A Global Ministry Grows
This week in history, December 11-17:
- The German Unification Church is legally registered (December 11, 1964)
- True Parents arrive in America (December 11, 1971)
- True Father returns to Korea after Danbury (December 11, 1985)
- The fifth Crown of Peace ceremony is held (December 13, 2004)
- The National Christmas Tree Lighting with President Nixon takes place (December 14, 1973)
- The CAUSA providence begins (December 15, 1980)
December 11, 1964
Legal Registration of the German Unification Church
Rev. and Mrs. Peter Koch in Mauny, France, May 1978. To the right, Rev. Reiner Vincenz, spiritual son of Rev. Koch.
The German Unification Church was the first to be established in Europe, and its founding is considered also to be the beginning of the European church. The roots of the European and German church go back to 1961, when several Germans who lived in the United States joined under Dr. Young Oon Kim in San Francisco. After three years, several returned to their home country. The first was Peter Koch, who arrived on June 11, 1963, in his hometown of Muenster, Germany. Following him were Ursula Schuhmann, Barbara Koch (Vincenz), Paul and Christel Werner with their 11-year-old son, Klaus, Elke Klawiter, and Peter Politzki. The first member who joined in Germany was Reiner Vincenz, who joined in the summer of 1964.
December 11, 1971
True Parents Arrive in America
True Parents at the Los Angeles airport.
Accompanied by Mrs. Won Bok Choi, Rev. Young Hwi Kim (then-president, HSA-UWC Korea) and Mr. Mitsuharu Ishii (then-director, HSA-UWC Business Enterprises, Japan), True Parents arrived in Los Angeles, California, on December 11, 1971, to begin a new phase in their global ministry. However, things did not go smoothly: They were denied visas, ironically, because of alleged communist affiliations. As a consequence, the group flew to Toronto, Canada, the next day. This problem was straightened out over the following week, thanks to high-level contacts that U.S. Unificationists had cultivated through the Freedom Leadership Foundation (FLF). Cleared to enter the United States, True Parents arrived in Washington, D.C., on December 18. It was there that True Father announced his plan to hold revival meetings in major U.S. cities. As the Unification Church in America to this point consisted of disparate missionary groups, it is appropriate to date the birth of the church in America from True Parents’ arrival. And since True Father had not spoken publicly either in Korea or Japan, the birth of the U.S. church coincided with the beginning of a new phase in his public ministry.
December 11, 1985
True Father Returns to Korea after Danbury
True Father delivers the Citizens’ Federation Founder’s Address.
The “Danbury Course” was decisive in sparking widespread grassroots support for True Father across the United States from minority communities and those concerned about religious and civil liberties. In fact, a broad spectrum of 1,600 clergy and prominent laypeople welcomed True Father back from prison at a “God and Freedom” banquet held in his honor at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. A similar event occurred in Korea on December 11, 1985, when some 2,300 dignitaries from a diversity of fields, including a former prime minister of the Republic of Korea, attended a welcoming banquet at the Hilton Hotel Convention Center to pay tribute to the conclusion of True Father’s 40-year ministry and to welcome him back to his homeland. Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone of Japan and five former presidents of Latin American countries presented gifts and plaques of appreciation. From this point, True Parents initiated activities in Korea through the Korean Root-Finding Association, the Citizens’ Federation for the Unification of the Fatherland, the Segye Ilbo newspaper, business investments and cultural work that would culminate in his meeting with North Korean President Kim Il Sung in 1991.
December 13, 2004
The Fifth Crown of Peace Ceremony Held in Washington D.C.
The Unification Church conducted six major “Peace King” coronations, also referred to as “crown of peace” ceremonies, from 2003-05. These were undertaken as sequels to the January 13, 2001 “Coronation of God’s Kingship” and held for the purpose of substantiating “heavenly kingship” on earth. The first of these was a coronation of Jesus as “King of Peace” in Jerusalem as part of the Middle East Peace Initiative on December 22, 2003. This was followed by a second coronation of Jesus in Washington, D.C. on February 4, 2004 at which time crowns also were presented to True Parents represented by their son Hyun Jin and his wife. A third crown of peace coronation of True Parents was conducted at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on March 23, 2004. A fourth “crown of peace” coronation was conducted in the Korean National Assembly Library on August 20, 2004. Afterwards, True Father directed that the Unification Church conduct blessing registration and “crown of peace” ceremonies in forty nations and on all six continents by the end of 2004. This culminated in a fifth “crown of peace” ceremony in Washington, D.C. on December 13, 2004. True Father delivered his speech, “Our Mission in the Last Days of Providential History” to more than 3,400 leaders from around the world. A sixth and final “crown of peace” ceremony was conducted at Cheong Pyeong Lake in Korea on February 14, 2005.
December 14, 1973
National Christmas Tree Lighting
A flyer for the national prayer on December 19, 1973.
True Father issued his “Answer to Watergate” on November 30, 1973. He then organized the National Prayer and Fast for the Watergate Crisis Committee (NPFWC), which organized vigils, rallies, letter-writing and leafleting in all 50 states in accordance with its “Forgive, Love, Unite” theme. A highlight was the December 1973 National Christmas Tree Lighting at which President Richard Nixon turned on the lights of a new permanent national Christmas tree near the White House. According to one press account, the president “was greeted by several thousand wildly cheering young supporters who carried signs that read ‘God Loves America. God Loves Nixon. Support the President.’” Unificationists gathered later that evening at Lafayette Park across from the White House for a candlelight rally during which President Nixon emerged from the White House and crossed over to the park with a security escort to greet and thank them. NPFWC President Neil Salonen presented the president with a poster-size Christmas card and a huge candle which he told the president was big enough to burn for the duration of his term.
December 15, 1980
The CAUSA Providence Begins
Shortly after its launch, CAUSA holds a workshop for students in Bolivia.
True Father launched CAUSA International in 1980, when he asked Dr. Bo Hi Pak to visit political leaders of countries in South America and offer a unique form of assistance both in the defense against communism and in bringing about a renaissance of morality and virtue. At the same time, True Father selected a group of graduates of the Unification Theological Seminary—including Thomas Ward, William Selig, Beatriz Gonzalez, Juan Sanchis, Jean Jonet and Paul Perry—to study intensively with Dr. Sang Hun Lee in preparation for offering programs patterned after Dr. Lee’s Victory over Communism presentations. The threat of further communist inroads into the Americas, following the fall of Nicaragua to the Sandinistas in 1979, was a driving force behind the development of CAUSA. True Father took this situation seriously enough to cancel his 60th birthday celebration—normally an important occasion in Oriental tradition—in favor of CAUSA preparation.
The first country to request onsite CAUSA training was Bolivia. On December 15, 1980, U.S.-based CAUSA lecturers traveled to a tiny hamlet in the mountains of Bolivia to lecture to 45 students who previously had been indoctrinated in Marxist theory. Prior to their departure, True Father guided the lecturers, telling them:
The CAUSA movement is an ideological movement, not an academic one. If you don’t bring about a revolution in people’s heart and character, you will have failed. To bring the revolution, you have to move their hearts. Don’t just lecture but revive people’s souls. Prepare for a two-hour talk by praying for six hours. What I’m saying is, use spiritual power to bring about a reformation in the people. You should take leftist sympathizers and make brave VOC fighters out of them.
The overwhelming success of the 10-day program led to seminars in Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. The CAUSA providence greatly expanded in the years ahead to the remainder of South America, Central America and the United States.
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 December 11-17.