The Words of the Jenkins Family

A Report I on the Great Czech Republic

Michael Jenkins
February 26, 2007
Prague, Czech Republic

Anton Uhnak - went to Prison for four years for being a Unificationist. The Czech family is so deeply inspiring.

Father and Mother was so happy when they Dr. Yang reported about their suffering and victory of the Czech members before 50,000 people at Kintex.

When I arrived at the airport in Prague, I was welcomed by Anton Uhnak, one of the earliest members of what was then Czechoslovakia. Missionaries had come from Germany in the late 60s, planting the seeds of faith, and Anton joined at that time. The members in the Czech Republic are deeply faithful and capable. A number of them were imprisoned for several years under the communist regime, being arrested and held without trial. One of our sisters died in prison. Anton and our current chairman of UPF, Reverend Leida, survived over 4 years in prison. Their crime? They were part of the Moon movement, which was well known throughout the Eastern European countries and the USSR as doing work that was challenging to the communist ideology. Naturally all the members who went through this experience became people of profound depth. All of them relate their faith experience to Fatherís course in communist prison in North Korea. The joy of the members and their enthusiasm for the work for peace was deeply moving.

Traveling through Europe with our Ambassadors for Peace, all of us often missed connecting flights. I was originally scheduled to go to Sarajevo, only to miss my connection in Milan and be rerouted to Prague. I was so blessed to be there that evening, attending the program addressed by Rev. Marilyn Kotulek at our peace embassy. Many Ambassadors for Peace in the Czech Republic are prominent citizens and capable leaders. One woman Ambassador for Peace is a physician who went through much suffering, but she continued to associate with the movement even through persecution. She was excited to be able to welcome Mother on her visit to Prague earlier this year. Another Ambassador for Peace was a member of the 1958 Olympic gold medal Czech hockey team. When they were in London, he tried to escape but was caught and imprisoned in the harshest of circumstances in communist prison. Eventually he made his way out of Czechoslovakia and became coach of the Finnish team. It was his great happiness that he led the Finns to beat the Czech team in a later Olympics. His conviction as an Ambassador for Peace is very deep.

Rev. Kotulek gave testimony to True Parents during her address, sharing that her husbandís ancestors were from the Czech Republic area and that it was her destiny to be assigned to speak there. When we hear the experiences of the Ambassadors for Peace, it is clear that none of their journeys is by coincidence. It seems everyone is being led to places most important to their ancestors and heritage. Rev. Kotulek shared how much she sympathized with the suffering of the people there and what a hopeful day it was that we could freely share the message of peace and bring various peoples together.

About 60 percent of the Czech Republic is listed as agnostic or nonbelievers. About 40 percent are listed as Christians, mostly Catholic and a very small percentage Protestant. We would feel that our presence and the continued international tours, as well as the various pilgrimages to the Middle East, have created a very exciting inspiration and stimulation for the people of the region. Prominent professors and other leaders were in attendance; one professor and her husband were so inspired that they signed up for the MEPI November trip with our European contingent. Clearly God is working in a profound way to connect people of conscience throughout the world.

The participants, many of whom did not speak English, received simultaneous translation as the message was delivered aloud and also projected on the screen in the Czech language. When the blessing was held, very fine Ambassadors for Peace rededicated their marriages and participated in the holy wine ceremony. The blessing is universal, touching every culture and people. The officiators were Brigitte and Alan Sillitoe.

After the program we shared informally with some hors díoeuvres and really bonded heart to heart. We could see the excitement and energy that is being spread by True Parents through the Ambassadors for Peace going to every nation. Now somebody is coming to each nation almost every month. True Parents' message is relevant and powerful in every culture and in every community, truly a universal message explaining that the way to peace is the blessed family. The only way to create peacemakers is in families of such profound love that children experience the four kinds of love. Itís very difficult for people from conflicted families to truly embrace all situations. Also True Parents emphasize that we must have three generations of such families for the spirit of God to be permanently established in our family. Then it can extend on to every generation. An additional key element of the message is that love is absolutely the most essential component of bringing peace and that we must love our enemies more than we love our own children. To do that we must go beyond our families to embrace people from all backgrounds.

That night many of us went together on a tour of Prague, going to the presidential palace, certainly one of the most beautiful state residences in the world, on a mountain overlooking the city. A Catholic Church sits right in the middle of the presidential plaza, a strong indication that the church and the state were always strongly related. When we entered the plaza I was amazed at the number of tourists there late at night. Hundreds of people gathered, even though it was cold, in large heated tents in the main plaza where they enjoyed café-style coffee and conversation.

The history of Prague is pivotal in the history of Christianity. It was there that John Hus, inspired by the spirit of reformation 100 years before Martin Luther, stood up and called for a movement that emphasized understanding the scriptures. For that he was burned at the stake in 1415.

The church in the center of the plaza has a historic clock that people come from around the world to see. When it strikes the hour, a giant statue emerges. Itís a beautiful church, but it has a sad history. Twenty-one representatives of the city of Prague had voted to allow Protestantism in the city, but they were condemned and then executed one by one, being thrown out of the second-floor window of this church. On the sidewalk before the church are 21 white crosses representing each of those martyrs.

We should never take for granted the conditions that are being set in this time through True Parents sending out Ambassadors for Peace from America. They are helping to help wash away all these boundaries. We now travel as Catholics and Protestants together with no animosity. We also embrace Muslims and Jews in our delegation.

Itís very moving to see the leadership of Rev. Leida and his wife, especially how much they are helping bring the end of all division. My son, who is on STF-Europe, was assigned to the Czech Republic and had an experience that was instrumental in his life of faith. He has been moved by the sincerity and purity of the people in studying and seeking truth and goodness. It was such a joy to share with second generation who were there, brothers and sisters who have been to many programs throughout Europe.

It was a beautiful thing to see that the Czech Republic is now open and the dark era of the communist period is ended. We are so grateful that God has opened the door through our True Parents to once and for all lift this dark cloud of the Cold War and the old era off of the people, and to see the people shining now. A new culture is dawning, a culture of heart. Through the blessing we are all becoming one lineage. Certainly that night with the brothers and sisters from the Czech Republic, we could feel we are one.

MWJ

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