In South Korea, the Family Federation has for many years presented its family-centred teachings as a way to solve a huge national problem – the rapidly declining birth rate. 2022 figures from the country’s statistics body show that South Korea has broken its own world record when it comes to having few babies. Last year’s figures for the capital Seoul show that the fertility rate has dropped to 0,59 – for every 100 women 59 babies can be expected to be born. The national rate is 0,78, down from 0,81 the year before.
At a peace festival on 25th March at the Youth Ocean Training Center in the southern coastal city of Yeosu, organized by the Multicultural Family Association, a project initiated by the Family Federation, the theme was “Marriage is a must. Happiness must come from having children.”
News presenter Christa Kamga Fotso Yeun on Peace TVs HJ Global News 8th April 2023, reported that speakers at the festival spelt out their vision for tackling the population decline. The event was attended by various local leaders and members of the municipal and provincial legislative assemblies.
Already in his 2009 autobiography, Father Moon addressed the issue,
“It is most important to teach young people about the sanctity and value of marriage. Korea today has one of the lowest birthrates in the world. Not to have children is dangerous. There is no future for a country that has no descendants. I teach young people that they should remain sexually pure during their youth, receive the marriage Blessing, and then have at least three children. Children are blessings given to us by God.” (As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, Sun Myung Moon, English edition p. 219)
On the same page of his autobiography he takes a swipe at today’s free sex culture,
“That is why it is a great sin to live immorally and to abort babies conceived in this lifestyle.”
The festival in Yeosu may have been the first event to state it so bluntly when choosing a theme that says it’s a must to get married. But the Family Federation in South Korea has up through the years held countless events promoting family values. Mother Moon delivered the main address to an audience of 12.000 at such an event in the city of Cheonan on 21st July 2019.
Prizes were then awarded to families that had excelled. Six families where three generations lived together, were honored as examples to others. Six multicultural families that had excelled in serving the local community, received an award. Awards were also presented to three families who had given birth to five children. The governor of Chungcheong County mentioned in his congratulatory speech how he appreciated the Family Federation‘s commitment to family values, which he believed would help South Korea solve the problem of an extremely low birth rate.
At the festival in Yeosu, there were speeches of encouragement, awards and proclamations as well as cultural performances and entertainment. International dishes were served.
Text: Knut Holdhus
Featured image above: From the peace festival at Yeosu, South Korea 25th March 2023. Photo: Screenshot from Peace TV.