/or seize the opportunity." However, a surge cannot be sustained indefinitely. Lofland states that citizen surges exhibit "a small number of distinctive phases" which he terms the "surge curve." These, he says, are marked by:
1. A rapid spread of the belief that a situation-at-hand is urgent and that people must, therefore, depart from action-as-usual because of the new threats and harms that must be countered and/or new opportunities that must be seized before they recede;
2. A rapid increase in the number of people participating in forms of action that are new to them and that are directed to these dawning threats, injustices, or opportunities;
3. A rapid decline in the above beliefs and actions as a consequence of the success or failure of the new actions, the responses of authorities or counter-surges, or the self-limiting nature of the actions themselves;
4. A residue of practices and institutions and other stamps on collective organization and memory.
Lofland sees the most conspicuous feature of citizen surges to be "their soar and slump dynamic—the flashing rapidity of their onset and meteoric rise followed by an almost equally quick decline over a period of only a few years."
A major part of Lofland's analysis consists of his effort to dissect the surge process as exemplified by the APM of the 1980s. He cites the importance of "focusing events" which function as "signal markers around which to organize the action of large numbers of people." He notes,
Focusing events that facilitate escalation are central to the first stages of surges. They are perceived as providing the possibility of great progress and success in the surge quest, and they are imbued with hope. An escalating interactive spiral is characterized by a propitiously spaced and paced sequence of such focusing events... such hopeful events then become iconic conditions that strengthen perception of feasibility and timeliness.
Lofland contends that happenings external to citizen surges "can be a if not the major source of facilitating/escalating events." He terms these "goading events," i.e., "episodes that produce fear and anxiety sufficient to stimulate focusing... events." Conversely, surges are subject to discrediting events and counter-surge activity, particularly during phases of "surge de-escalation, contraction, or slump."
According to Lofland, the APM was a medium size (several millions) and medium length (longer than several months or a year but less than a decade) citizen surge. He states that it went through five spiral periods:
1. Focusing, in which a set of social change actions... came to be seen as feasible and timely (1979-80);
2. Soaring, in which there was a very rapid expansion and "rise" of these social change actions (1981-82);
3. Faltering, in which the surge reached a peak and began to decline (1983-84);
4. Slump, in which concern and actions went into steep decline (1985-86);
5. Percolating, in which decline leveled off and a residue peace-focused milieu resumed something like its previous state, only at a more complex level (1987-90).
This section will apply these concepts and observations to MEPI.
MEPI can be fairly described as a citizen surge. A significant number of citizens came to define the situation in the Holy Land, specifically the enmity between Israeli and Palestinians, as an increasingly dire threat not only in the region but to global peace and stability. Many also saw the situation as an opportunity to exercise innovative methods of interfaith peace-building to forestall threats. MEPI's developmental pattern also exhibited the surge curve. There was a rapid spread of the belief that the situation at hand was urgent and a rapid mobilization of participants in forms of action, peace pilgrimages in particular, that were new to them. There also was a fairly precipitous decline in MEPI activities over a few years which conformed to the surge and slump dynamic. Although the waves of World Peace Tours subsided, MEPI continues to sponsor smaller-scale tours, spin-off organizations continue to function, and its distinctive emphases continue to resonate within sectors of the UM and related entities.
Focusing events were pivotal during the first stages of MEPI as they were for the APM. These included 123 Christian clergy taking down crosses from the churches by Good Friday 2003; the burying of a cross in the Potter's Field in Jerusalem by 131 clergy and others in May 2003; and the signing of the Jerusalem Declaration by the same clergy and some 125 Israeli rabbis and Jewish representatives, also in May 2003. The fact that a substantial number of Christian clergy were removed their crosses and traveled on a pilgrimage of repentance to Jerusalem, where they were met by a like number of rabbis willing to repent for Jesus' crucifixion, inspired hope in the possibility of progress and success. Interfaith visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque and into Gaza during the fall, both of which were regarded as breakthroughs, also reinforced the sense among participants of MEPI's feasibility and timeliness. A successful interfaith rally at Jerusalem's Independence Park in December 2003 followed which recognition of Jesus, Moses and Muhammad by Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders respectively. These focusing events, "propitiously spaced and paced," became "iconic conditions" for the movement.
Goading events, i.e., external events that produced fear and anxiety sufficient to stimulate focusing events, also were important. As noted, MEPI was launched during the height of the Second Intifada, and leader reports made frequent mention of suicide bombings. However, the U.S. attack on Iraq and beginning of the Second Gulf War on March 20, 2003 was more consequential. At the time of the first Gulf War (1990-91), Rev. Moon convened a Middle East Peace Summit of high-level UM-contacts in the Middle East at which he termed religious and racial warfare "more fundamental and threatening than communism." In his summit address, he stated,
The greatest imaginable tragedy would be for war to erupt between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East ... As religious leaders ours is the greatest responsibility. We must do everything in our power to guide all players into a peaceful solution for this Middle East situation.
The First Gulf War ended, but gave rise to global religious terrorism. The environment of 9/11 in combination with the Second Intifada and Second Gulf War were the external or goading circumstances and events that sparked MEPI. However, as Lofland notes, surges are also subject to discrediting events. In this regard, the Israel-Lebanon/Hezbollah War (2006) and the Israel-Gaza/Hamas conflict (2006) were significant. As previously noted, the Lebanon War introduced a degree of strain between MEPI supporters who wanted to develop a policy position and those who wished to avoid political issues. More significantly, the conflict led politically conservative MEPI supporters, especially those associated with the Washington Times Foundation who already were less than pleased with "Arafat-hugging," to reaffirm realpolitik positions of peace through strength.
By Lofland's standards, MEPI was a small-size (in the thousands, not millions) and medium length (longer than several months or a year but less than a decade) citizen surge. Nevertheless, the five spiral periods he identifies are largely congruent with MEPI's development.
1. Focusing, during which a set of Middle East change actions associated with removing the cross, undertaking Holy Land pilgrimages to reconcile faiths and an active conferencing program to educate public officials came to be seen as feasible and timely (2002-2003);
2. Soaring, during which there was a rapid expansion and rise of these change actions with waves of pilgrims, hundreds at a time from multiple continents, joining World Peace Pilgrimages to the Holy Land (2004-2005);
3. Faltering, during which the surge reached a peak and began to decline with less numbers joining tours, less dramatic, more routinized results, and a degree of strain over philosophy and strategy as Israel went to war (2006-2007);
4. Slump, during which actions went into steep decline with MEPI being only a minor item in ACLC's 2008 National Convocation Report and leaders of the UM-related Israel Peace Council in Jerusalem reporting that reviving Middle East Peace Initiative activities was an important topic in their 2009 discussions (2008-2009).
5. Percolating, during which decline leveled off and a residue of peace-focused activity resumed in a way that resembled MEPI's pre-surge state but with a more complex array of organizations and a more seasoned group of peace-activist supporters (2010-).
Lofland concludes with a detailed analysis of the focusing stage and elements of surge soaring. The remainder of this section will cover only what he terms "conditions of readiness" and the special role of the "attractive public intellectual."
Lofland argues that a surge cannot surface without a "constellation of organizations" already in place made up of persons "searching for surge vehicles" and who "when they found one... plunged into it willingly and enthusiastically." He calls this "the preexisting supportive milieu principle... a preexisting social milieu already preoccupied with the topics of the surge that will emerge and routinely in search of vehicles for a surge."
MEPI brought together at least three such constituencies. The first was the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, made up of UM members worldwide. They held as an article of faith that Christ's crucifixion, and hence the cross, was a tragic mistake. They also looked for opportunities to communicate this. Such an opportunity presented itself on June 11, 2001 when a thunderstorm struck the cross on top the sanctuary at Unification Theological Seminary. As described by the President,
On the evening of June 11, there was a thunderstorm in the mid-Hudson Valley. A bolt of lightning struck the five-foot high stone cross that has stood at the top of our Seminary for its 70 years of existence. The cross is not grounded, so the energy had no place to go but out horizontally. This snapped the cross at its base, separating it from the building, and blew off both arms. One arm fell with the pillar of the cross backwards onto the roof. The other careened forward, with pieces falling upon building parapets and to the ground as far as 60 feet away. No one was hurt, but one car suffered damage.
The second constituency was the American Clergy Leadership Conference [ACLC]. It began in May 2000 when 120 clergy travelled to Seoul, Korea and the De-militarized Zone (DMZ) where they prayed for national healing and released 120 doves as a symbol of peace and reconciliation. Afterwards, many participated in UM-sponsored Lasting Love conferences and the Million Family March, supported Rev. Moon in a We Will Stand in Oneness national speaking tour (52 cities in 50 states in 52 days), and took part in an Interreligious Peace Blessing and Marriage Re-dedication. ACLC was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and unity" with a special regard for Rev. Moon. As such, it fit the profile of a preexisting supportive organization.
The third important constituency was IIFWP. IIFWP included a broad international network of current and former government officials, religious and NGO leaders, women and youth leaders whom the UM had cultivated over a number of years. IIFWP launched an Ambassador for Peace [AP] program in 2001, defined as "a worldwide network of leaders dedicated to transcending racial, religious and ethnic boundaries to promote a world of genuine peace." APs, along with ACLC clergy and FFWPU members, made up the bulk of MEPI participants.
Lofland lists the "slack resources principle" as a second condition of readiness. By this he meant, "Surge focusing is facilitated by preexisting supporting milieu whose resources are not at the time already deployed in a taut fashion in existing campaigns." In August 2000, IIFWP convened Assembly 2000, a major meeting held just prior to the UN's Millennium Summit and Millennium General Assembly. There, Rev. Moon proposed the establishment of "a religious assembly, or council of religious representatives within the structure of the United Nations" and the creation of "peace zones in areas of conflict." This resulted in the Ambassador for Peace initiative, but APs had little to do and were on their own reconnaissance. ACLC clergy involved themselves in several short-lived campaigns but were similarly available. FFWPU members were involved in spiritual work, distributing testimonies to Rev. Moon from the spirit world and witnessing in Korea, but there were no competing mobilizations that otherwise exerted a strain on resources. In fact, much of their work, especially the spirit world testimonies, were perceived to be out of step with mainstream thought. MEPI provided a needed alternative.
Apart from conditions of readiness, Lofland noted that the "attractive public intellectual" was largely responsible for the "alchemy" that transforms a "Darwinian parade" of proposals into something that works. As he put it,
[A] surge is facilitated (and, perhaps, absolutely dependent on) the coming forth and active promotional work of an intellectually and personally credible and skillful intellectual articulator and advocate of a change-idea that pointedly responds to... behavior widely perceived as threatening.
More than anyone else, Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr., founder of the Amani Temple African American Catholic Congregation in Washington, D.C., stepped forward as a credible and skillful intellectual articulator and advocate of MEPI to those who may have perceived the initiative as threatening. Stallings was the first to remove the cross from his church on December 31, 2002 and played the key role in winning Jewish assent to the Jerusalem Declaration. As recounted by Michael Jenkins,
The Archbishop walked a very narrow road of inspiring the Christian leaders who were there, while at the same time inspiring the Jewish leaders to set aside our differences and come together ... Archbishop Stallings stepped out of the box and said we as Christians have not understood the meaning of the cross. Therefore, to set a condition for reconciliation we took our crosses down and came to Israel with a humble heart... He also said that we Christians must repent for the Holocaust and for all the anti-Semitism that occurred throughout history. He called upon the rabbis there to please forgive us.
Stallings was not the only important public intellectual. Others such as Dr. Eliezer Glaubach, Dr. Joshua Shuki Ben-Ami, Imam Haitham Bundakji and Imam Dr. Muhammad Jodeh performed similar functions for their respective communities. A number of Unification public intellectuals contributed including Revs. Michael Jenkins and Chang Shik Yang; Drs. Andrew Wilson, Frank Kaufmann, and Thomas Walsh; Taj Hamad, Antonio Betancourt, and Hod Ben Zvi.
To summarize: MEPI was a small, medium-length citizen surge that employed innovative methods of peacemaking to forestall dire threats in the Middle East. Its development exhibited a typical surge curve and conformed to the surge and slump dynamic. Focusing events such as burying the cross and the Jerusalem Declaration were pivotal during MEPI's initial stages as were external goading events such as the Second Intifada and Second Iraq War which produced fear and anxiety sufficient to stimulate its focusing events. MEPI would not have surged had it not been for a preexisting supportive milieu and organizations whose resources were not otherwise employed. In this process, credible public intellectuals played a key role.
The Ambivalence of the Sacred
It remains to assess MEPI's effectiveness and significance. This is com-pli¬cated, since the Israeli-Palestinian and larger Middle East conflict is unresolved and MEPI efforts continue though in a scaled-down fashion. Nevertheless, it is important to offer at least a tentative assessment of MEPI's effect on the Middle East peace process and its impact on the Unification movement. Externally, MEPI's effect on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would appear to be negligible given the continuing violence and tension. On the other hand, the continuing standoff may reinforce MEPI's position that political, economic and military solutions alone are at a dead end or not viable and that religious contributions are necessary. In terms of its impact on the UM, MEPI generated new organizations and added to the list of movement supporters. However, the extent to which it has influenced UM core consciousness is unclear, even problematic. In fact, a significant degree of internal strain emerged over the status of the UM as a peace movement. MEPI's outcomes also raise the question of whether its change-theories and peace methodology need revision.
In order to assess MEPI's effect on the Middle East peace process, it is helpful to reference Lofland's assessment of the 1980s APM. He defined its policy effects as "unclear." He notes, "U.S. policy did become more conciliatory in the mid- and late-eighties" but states that "changes in the Soviet Union" were "vastly more significant than the impact of a PS [peace surge] that was well-past its peak." His conclusion was,
[T]he peace surge won but for reasons that, perhaps, had less to do with its own actions than with what used to be called the "Soviet Bloc." The framework changed so radically that one could not estimate the effects of the peace surge action within it. The old game abruptly ended, and a new and different game began.
The 2011 "Arab Spring" brought change, but the "old game" did not end, particularly with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This makes an assessment of MEPI's effect more difficult. In 2008, Michael Jenkins stated,
[O]one remarkable change has come in the Holy Land. All major players in the peace process have now concluded that peace cannot be achieved without interfaith dialogue and support. That was not the case five years ago."
Jenkins' statement may be disputed or written off as a symbolic rather than a substantial achievement. However, religious approaches to peace-making have proliferated in the post-Cold War, especially post-9/11 era, and religion began to find a place within the discipline of International Relations. Should religious organizations or leaders contribute to the resolution of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, as they have done in other protracted conflict settings, MEPI's leaders and supporters would be justified in concluding that they played a direct or indirect role in the process. However, that this set of circumstances will eventuate is far from apparent at present.
MEPI's influence on the UM is more apparent but still far from definitive. Clearly, MEPI activated and invigorated a number of UM-related organizations. ACLC, the Ambassador for Peace program, IIFWP, FFWPU and other groups were energized by the MEPI surge. MEPI also helped generate new organizations including international and regional peace councils and UPF. It also introduced supporters and a significant number of key leaders to the movement. Nevertheless, the extent to which MEPI influenced, much less transformed, UM consciousness is problematic. As noted, conservative elements within the UM, particularly those associated with The Washington Times, became increasingly alienated as MEPI leaders expressed sympathy for the Palestinians. After 2008, significant strain opened up over the status of the UM as a peace movement. One UM constituency wished to build upon MEPI in conducting Global Peace Festivals [GPFs] worldwide. This was rejected, and movement leadership emphasized Rev. Moon's salvific role, stating it was a mistake to think of him as primarily a peace-leader or the UM as a peace movement. As a consequence, movement resources began to flow toward projects intended to spur church growth and institutional development.
Whatever prominence peace initiatives will have within the UM, MEPI's negligible policy effects raise the question whether its change-theories and peace methodology require revision. As pointed out, during the Cold War era, the UM maintained a peace through strength, realpolitik stance. The movement expressed no qualms about the utilization of coercive violence, either threatened (cruise missiles in Europe) or actual (contras in Nicaragua). In the post-Cold War era, the UM took steps to reinforce its profile as a peace movement. Although it never explicitly affirmed pacifism, the movement employed change-theories and peace methodologies that relied exclusively on moral suasion and education augmented by "spiritual conditions" and religious symbolism. Expressed differently, the UM adopted strategies and tactics of what Lofland termed "polite protest." However, because the realpolitik orientation continues to exert an appeal, the two tendencies coexist within the movement in an uneasy tension. It's possible that MEPI-styled peace activism may utilize Gandhian methods of non-violent civil disobedience in certain settings. It's also possible that the UM's realpolitik orientation might lead to more direct involvement in the political process in other settings. The likely scenario is that the UM will consolidate the gains of its first generation, dedicate energies toward the development of a solid institutional infrastructure, and move forward with both peace-making and realpolitik tendencies available on an "as-needed" basis. A pragmatic approach is likely because the UM remains deeply ambivalent on matters of war and peace.
This is in accord with what R. Scott Appleby describes as "the ambivalence of the sacred." According to Appleby, both violence and non-violence are rooted in human perceptions of the divine. That is, the "divine" as experienced by human beings models both life-giving and destructive power. As a consequence, religiously-motivated violence and religiously-motivated non-violence both fall within the range of responses to the sacred. Similarly, any religious tradition is a complex body of wisdom which includes a "multiplicity of... teachings, images of the divine... [and] moral injunctions," some of which reinforce peacemaking, some of which can justify violence. This "internal pluralism" bestows on religious leaders the power of choice as they are "charged with interpreting contemporary experience in light of sacred tradition" and "mobilizing religious sentiment around a course of action." Religious extremists see "physical violence against enemies as a sacred duty" and must convince ordinary believers that teachings condemning violence must be suspended. Religious peacemakers strive "to sublimate violence," resist "efforts to legitimate it on religious grounds," and "restrict war against oppressors and injustice to non-coercive means."
Rev. Moon has stated. "There can be no stronger army than the one which does not fear death." By this he meant an army of faith, specifically the "army of Jesus" which "used no weapons, neither swords nor spears" but before whom the Roman Empire fell. Unification sources also uplift the principle of "voluntary surrender" or "natural subjugation." The idea here is that principles of service, living for the sake of others, and true love rather than conquest or struggle achieve reconciliation and the ultimate coming together or unification between enemies. However, an army that doesn't fear death may also not fear to inflict death, and voluntary surrender may be encouraged by involuntary means. It is only in this light that depictions of war as "insane barbarism" can be balanced against the calls for a "Unification Crusade Army," cruise missiles in Europe, weapons in space, and support for the Contras. Unification leaders, no less than other religious leaders, will be called upon to mine the tradition's resources in meeting future challenges, especially those related to conflict and violence. In this endeavor, they will need to take into account the philosophy, methodology, culture, organization, and dynamics of the movement's Middle East Peace Initiative.
 Sun Myung Moon, "Korea and the World," speech given at "World Rally for Korean Freedom," Seoul Korea, June 7, 1975.
 For example, see Dinesh D'Souza, "On Moon's Planet: The Theology and Politics of the Unification Church, Policy Review 32 (1985): 28-34.
 Rev. Moon used the term "Headwing" to characterize his political philosophy which incorporated elements from the Right and Left.
 The most significant of these were the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA, est. 1973); the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS, est. 1972); the International Religious Foundation (IRF, est. 1983); and the Summit Council for World Peace" (est. 1987).
 See Rev. Sun Myung Moon: Peacemaker and Unifier (MacLean, VA: Inter¬na-tion¬al Peace Foundation, 1990). While not compromising his principled opposition to communism, Rev. Moon included representatives from Soviet bloc nations in his activities. He invited numerous Soviet journalists to participate in annual World Media Conferences. He supported fact-finding tours and exchanges for both Western and Soviet journalists. He also took an interest in Russian cultural life and the arts, particularly ballet. He also was not adverse to hinting broadly about his investment interests in the U.S.S.R. or contributing funds to worthy causes. In 1987, the UM pledged to invest US$250 million in an automobile manufacturing plant in southern China. As part of the agreement, Rev. Moon promised to plough all profits back into China. That same year Rev. Moon funded the establishment of an engineering college at Yongmyung University in the ethnic Korean region of Manchuria. For a discussion of these and other initiatives, see Michael Mickler, 40 Years in America: An Intimate History of the Unification Movement, 1959-1999 (NY: HSA-UWC, 2000), pp. 342-56.
 These developments are covered in Mickler, 40 Years in America, pp. 441-513.
 Sun Myung Moon, "Renewing the United Nations to Build Lasting Peace," in Renewing the United Nations and Building a Culture of Peace, A Report from Assembly 2000 (NY: IIFWP, 2000). The UM-related groups which attained UN status as NGOs were the International Relief and Friendship Foundation (IRFF), a movement-funded and run charitable organization which since the mid-1970s had provided goods and services in areas of need worldwide; the International Religious Foundation (IRF), a movement-funded ecumenical and inter-religious organization; Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP), a women's organ-ization of international scope founded by Mrs. Moon; the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), conceived of as a successor to the Unification Church; and the Inter-Religious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP), later the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). IRFF gained status with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) in 1991. In 1993, IRF also attained DPI status. WFWP obtained general consultative status with the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1997. As only 11 percent of religious NGOs associated with ECOSOC attained "general" status, this was a major breakthrough. FFWPU gained DPI status in 1998, and IIFWP (later UPF) gained Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC in 2004.
 Sun Myung Moon, "God's Ideal Family: the Model for World Peace," Inaugural Convocation of the Universal Peace Federation, New York, NY, September 12, 2005.
 "Jerusalem Declaration." http://www.tparents.org/library/unification/topics/declrtns/ JerusalemDeclaration-080513.htm
 Eliezer Glaubach-Gal, "Impact of Pilgrimages," February 4, 2004. http:// www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/Talks/Glaubach/Glaubach-040101a.htm
 Frank Kaufmann, "Insights on the First Five Pilgrimages," June 3, 2004. http:// www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/Talks/Kaufmann/Kaufmann-040603.htm
 John Lofland, Polite Protesters: The American Peace Movement of the 1980s (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1993).
 Lofland, p. 10.
 Lofland, pp. 25-36.
 Middle East Peace Initiative Interim Report (NY: Universal Peace Federation, 2006), p. 1; Frank Kaufmann, "The Embrace of Brothers," Today's World (July 2003): 25; Michael Jenkins, "Hope for a New America and the Fourth Israel," Unification News, May 2004.
 Hod Ben Zvi, "Our Role to Embody True Parents: Interview with Hod Ben-Zvi," Today's World (June 2004): 14-15.
 Hod Ben Zvi, "Jews and Christians Face to Face," Today's World (June 2006): 26, 28-29.
 Hod Ben Zvi, "A Home for Peace in Jerusalem," Today's World (March 2007): 22-23.
 Douglas Johnston and Cynthia Sampson's Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft (Oxford, 1994) is generally regarded as the work which sparked interest in religion within the discipline of International Relations.
 Sun Myung Moon, "Renewing the United Nations to Build Lasting Peace," in Renewing the United Nations and Building a Culture of Peace, A Report from Assembly 2000 (NY: IIFWP, 2000).
 David Fraser-Harris, "A Pioneering Project in the Arab Desert," Today's World (October 2004): 27.
 Sun Myung Moon, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen (Washington, DC: Washington Times Foundation, 2010).
 "Heart to Heart for the Peace in the Middle East – Peace March, Heart-to-Heart Rally for Peace and Peace Candle Ceremony," Unification News, December 2003-January 2004.
 Chang Shik Yang. "Reconsidering the Cross and the Middle East," speech at Symposium on "Rethinking the Viability of the Cross as a Central Christian Symbol," Union Theological Seminary, November 17, 2003. Reprinted in Unification News, December 2003-January 2004.
 Michael Jenkins, "Amman Jordan," Unification News, May 2005.
 "Jerusalem Declaration," op. cit.
 Michael Jenkins, "123 Churches Took Down the Cross Over the Easter Holiday," Unification News, April 2003.
 See Lloyd Howell, "Heart to Heart: The Peace Task Force," Today's World (October-December 2003): 28-34, and Tom Cutts, "A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land." Unification News, December 2004.
 Lofland, pp. 36-48.
 Andrew Wilson, "Reflections on the Breakthrough in Jerusalem," Sermon, Red Hook Family Church, July 20, 2003. http://www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/ Talks/Wilson/Wilson-030720.htm
 Michael Jenkins, "Israel Pilgrimage Fifteen," Unification News, May 2005.
 Hod Ben-Zvi, "Our Role to Embody True Parents," 15.
 Michael Jenkins, "Jerusalem," Unification News, November 2004.
 Dan Fefferman, 2006, personal communication.
 Lofland, p. 52.
 Lofland, p. 51.
 Lofland, p. 52.
 Lofland, pp. 51-53.
 Lofland, pp. 55-71, 75.
 Lloyd Howell, "Dark Night of the Soul: An Open Letter to Israel," Unification News, December 2004.
 Interim Report: Middle East Peace Initiative (NY: Universal Peace Federation/ IIFWP, 2006), pp. 10, 19.
 See Angelica Selle, "A Trip of Tears," Today's World (May-June, 2003): 16; Joy Pople, "Gaza: Where God Has to Go," Today's World (April-May 2004): 22-24; Stephen Gabb, "Going to Gaza," Today's World (October-December 2003): 36-40; and Frank Kaufmann, "An Outpouring of Spiritual Power," Today's World (April-May 2004): 25, 29.
 Bruce Sutchar, "A Jewish/Unificationist Perspective on the Jerusalem Peace Rally, Unification News, December 2003-January 2004.
 Frank Kaufmann, "Insights on the First Five Pilgrimages." http://www.tparents.org/ Library/Unification/Talks/Kaufmann/Kaufmann-040603.htm
 Lofland, pp. 78-82.
 Lofland, p. 91.
 Antonio Betancourt, "Exodus from Historical Resentment," Today's World (October 2004): 28.
 See especially Hod Ben-Zvi, "Our Role to Embody True Parents."
 Interim Report, p. 19.
 "Testimony of Rabbi Mordecai Waldman." http://testimonyofthemoon.blogspot.com/ 2011/02/testimony-of-rabbi-mordecai-waldman_22.html
 Fritz Piepenburg, "New Chance for Peace in the Middle East," Unification News, June 2005.
 Betancourt, "Exodus from Historical Resentment," 29-30.
 Frank Kaufmann, "Testimony on the Jerusalem Declaration." http:// www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/Talks/Kaufmann/Kaufmann-030912.htm.
 Joy Pople, Walking Together on Holy Land (Baldwin, NY: PeaceScribes, 2009).
 United Press International, "Religions Urged to Reconcile for Peace," December 24, 2003. Reprinted in Unification News, December 2003-January 2004.
 Michael Jenkins, "Reflections on True Parent's Victorious Course in 2003," Unification News, December 2003-January 2004.
 "The Crowning of Jesus," Today's World (October-December 2003): 23.
 See Lofland's discussion of these topics, pp. 108-25.
 Sun Myung Moon, "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age," Speech delivered at the Manhattan Center, New York, May 13, 1993. The speech or excerpts was published in ads purchased in the newspapers of 160 nations and was delivered by Rev. Moon, Mrs. Moon and their adult children in worldwide speaking tours.
 This is Lofland's descriptor. He noticed similar style intellectuals associated with the APM.
 A UM-sponsored "World Summit on Leadership and Governance" in 2003 which included a roundtable on the Middle East attracted such notables as H.E. Lech Walesa, former President of Poland (1990-93) and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1983); Jose Ramos-Horta, then-Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs of East Timor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1996); Betty Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1976); Abd-Alaziz Hegazy, former Prime Minister of Egypt (1974-75); Steingrimur Hermannsson, former prime Minister of Iceland (1983-91); Yvonne Hinds, First Lady of Guyana; and J.W. Msika, Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe among others. See World Summit on Leadership and Governance: Developing the Culture, Structures, and Policies of Peace for a World in Crisis (Tarrytown, NY: IIFWP, 2003).
 Lofland, pp. 119-22.
 Michael Jenkins, "123 Churches."
 Lofland, pp. 125-30.
 See Chang Shik Yang. "Key International Directions and MEPI," Memorandum NHQ20060514, May 14, 2006. http://www.tparents.org/library/unification/talks/ yang/Yang-060514.htm
 Lofland, pp. 134-35, 143, 158. Lofland also offers estimates of the number of APM organizations, number of participants, and amount of spending. However, he admits estimates of the number of organizations and participants "need to be treated with caution" (136) and that "estimating total movement expenditures... is even more difficult than estimating numbers of organizations and participants." (155)
 New York City Symphony music director David Eaton and the prominent Israeli singer/composer, David D'Or collaborated on Halelu, a forty-minute "Cantata for Peace" inspired by MEPI. A Native American Leadership Alliance [NALA] launched by Native American MEPI supporters partnered with Jewell Praying Wolf James and the House of Tears Carvers to build Peace Totem Poles for Jerusalem as part of a "Healing the Family of Abraham" Peace Pole project
 See Jeremy Jordan, "Israel to Host Six Middle East Peace Initiative Trips." http://www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/Talks/Jordan/Jordan-100428.htm
 See http://www.upf.org. Accessed July 2011.
 See http://www.upf.org/global-peace-council and http://www.upf.org/ambassadors-for-peace. Accessed July 2011
 "120 American Members to New York; All American Members – fundraising, signature campaign and Israel Pilgrimage." Memorandum NHQ20030911, FFWPU, September 11, 2003. http://www.tparents.org/library/unification/talks/ Yang/Yang-030911.htm.
 Lofland, pp. 156, 173. Lofland estimates APM total spending was in the range of $300 to $500 million a year. This paled in relation to "the American war system" which "spent –at the very least—about half-a-trillion (five hundred billion) dollars in most years of the eighties ... The war system spent as much every six hours as the peace movement spend in a year."
 Lofland, pp. 187-88, 213.
 Lofland, pp. 219-20.
 Lofland, pp. 223-24.
 Sun Myung Moon, "Program for Peace, Islam and the Establishment of World Peace," Address to the Participants of the Summit of the Council for the World's Religions, Cairo, Egypt, October 21, 1990. http://www.tparents.org/Library/ Unification/Books/40Years/40-5-20.htm. The UM had cultivated contacts within the Muslim world since the early 1980s. While conventional mission work was exceedingly difficult, the Middle East Times gave the movement a presence in the region. In addition, the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) held a series of six highly successful conferences that brought together Arabs, Israelis, Greeks and Turks on a variety of topics. On the foundation of these meetings, the movement's Council for the World's Religions convened several conferences of high-level Muslim religious leaders, including the Grand Muftis of Syria and Yemen.
 The first clergyman to do so, Rev. George Augustus Stallings, removed the cross from his church, Imani Temple in Washington, D.C. in 2002.
 Lofland, pp. 226, 229.
 Lofland, pp. 225-26
 Tyler Hendricks, "UTS 25th Commencement," Unification News, July 2001. http://www.tparents.org/UNews/Unws0107/UTS_report.htm.
 See Chang Shik Yang, "We Will Stand! 2001 Tour," Unification News, May 2001 and Michael Jenkins, "American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) Outline and Instructions for the International Leadership Conference (ILC) Ambassadors of Peace Conference," Fall 2001. http://www.tparents.org/Library/ Unification/Talks/Jenkins/Jenkins1/Jenkins-ACLC.htm
 See "Ambassadors for Peace, North America" at http://www.ambassadors4peace.org.
 Lofland, p. 226.
 The event, held jointly at the Waldorf-Astoria and UN Headquarters, was co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions to the UN of Indonesia, Uganda, and Mongolia and chaired by Makarim Wibisono, the Permanent Ambassador to the UN of Indonesia and President of ECOSOC. Under the theme, "Renewing the United Nations and Building a Culture of Peace." Assembly 2000 "was attended by dignitaries from over 100 nations, including former heads of state and government, religious and parliamentary leaders, and academic, business, and media leaders." Included among them were Oscar Arias, former President of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Laureate; Robert Dole, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and Republican Presidential candidate; the late Sir Edward Heath, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Kenneth Kaunda, former President of Zambia; and Richard Thornburgh, former UN Undersecretary General and Governor of Pennsylvania. See Michael L. Mickler, "Toward an Abel UN? The Unification Movement and the United Nations," Journal of Unification Studies 9 (2008): 53.
 Sun Myung Moon, "Renewing the United Nations to Build Lasting Peace," in Renewing the United Nations and Building a Culture of Peace, A Report from Assembly 2000 (New York: IIFWP, 2000), pp. 68, 71. http://www.unification.net/ 2000/20000818.html.
 Lofland, pp. 227, 229.
 Michael Jenkins, "Special "Israel" Report," May 19, 2003. http://www.tparents.org/ Library/Unification/Talks/Jenkins/Jenkins1/Jenkins-030519.htm. See also "Biography: George Augustus Stallings, Jr." http://www.tparents.org/library/unification/ talks/stallings/Stallings-030212.htm.
 Lofland, pp. 204-05.
 Michael Jenkins, "The Crowning of Jesus – December 22, 2003." http:// www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/Talks/Jenkins-08/Jenkins-081222.htm
 See especially Johnston and Sampson, Religion: The Missing Dimension of Statecraft and Douglas Johnston, ed. Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik (Oxford, 2003).
 R. Scott Appleby, The Ambivalence of the Sacred (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000).
 Ibid., pp. 11, 16, 28-30, 54-56.
 Sun Myung Moon, "Christianity in Crisis," God's Warning to the World: Reverend Moon's Message from Prison (New York: HSA-UWC, 1985), p. 78.