Members of the Religious Advisory Council have unanimously agreed to oppose any attempts to register the Moonies’ Unification Church in the Cook Islands.
The term “Moonies’ refers to members of Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s controversial Unification Movement. Members prefer the term Unificationist but the American media coined the word in 1974 during their “Madison Square Garden” campaign.
According to Moon’s doctrines, Jesus Christ failed in his mission and must be supplanted by a second, Korean-born messiah.
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Council president Pastor Tutai Pere said the council been told that scouts representing the Moonies have been inquiring about properties on Rarotonga that they can buy.
“We have not seen anything concrete to prove that these people want to buy homes here, but we are taking a proactive step in our decision to oppose any moves to register the church,” he said.
“We, however, have proof that they (Moonies) are anti-Christ and anti-God. We are saying no to the movement. It is better to be proactive than to be reactive when they arrive here especially when we cannot stop anyone from visiting this place. So we would rather oppose the registration of the movement.”
Moon was quoted in one of his lectures saying, “I am the incarnation of God, the whole world is in my hands and will conquer and subjugate the world. God is now throwing Christianity away and is now establishing a new religion, and this new religion is the Unification Church. All Christians in the world are destined to be absorbed by our movement.”
Moon is no stranger to the Cook Islands. Some members of parliament and community leaders have been on free trips to Korea on several occasions to attend one Moon’s many conferences.
Last year Piho Rua led a group of MPs including Tiaki Wuatai, Kete Ioane and Teariki Heather to attend the annual inter-religious and international federation for world peace (IIFWP) in Korea.
Other MPs including Ngamau Munokoa, Tangata Vavia and Mii Parima and former MPs Robert Wigmore, Sir Pupuke Robati, Teanua Kamana and Rei Jack, also benefited from an all-expenses paid trip to Korea.
Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Terepai Maoate attended the meeting in Korea last year and told Cook Islands News that he agreed to attend because he was told it focused on religion and good governance.
“I felt that this interested me because I am a strong believer in religion as a guide for leaders throughout the country,” Maoate said last year. The Cook Islands attended the conference with only two other Pacific Islands states, Vanuatu and Palau.