Moonies seek recruits in Lithuanian Parliament

Baltic News Service/December 6, 2000

The church of Sun Myung Moon, going under the front name of the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace, is recruiting Lithuanian politicians to its mission.

The Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Zinios reported members of the Lithuanian parliament received personal invitations to a Federation for World Peace conference titled "Creation of a Culture of Peace: Universal Values and Service in Society."

The conference, according to invitations, is to happen at the hotel Lietuva in Vilnius at the next weekend.

Stays at the hotel are offered to all guests attending the conference from other cities outside Vilnius. Event organizers promise to pay all travel expenses.

According to the invitation, politicians from Lithuania and foreign countries, spiritual leaders, scientists and representatives of youth organizations will attend the event. There is no speaker or honored guest named in the program for the conference.

Local organizers are listed on the invitation as Aistis Vaicekauskas and Danguole Zukaite. They couldn't be reached on the number provided on the invitation for the federation's headquarters in Vilnius.

The invitation mentions Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon established the federation in 1999.

The Korean Moon established the Unification Church in 1954 to propagate a unique interpretation of the Bible. So-called "Moonies" claim Moon is the second Christ who has come back to Earth to finish the mission begun by his predecessor.

The creed of the Unification Church synthesizes elements of Chinese Taoism, Korean religion and Christianity.

It is believed there are around 200,000 Unification Church members and 2,000,000 supporters worldwide.

Moon's religious organization operates under various names. The church has tried to establish itself in new countries, including Lithuania, via front organizations, without immediately letting on to its identity.

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