Forgive, Love, Unite
This week in history, November 27 to December 3:
- True Parents prepare for a meeting with Kim Il Sung (November 28, 1991)
- The 3.6 Million Couples’ Marriage Blessing Ceremony is held (November 29, 1997)
- Korean executives are urged to implement True Father’s teachings (November 29, 2011)
- True Mother hosts sermon contest (November 29, 2012)
- True Father gives his “Answer to Watergate” statement (November 30, 1973)
- True Parents visit North Korea (November 30 – December 6, 1991)
- Korean Blessed wives depart for a three-year condition (December 1, 1970)
- True Father departs Pyongyang for the South (December 2, 1950)
- The first 40-day Inter-Religious Leadership Seminar for Muslims is held (December 2, 1990)
November 28, 1991
True Parents Prepare for Meeting with Kim Il Sung
Prior to True Parents’ epoch-making visit with North Korean leader Kim Il Sung in December 1991, they stopped in Hawaii to make their final internal preparations. True Father also wrote a speech he intended to share with Kim Il Sung alone. True Father later stated, “I … visited Hawaii and prayed here at a critical moment when I was on my way to meet Kim Il Sung of North Korea in 1991 with the purpose of bringing an end to the Cold War era.” According to Mrs. Gil Ja Sa Eu, True Father “went to Hawaii to offer Heaven the last prayer so he could overcome his hatred for Kim.” His attitude was “even if the whole world hates him and accuses him of being a murderer, if I hate him, too, he cannot be saved.” True Father concluded that he would go with the heart of a parent. Mrs. Eu said that the “trust created” at True Father and Kim Il Sung’s meeting “was possible only because Kim could feel Father’s sincere love.”
November 29, 1997
Holy Marriage Blessing of 3.6 Million Couples
An aerial view of the 3.6 Million Couples’ Marriage Blessing Ceremony.
True Parents conducted the 3.6 Million Couples’ Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony at Washington, D.C.’s Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Stadium on November 29, 1997. This was the first major Blessing in the United States since 1982 and was an exponential leap beyond the Holy Blessing of 360,000 Couples at Seoul Olympic Stadium in 1995. The 1997 Blessing was conducted within the context of the third World Culture and Sports Festival (WCSF) from November 23-30. Under the theme, “Rebuilding the Family, Restoring the Community, Renewing Washington,” WCSF III featured an array of conferences, sports competitions, concerts, recitals and service projects all of which culminated with the Blessing, billed as “True Love Day at RFK.” Couples bussed in from as far away as Chicago. The Washington Post set attendance at 40,000, CNN at 45,000 and the Associated Press at 56,000. Other couples took part by “satellite Blessing” at locations throughout the world.
November 29, 2011
Korean Executives Urged to Implement True Father’s Teachings
More than 300 corporate executives from the top 50 companies in Korea gathered on November 22, 2011, for a vision seminar for financial leaders titled “God’s Fatherland and the Abel Peace UN.” Participants at this seminar, sponsored by the Segye Ilbo (Segye Times) newspaper and held at the Cheongshim International Youth Training Center, included heads of companies and executive staff members. True Father spoke to the participants for more than three hours, educating with true love. He asked the participants, who were sitting at round banquet-style tables, to pick up their chairs and come forward and huddle at the front of the room. True Father told the financial leaders: “Humankind must now humbly submit before heaven’s commands. … The time of destiny has come, when we must go all out and make a life-or-death determination, following the teachings of true love.” He emphasized to the executives the urgency of heaven’s current providence. (Contributed by Dohyun Kim, representing the History Compilation Committee of the Unification Church of Korea.)
November 29, 2012
True Mother Hosts Korean Unification Church Sermon Contest
More than 100 Unificationists gathered in an assembly room in the Cheon Jeong Gung, Gapyeong, South Korea, for an unprecedented sermon contest organized by the FFWPU Korean Headquarters called “Evangelize for Cheon Il Guk” on November 29, 2012. The purpose of the event was to “resurrect the heart for evangelism” within the Unification movement, reflecting the words of True Mother during a nationwide worship service: “We need to revive the church and become engines of growth by becoming great preachers.” A total of 22 persons competed, including 15 district pastors, metropolitan-area pastors and the director of the Universal Peace Academy. Each of the contestants was instructed to give a sermon about the heart and mission of True Parents for a total of 10 minutes. Contestants put all their effort into presenting their sermons strongly. Pastor Seung Bae Ma from the Song Buk Church won first prize, Mu Sang Im from the Cheon An Church won second, and In Young Song from the Dae Gu Church won third. True Mother said: “I was moved by your sermons. When you go back to your respective churches, I think it would be good to extend [them]. … We need these sermons to have an impact on members throughout the week. … Then we will have a living, breathing and vibrant church.”
November 30, 1973
True Father’s “Answer to Watergate: Forgive, Love, Unite!”
True Father’s “Answer to Watergate” statement appeared in newspapers in 21 cities.
The “Watergate Crisis,” which implicated the White House in a break-in of the Democratic Party’s National Headquarters in 1972, embroiled the United States in controversy and weakened it in the face of communist aggression in Vietnam. True Father viewed this as “more than a political, social and economic crisis.” He viewed it as “a crisis of the human soul” and, because of America’s position in the world, as “a crisis for God.” As a consequence, he took two weeks off from his 21-City Day of Hope speaking tour in late 1973 and returned to Korea “in a desperate search for an answer and new hope for America.” His conclusion was that “God’s command at this crossroads in American history is Forgive, Love and Unite!”
True Father’s “Answer to Watergate” statement appeared in full-page advertisements purchased in newspapers in each of the twenty-one cities of the Day of Hope itinerary, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, beginning November 30, 1973. Over the next two months, it was published in one newspaper in every state except Hawaii. In addition, the National Prayer and Fast for the Watergate Crisis Committee (NPFWC) organized vigils, rallies, letter-writing and leafleting in all fifty states to publicize its theme and to obtain signatures of people promising to pray and fast for the Watergate crisis. At least eight U.S. senators and fifty-three U.S. congressmen either signed the statement or responded with messages of support. Congressman Guy Vander Jagt (R-Michigan) read True Father’s Watergate statement into the Congressional Record of December 21, 1973.
November 30-December 6, 1991
True Parents Visit North Korea
True Father and Kim Il Sung.
True Parents arrived in Pyongyang on November 30, 1991, to begin a visit at the invitation of the North Korean government. They visited Kumgang Mountain on December 3 and True Father’s hometown, Jeongju, on December 5. Then they had a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Il Sung on December 6 at Jusuk Palace in Majeon, Hamheung. They exchanged a letter of agreement for peaceful unification based on a joint statement that contained ten articles regarding such promises as the hosting of a North Korean–South Korean summit meeting, a peaceful resolution to the issue of North Korea’s nuclear armament and the hosting of reunions between the ten million separated Korean family members. In his statement True Father said, “I am not going to the house of my enemy but rather that of my homeland and that of my brother.” He also emphasized that he was visiting North Korea as a messenger of peace and that the homogenous “Korean people should never again engage in a war against each other.” (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee.)
December 1, 1970
Korean Blessed Wives Depart for Three-Year Condition
It had been a tradition of the Korean church for Unificationists to take part in summer and winter 40-day evangelical campaigns, later termed “pioneer witnessing” in Japan. However, on December 1, 1970, one hundred and twenty teams consisting of 1,200 women who had received the Marriage Blessing of the Unification Church went to 120 locations throughout the Korean Peninsula for three years. This necessitated a great deal of sacrifice, and in some instances, mothers placed their children with relatives or even in orphanages. The purpose of the mobilization was to consolidate the church’s foundation in Korea as a basis for True Parents to launch their global ministry. There was a good deal of public negativity at first, but according to True Father, “After two years passed, public opinion was unanimous that if all the Korean people loved their country as much as [Unificationists], then indeed the nation would be saved.” He noted that Korean Unificationists had “successfully fulfilled their course” and “I could come out of Korea for the worldwide dispensation.”
December 2, 1950
True Father Departs Pyongyang for the South
The North-South Korean border during the Korean War.
True Father’s ministry to North Korea, which began in June 1946, ended on December 2, 1950, when he left Pyongyang for the South in advance of the invading Chinese army. He departed with Won Pil Kim, his “first disciple,” and Jung Hwa Park, a follower from the Heungnam prison camp who had a broken leg and whom True Father alternately carried and pushed on a bicycle on the route south. True Father had been released from Heungnam on October 14, spent ten days walking to Pyongyang and forty days there seeking former followers, most of whom he didn’t find. Won Pil Kim testified, “As we left Pyongyang … the city seemed to be totally on fire because of the many secret, confidential documents being burned. As Father looked around, he cried to see the condition of Pyongyang.” True Father previously had told them, “I came to make Pyongyang the second Jerusalem, but it rejected me and sent me to prison.”
December 2, 1990
The First 40-Day Inter-Religious Leadership Seminar for Muslims
True Parents and the Grand Mufti of Syria.
Unknown to most, Unificationists had cultivated contacts within the Muslim world since the early 1980s. While conventional mission work was exceedingly difficult, the Middle East Times gave the movement a presence in the region. In addition, the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) held a series of six highly successful conferences that brought together Arabs, Israelis, Greeks, and Turks on a variety of topics. On the foundation of these meetings, the Council for the World’s Religions convened several conferences of high-level Muslim religious leaders, including the grand muftis of Syria and Yemen.
As a result of several audiences with True Parents, the Grand Mufti of Syria agreed to send forty core followers to New York for a forty-day Inter-Religious Leadership Seminar (IRLS) that included three cycles of the Unification Principle, beginning December 2, 1990. The Grand Mufti of Yemen, along with forty participants from his country, took part in the second IRLS from April 21 to May 31, 1991. They were followed by separate Egyptian, Jordanian, Turkish and Sudanese groups. These activities culminated on April 10, 1992, when forty-two Muslim couples took part in a Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony in Seoul, Korea. True Father termed the participation of Muslims in the wedding “a miracle.” In effect, it broke an interreligious barrier, enabling True Parents to extend the Blessing to people other than Unificationists.
This Week in History briefly lists significant events in the history of the Unification Church, the lives of the Founders, and world events that are momentous to Unificationists. Most items are marked according to the solar calendar. Items marked “H.C.” correspond to the Cheon-gi or Heavenly Calendar, which is based on the lunar calendar. This installment covers the week of November 22-28.