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Unification Church - Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP)

The Unification Movement is a religious movement spearheaded by the Unification Church (renamed the "Family Federation for World Peace") comprising organizations and individuals that are dedicated to creating world peace through ideal families centered on God in accordance with the doctrines of Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Followers are commonly referred to as the Moonies (after the cult's founder and leader, Sun Myung Moon). Some followers object to the name, claiming it is meant as an insult. However, the name was coined and used by members of the Unification Church itself.

They have been in Ireland since the early 70s. They experienced rapid growth in the early years culminating in the famous Mary Canning case in 1979. She had joined in San Francisco and came back in a blaze of glory. She was subsequently deprogrammed and renounced her membership as brainwashing. Earlier a priest of the Dublin Archdiocese joined their ranks. They have gradually lost influence in Ireland and even the visit from their founder to Ireland on Friday November 4, 2005 received scant publicity. They ‘claim’ to no longer evangelise for their own faith and now concentrate on inter-religious dialogue. However, they are as convinced as ever that Sun Myung Moon is the Messiah or Lord of the Second Advent. (See links to get an understanding of their theology.) With their lack of success with the Irish community and the general collapse of religion here they are trying to work among Muslims and other new faith arrivals. They attempt to get Muslims or African Christians to participate in their marriage ceremonies. They even had to bring in people from different faiths from England to make up the numbers at the Gresham Hotel when Rev Moon spoke here.

They are committed to supporting those who sustain moderate versions of Islam, but are working with Muslims in Dublin who have connections to those who support Islamist agendas like those of Sheikh Al-Qaradawi whose European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR) is permanently headquartered in the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland in Clonskeagh.

They are joined in these contacts by Gerard Ryan a spokesperson for Scientology in Ireland. The director of the Unificationists and Gen Sec. of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace in Ireland Halvard Iversen informed Dialogue Ireland that Gerard Ryan was a recognised peace ambassador within their movement, (IIFWP). Gerard Ryan however, could only take over an hour of Rev Moon’s four hour speech inaugurating the Universal Peace Federation in Dublin before he departed.

Video documentary on the Unification Church

Background to Irish visit Nov 2005
Report from Irish visit (Word document)
Comment on visit (Word document)
Article: from Kingdom to Colony (Word document)

External links:

Freedom of Mind
Free America
Rick A Ross Institute
My life in the Moonies
Moonies in Japan
Apologetics Index
Where is Sun Myung Moon?
Unification church website