Remembering Our History Today
On this day fifty-seven years ago, Dr. Young Oon Kim, the first Unification Church missionary to America, legally incorporated the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) as a California corporation on September 18, 1961. Her primary motivation in establishing HSA-UWC was to stabilize her visa situation. However, she also recognized that for tax exemption purposes and legal protection, it was necessary for her group to be recognized by the government and to receive legal status as a religion. This incorporation became and still is the legal basis for the Unification tradition in the United States. It preceded the legalization of the church in both Korea and Japan.
This same day 44 years ago in 1974, True Father spoke at Madison Square Garden (MSG) in New York, which culminated his “Day of Hope” speaking tour that started nearly two years previously. Building on all that had gone before, MSG launched a triumphant 8-City Tour. Filling New York City’s Madison Square Garden was the Unification Church’s most ambitious undertaking to date, and the arrival of seven hundred IOWC members in mid-August greatly augmented campaign preparations in New York City. Ten teams of 70 IOWC members followed rigorous street canvassing schedules. Representatives from each of the forty nations where the Unification Church maintained missions and the remaining American church members—in all, about 2,000—converged on New York City for a final week-long blitz prior to September 18.
The turnout at Madison Square Garden was astounding. An estimated 10,000 to 35,000 ticket-holders were turned away from an already filled-to-capacity MSG. True Father spoke on “The New Future of Christianity.” He proclaimed that Jesus had not come to die on the cross, that the crucifixion was the “secondary,” not the “original” mission of Christ, that the Lord will return “as the son of man in the flesh,” and that “the day is at hand.” With nearly two hundred press people in attendance, widespread publicity helped ensure success in other cities. The pattern of overflow crowds and continued publicity was repeated throughout the tour.
The Washington Monument Rally in Washington, D.C. also took place 42 years ago today, where True Father spoke before 300,000 people, and was the second of two major rallies celebrating the United States’ bicentennial in 1976, the first being the Yankee Stadium rally on June 1.
At the Washington Monument, True Father spoke on “America and God’s Will.” He stated, “The United States of America, transcending race and nationality, is already a model of the unified world.” He also said that Judaism, Christianity and the Unification Church as sibling faiths and Israel, the United States and Korea as sibling nations had “a common destiny representing God’s side” and needed “to restore the United Nations to its original purpose and function.” He called upon the three religions and three nations to “join hands in a unified effort,” contributing “internally to the unification of world religions and externally to the unification of the world itself.”
After the Washington Monument Rally, True Father confessed:
I feel light as a feather. I feel like I can fly. I have borne a tremendous burden of responsibility, but with the victory at Washington Monument, I feel like I have been liberated from the weight. I can now walk as a free man. I can hold my head up before heaven and earth.
On September 17, 2016 Sun Jin Moon, International President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, gave the keynote address at the America and God’s Will Rally in Washington, D.C., reading a speech prepared by True Mother for the occasion.
“We gather here to remember True Father’s words and hear True Mother’s message, but most of all, we are here to revive True Parents’ message to build a world of harmony and peace,” she said.
She continued reading True Mother’s message which conveyed her urgent concern for the reality of today’s world, the destiny of this nation, and the role of people of faith to unite and transform the world.