Kaeleigh Moffitt First to Complete Peace Studies Internship
- UTS Communications
Kaeleigh Moffitt (UTS MA ’23) has recently been appointed by UTS Co-Founder Hak Ja Han Moon as National President of the Women’s Federation for World Peace USA, one more example of the shift to a new generation of leadership in Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community. She succeeds Mrs. Angelika Selle who has done outstanding work during her 13-year period of leadership in this role.
Kaeleigh Moffitt has also become the first student in the UTS Peace Studies program to complete the required 400-hour service internship that each student completes near the end of her study. Kaeleigh served as an intern for the Universal Peace Federation, focusing on religious freedom. While the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) has always supported religious freedom through its consistent interfaith prayer meetings and regular programs and symposia that highlight the value that diverse religions bring to peace and development initiatives, the topic has become a more prominent concern when Japanese authorities revealed that the motive behind the July 2022 fatal shooting of former Japanese Prime Minisger Shinzo Abe was the assassin’s hate for the Unification Church.
In a strange turn of events, instead of focus on matters such as the security failures that allowed the Prime Minister to become a vulnerable target, Japanese media and leftist Unification Hate groups called for the curtailment of Unification Church activities in Japan where it has been active for almost seventy years. UPF, where Kaeleigh interned, has played a leading in raising awareness of the assault on religious freedom under way in Japan.
Kaeleigh’s began by doing background research on existing religious freedom organizations. She then began to reachout to then. She observes, “Our letters and supporting documents were excellent.” They exposed the violations of religious freedom underway in Japan. Kaeleigh notes: “We sought advice from religious advocates. As the relationships deepened, our cause became more understood and informal partnerships were born. We began to participate in meetings with the International Religious Freedom Roundtable (IRF-RT), a coalition of NGOs, individuals and government officials that meet on a weekly basis to find ways to partner and support one another. IRT-RT has as its primary purpose to generate “multi-faith letters,” which all partners are encouraged to sign. These letters are then sent to heads of state and the parliamentary leaders where problems are occurring to convey a consensus of concern for obstensible violations of religious freedom.”
Through former Indiana Congressman Dan Burton, one of UPF’s most important allies, it was possible to to reach Ambassador Sam Brownback, former US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. Ambassador Brownback agreed to speak at a UPF virtual conference on religious freedom and he invited Kaeleigh Moffitt and others from UPF to participate in a conference that he was hosting on religious freedom.
Kaeleigh also did outreach with the United Nations Commission on Freedom of Religion or Belief and had the chance to meet with rapporteur Dr. Nazila Ghanea and bring the Japan case to her attention, which had already been introduced by another NGO at the United Nations.
When the Japanese Diet introduced a law restricting donations to religious organizations (targeting the Japanese Unification Church) the IRF-RT immediately put together a multi-faith letter opposing this law. Although the law did pass, major religious freedom advocates signed on to support our case, including U.S. Ambassador Sam Brownback.
Former US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote an editorial in the Washington Times exposing the role played by communist forces in the attack against the Unification Church in Japan. As the evidence for the involvement of communist forces in the case against the Japanese Unification Church grew, so did our allies. Even allies who do not usually involve themselves in religious freedom conversations stood up. Mr. Michael Pillsbury, a world-renowned expert on China, spoke at a UPF International Conference as did Speaker Gingrich and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Kaeleigh points to three major lessons that she learned from her internship experience with UPF:
First, relationships are crucial. Cold-calling and attempting to make first introductions were the hardest part of this experience. I could witness how UPF Chairman USA Dr. Jenkins (UTS RE ’77 DMin ’12) has forged incredible relationships with people over many years and gained these people’s trust. Moon.
Second, righteous people can see right from wrong. Time and time again, our righteous contacts saw right through the propaganda and understood the significance of what was happening.
Thirdly, God is alive. I certainly witnessed miracles. Initially I had very little hope that we would be able to deliver significant results, but we certainly did. There are higher forces at work in this field. Although I can’t foresee how things will come together, I now have faith that things will move in the right direction. It may take some time for all the pieces to come together, but good will prevail!