The Victory of Love
This week in history, December 31 – January 6:
- The Holy Ground providence begins (December 31, 1964)
- The News World begins publication (December 31, 1976)
- God’s Day is established (January 1, 1968)
- Sekai Nippo is established (January 1, 1975)
- The Day of the Victory of Love is observed (January 2, 1984)
- Dr. Young Oon Kim begins her American mission (January 4, 1959)
- True Father plans his inaugural speaking tour (January 4, 1972)
- The Internal Revenue Service begins audit of the Unification Church (January 6, 1976)
December 31, 1964
Holy Ground Providence Begins
True Father pursued the Holy Ground providence between December 31, 1964, and January 4, 1966. He said that the establishment of the Holy Grounds had to involve three different years and that the re-creation of the substance of the word and the beginning of the standard of heart could be achieved centering on them. Another purpose was to connect Korea to the world through the exchange of earth and stones. True Father took earth and stones from seven Holy Grounds in Korea on December 31, 1964, and January 1, 1965, and prepared to travel overseas. He proceeded to establish 120 Holy Grounds in 40 nations, including 55 in the United States.
December 31, 1976
The News World Begins Publication
Creation of a media network was not originally part of True Father’s thinking or planning for the American mission. However, the print and electronic media increasingly vilified his work. This created a climate of extreme hostility and frustrated the Unification Church’s witnessing efforts. True Father, in turn, recognized the “awesome power” of the media “to create or to destroy.”
Therefore, in October 1976, he assembled a dozen or so Unificationists with journalism degrees and “set the deadline” for producing the first issue of a new daily newspaper in New York City on December 31, the last day of the United States’ bicentennial year. The vision of ushering in the United States’ third century “with a new era of modern journalism” was compelling. Nevertheless, according to one account, “It seemed impossible to start a daily newspaper literally from scratch, using inexperienced people, in dilapidated offices, in less than three months.” Still, “second-hand desks and typewriters were purchased,” and in November “the few who had journalism degrees … gave the first staff of about sixty a crash course in journalism.” On December 31, the presses rolled early in the morning and the first issue of The News World hit the streets of New York.
Replete with a color photograph featured each morning on the front page and a motto that described it as “New York’s oldest daily color newspaper,” The News World was a twenty-four-page general-interest daily with a staff of 200, the bulk of whom were Unificationists. It was eventually housed in the former Tiffany Building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, which Unificationists purchased. The News World was the only paper to publish during the New York City power blackout of 1977 and during a later three-month newspaper strike, when its circulation soared to 400,000 daily. The paper’s boldest move was to predict a “[Ronald] Reagan Landslide” in a banner headline on Election Day, November 4, 1980, followed by an equally large banner headline the following day which read, “Thank God! We Were Right!” The News World gave birth to several other New York papers, including Noticias Del Mundo, a Korean-language daily, a Harlem weekly, and a press service, Free Press International. It later changed its name to New York City Tribune and eventually gave way to the media network’s flagship newspaper, The Washington Times.
January 1, 1968
God’s Day Established
God’s Day was the last of the Unification Church’s original four Holy Days to be established after Parents Day (3.1.60 lunar), Children’s Day (10.1.60 lunar) and Day of All Things (5.1.63 lunar). It also was the only one of the original four Holy Days celebrated according to the Gregorian (solar) calendar, beginning January 1, 1968. True Father observed that if humankind’s original parents had not fallen and had achieved perfection, they would have received God’s blessing and that day would have been God’s Day. As it was, True Parents had to restore and install each of the original Holy Days, representative of God’s three blessings, over seven years following their Holy Wedding in 1960. In 1996, True Father added the word “True” to God’s Day and the other original Holy Days. In 2010, True Father established the “Heavenly Calendar,” which displaced the Gregorian calendar in Unificationist observances and corresponded in most respects with the lunar calendar. As a result, from 2011, True God’s Day was no longer observed on January 1 but on the first day of the first month of the Heavenly Calendar (February 3 of that year). On January 7, 2013, True Mother announced that Unificationists should address God as “Heavenly Parent.” Thereafter, True God’s Day became “True Heavenly Parent Day.”
January 1, 1975
Sekai Nippo Established
Sekai Nippo, a Tokyo-based daily newspaper, began publication on January 1, 1975. Its name translates as “The World Daily,” and one of its main foci has been foreign news sent by overseas correspondents, many of whom also served as Unification movement missionaries. In 2004, Sekai Nippo, in cooperation with NewsStand Inc. of Austin, Texas, announced its availability as the first Japanese newspaper offered in a digital format that maintained the exact layout of the print edition. It continues as one of the Unification movement’s constellations of news outlets.
January 2, 1984
The Day of Victory of Love
The Day of Victory of Love, observed on January 2, commemorates the passing of Heung Jin Moon, True Parents’ second son. He was critically injured in a car accident north of Poughkeepsie, New York, on December 22, 1983, while returning with two companions to East Garden in Tarrytown, New York from the Unification Theological Seminary in Redhook, New York. Though seriously injured, his two friends survived because, according to their testimony, Heung Jin Moon swerved the car at the last moment to take the brunt of the impact himself and save them. He suffered massive head injuries and lingered in a coma for ten days before ascending at 1:15 a.m. on January 2, 1984. He was seventeen. By all accounts, he was an exemplary son. True Father described him as “the most exemplary, obedient son, with the greatest piety … the most comforting son to Mother and me.”
True Parents were out of the country at the time of the accident, conducting a series of Victory over Communism rallies in Korea. A number of spiritualists had communicated to them that December 1983 was a “very dangerous time” and that True Father “must absolutely be careful.” True Father later testified that at the last rally in Kwangju, a left-leaning city with a reputation for rebelliousness, 36 terrorists were prepared to attack but were prevented from doing so because “the auditorium was already completely packed by the time they arrived.” During True Father’s speech in Kwangju, Heung Jin Moon’s accident occurred. According to True Father, “Satan lost his condition to attack me and then turned his attention to the next best, my second son.”
Having laid down his life for his friends and standing as a substitute for his father, Heung Jin Moon occupied what True Father described as “the position of the living Jesus in the Unification Church.” While Heung Jin Moon lay in a coma, True Parents conducted a ceremony in the hospital chapel in which, on the foundation of Heung Jin Moon’s “precious sacrifice,” they called for the unity of Judaism, Christianity and the Unification Church; the unity of Korea, Japan and the United States; the unification of True Parents and their family and the members of the Unification Church, as well as all races of the world. After Heung Jin Moon’s ascension, True Parents established the Day of Victory of Love.
The Day of Victory of Love found a permanent liturgical expression in the church’s tradition of Seonghwa (“ascension and harmony”) ceremonies, which True Parents established after Heung Jin Moon’s own ascension. Unlike traditional funerals, these ceremonies were not to be gloomy or sad but “beautiful, enlightening and joyful,” using bright or light colors. True Father explained:
“In the secular world, death signifies the end of life. However, in our world, death is like a rebirth or a new birth into another world. Particularly those who give their life for the purpose of the Kingdom of Heaven and for the sake of the movement are special heroes.
“For that reason, we must not make those occasions gloomy or sad or feel discouraged. … If we here on earth become very mournful and gloomy, it is like pulling the person who is going up to the heavens down to the ground. This is a birth from the second universal mother’s womb into another world, just like when a baby emerges from its first mother’s womb.
“A Seonghwa ceremony is actually comparable to a wedding, when men and women get married. It’s not a sorrowful occasion at all. It’s like an insect coming out of its cocoon, getting rid of a shackle and becoming a new body and a new existence, a new entity. That’s exactly the same kind of process.
“In our way of life and tradition, spirit world and physical world are one, and by our living up to that kind of ideal, we bring the two worlds together into one.”
January 4, 1959
Miss Kim Begins the American Mission
Dr. Young Oon Kim (right) with early missionaries.
Dr. Young Oon Kim was the first Unification Church missionary to America. A former professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Miss Kim had done postgraduate work at the University of Toronto and attended international Christian conferences in Germany and Switzerland. She later wrote: “As soon as I discovered the universal value of the Divine Principles and the heavenly dispensation, I began to be concerned with the people of the Western world with whom I had established a cultural bond. Not only did I feel this, but in the rest of the membership there was no one else at that time who could undertake the job of bringing the Principle to the West.”
Miss Kim arrived in Eugene, Oregon, where she had been accepted as a student, in the midst of a raging snowstorm on January 4, 1959. She immediately began witnessing and took up residence in Oakhill, a rural settlement, with several of her most promising contacts. There she worked on an English translation of the Principle, raised members and established patterns of community life until late 1960, when she migrated, along with five Oakhill members, several hundred miles down the coast to San Francisco. In the Bay Area she completed her English translation of the Principle, incorporated the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC), and expanded her group, then known as the Unified Family. In 1965, she relocated to Washington, D.C., where she directed a fluctuating network of centers throughout the United States and Western Europe until 1972.
January 4, 1972
True Father Plans His Inaugural Speaking Tour
On January 4, 1972, at a joint meeting of East and West Coast Korean missionaries to the United States in Washington, D.C., True Father implemented plans to launch his first-ever speaking tour. The “Day of Hope” speaking tour became the major focus of True Parents’ third world tour. During True Father’s first world tour in 1965, he blessed Holy Grounds in 40 countries. During True Parents’ second world tour, they blessed 43 couples worldwide. During their third world tour in 1972, True Father began a new phase in his public ministry, as he had not spoken publicly in either Korea or Japan. The first Day of Hope tour began on February 3, 1972, at Alice Tully Hall, a concert hall that is part of New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and included stops in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Berkeley, California.
January 6, 1976
Internal Revenue Service Begins Audit of Unification Church
On January 6, 1976, Senator Bob Dole (R-Kansas) wrote a letter to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner stating that an audit of the Unification Church was needed.
Within days, the IRS began what Carleton Sherwood, in his book Inquisition, The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon (Regnery Gateway, 1991), termed “the most intensive and expensive criminal tax investigation of any religious figure in U.S. history.” A squad of IRS agents took up permanent offices in the Unification Church’s downtown New York headquarters, while a team of field agents began round-the-clock surveillance of selected church members and their telephones. In 1978, after two years of investigations, the IRS was unable to find anything that compromised the church’s tax exempt status but turned over to the New York District Attorney’s Office “certain anomalies” in Rev. Moon’s tax returns for the years 1973-75. This eventually led to the indictment of True Father.
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 31 – January 6.