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L O C A L N E W S


Sun Myung Moon will speak at April 2 rally here
His visit is aimed at rally for bridging gaps of politics, class

By John Railey
JOURNAL REPORTER

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon will be the main speaker at a rally here April 2 to help build strong families and bridge gaps of all kinds.

"We hope to energize people. People of all colors - black, white, purple and green - ought to be brothers and sisters under God," said the Rev. Joseph Paige of Raleigh, a former president and dean of Shaw Divinity School and an organizer of the rally.

The rally, also aimed at bridging gaps of politics and class and building "God-centered families," is part of a 50-state tour that ends in April. The rally will be held at the Adams Mark Winston Plaza.

The Unification Church that Moon founded in Korea in the 1950s is one of the sponsors. Other sponsors include the American Clergy Leadership Conference, a group that includes Paige.

Organizers selected Winston-Salem for the tour's North Carolina stop because of its central position, Paige said. Moon, whose church combines Christianity with Buddhist ideas, is known for conducting mass weddings.

His followers consider him to be the Messiah, according to the HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion.

Moon served 13 months in federal prison in the mid-1980s for income-tax evasion.

Paige said that Moon, 81, has several strengths. "Like he loves America and Martin Luther King, Jr. I love him for that. He hates racism. I love him for that."

The Rev. Fermin Bocanegra of Iglesia Cristiana Wesleyana Church in Kernersville said that he plans to attend the rally. "I know he's (Moon is) a very controversial guy. However, on the family values, I agree. Our families are disintegrating."

Bocanegra also likes the fact that the rally will try to bridge religious differences. "The major religions and denominations, they've been fighting one another. The real enemy is the devil,'' he said. "We need to look for things we have in common and work together on those things."

The religious groups that Moon has worked with include the Nation of Islam.

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