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Standing With the Rev. Moon

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Sunday, August 5, 2001; Page B06

We dispute the outrageous claim in a headline that up to 35 pastors were "ousted" from their churches because of their participation in the "We Will Stand!" tour ["Some Pastors Fired Over Moon Connection," news story, July 25]. We have found only one pastor who was removed, whose relationship with his church had a history of difficulties. Our investigation found, and The Post has acknowledged, that a second minister mentioned was never in fact interviewed by the reporter. Contrary to reporter Hanna Rosin's assertion, we know of no clergy member who traveled with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon during his recent tour who was dismissed from his or her church.

Ms. Rosin's source is a minister with no church who was never a member of the American Clergy Leadership Conference. He claims to have 35 letters, but it appears that Ms. Rosin has seen only one. Rather than meet with our board and present his evidence, as we requested, this dubious source chose to use The Post to spread his undocumented claims.

The Rev. Moon is tearing down racial walls and strengthening families. That is why some of the nation's most prominent pastors are standing with him. We chose the theme, "Rebuild the Family, Restore the Community, Renew the Nation and the World," and invited the Rev. Moon as our keynote speaker because we share his vision.

We pray for those who malign this man and falsely assume that our association even in the face of criticism must have been purchased through a bribe. The Rev. Moon has preached one family under God and the unity of the church and promoted interracial marriage for 40 years. We thank God for the blessings we have received through his ministry.

T. L. BARRETT JR.

Chicago

MICHAEL JENKINS

Washington

The writers, both clergy members, are the co-conveners of the American Clergy Leadership Conference.

2001 The Washington Post Company