Season of Forgiveness and New Life
This week in history, March 26 to April 1:
- True Parents meet with Mikhail Gorbachev (March 26, 1994)
- True Mother prepares a prayer for youth (March 26, 2013)
- New Ecumenical Research Association (New ERA) is inaugurated (March 27, 1980)
- True Father proclaims the victory of True Parents and the Establishment of Kingship (March 27, 1990)
- A 43-couple Holy Marriage Blessing is held in Essen, Germany (March 28, 1969)
- True Father makes declarations for the South American providence (March 31-April 3, 1995)
- True Father departs Korea to study in Japan (April 1, 1941)
- Day of Hope rallies begin in Korea (April 1, 1975)
- Today’s World begins publication (April 1, 1980)
- True Mother begins a North American Hoon Dok Hwe speaking tour (April 1, 1998)
- Dong Ban Gyeok Pa Providence begins in America (April 1, 2004)
March 26, 1994
Luncheon Meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev
On March 26, 1994, True Parents hosted Mikhail Gorbachev, a former president of the Soviet Union, at the Hannam-dong training center in Seoul, where they had a meeting. Mr. Gorbachev was in South Korea to attend the Federation for World Peace rally. True Parents presented Mr. Gorbachev with a portrait and a necktie pin made of Korean jade. During their meeting, Mr. Gorbachev asked True Parents to pay close attention to Russia in the future. On the following day, during the second Federation for World Peace rally in Seoul, True Father gave a speech, “The Fundamental Principle of True Peace,” in which he emphasized, “As we enter the age of internationalization and globalization in the twenty-first century, we are confronted with the urgent task of overcoming a large number of difficult obstacles to world peace.” (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)
March 26, 2013
Prayer for Youth from True Mother
True Mother prepared a prayer for Unificationist youth based on her grandchildren’s education. In her words, “Since Father and I have lived like a war period, I couldn’t have created an environment for my children. But now I am doing the ‘creation of environment’ for my grandchildren. A few days ago, I announced and gave to my grandchildren and all blessed children in the world the ‘Prayer of the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind.’” She said she would like Unificationist youth to pray the following in the morning and evening:
“Heavenly Parent, I thank you and I love you. I, [one’s name], will become a devoted son (daughter) who will inherit the tradition of true love established by the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind, and perfect the duty of a devoted son (or daughter), patriot, and divine son (or daughter). I report this in my name [one’s name], a second generation member of a blessed family, Aju!”
Children and youth who joined recently should end the prayer saying “I report this in my name [one’s name], Aju!”
March 27, 1980
New Ecumenical Research Association (New ERA) Inaugurated
Rev. Moon meets with founding members of New ERA at East Garden, New York.
In February 1977, Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) began hosting Theologians’ Conferences for scholars of religion interested in learning about the Unification movement. These dialogues and others fed into longer conferences on Unification Theology. The conference program caught the interest of True Father, who committed resources to its development. This led to the founding of the New Ecumenical Research Association (New ERA) and the creation of a twenty-one-member board of consultants who planned conferences, publications and other events “to bring people together ecumenically worldwide.” Hundreds of scholars participated in summer introductory seminars and winter advanced seminars. UTS published some thirty conference books, and New ERA gave birth to a wide range of ecumenical and interreligious organizations including annual “God Conferences,” the Youth Seminar on World Religions (YSWR), the International Religious Foundation, and the Assembly of World Religions.
March 27, 1990
Proclamation of True Parents and the Establishment of Kingship
On the occasion of True Parents’ Day 1990, True Father declared he had “restored the right of parents” and was “sending out tribal messiahs to put everything in order, just as God sent the returning Lord and just as He sent Jesus.” The next step, “restoration of the right of kingship,” he said, “remains.” In True Father’s words:
“Originally, when Adam reached perfection, the Heavenly Father would be perfected, and when Eve reached perfection, the Heavenly Mother would be perfected. Hence, if they become the lord and lady of the family, the kingship of the family-level heavenly kingdom would have arisen. Thus, Adam and Eve were to become king and queen on the level of the individual, family, tribe, people, nation, and world. Since we have reached the time when we can go beyond the national level, we can go beyond the kingship of the satanic world and establish the kingship of the heavenly world.”
March 28, 1969
43 Couple Holy Marriage Blessing in Essen, Germany
During True Father’s Second World Tour in 1969, True Parents blessed 43 couples in the United States, Germany and Japan, the first Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony conducted outside Korea. The 43 Couple Marriage Blessing was conducted on the foundation of the 430 Couple Marriage Blessing held by True Parents in Korea the previous year and signified expansion to the worldwide level. The Blessing in Germany, the second phase of the Blessing, joined couples from England and America, Holland and America, Holland and Germany, England and Italy, Germany and Austria in international marriages. National leaders from Korea, Japan, America, England, Holland, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Germany were either blessed or present at the ceremony. The 43 Couple Blessing was foundational for the 777 Couple Marriage Blessing in 1970 and the globalization of True Parent’s ministry.
March 31-April 3, 1995
South American Declarations
True Father had been actively pursuing opportunities in South America since 1992 and made the decision to make South America a focal point of his work in 1995. That year, he undertook an ambitious speaking tour of twenty-three Latin American nations, which included audiences with eight heads of state. In these speeches and meetings, he emphasized the region’s “stunning and abundant potential.” He stated, “Latin America is a rich, peaceful, natural paradise of grandiose mountains and virgin lands. The mountains, rivers and jungles hearken back to the original state of creation, the Garden of Eden.” True Father pushed the heads of state to donate contiguous lands for development “as a model for an ideal, international and interracial nation and world.” When that was not forthcoming, Unificationists began purchasing vast tracts of land in the South American interior and established New Hope Farm outside the town of Jardim (pop. 21,000) in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul as the centerpiece of their efforts.
True Father made two declarations to launch this initiative. The Sao Paulo Declaration, delivered on the occasion of True Parents’ Day, March 31, 1995, called on Unification Church members worldwide to inherit True Parents’ tradition of “loving the earth, loving all things, loving all [hu]mankind and loving God, single-mindedly for the realization of God’s will.” The New Hope Farm Declaration, delivered on April 3, 1995, declared that “people of the world will come together as brothers and sisters here and practice the building of God’s nation.” True Father delivered additional declarations as the South American providence developed during the late 1990s.
April 1, 1941
True Father Departs Korea to Study in Japan
From the 1943 graduation album of the Waseda Technical High School, Tokyo. True Father stands in the back, center.
After graduating from the electrical engineering department of the Kyongsong Institute of Commerce and Industry in Seoul, True Father traveled to Japan to continue his studies. Korea was under Japanese colonial rule, and this was the first time True Father left his native land. In his autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, True Father noted that he went “because I felt that I had to have exact knowledge about Japan.” Nevertheless, his leave-taking was painful. On the train from Seoul to Pusan, he “couldn’t stop the tears from flowing,” covered himself with his coat and “cried out loud.” It grieved him, he said, “to think that I was leaving my country behind as it suffered under the yoke of colonial rule.” He promised that he would return, “carrying with me the liberation of my homeland.” True Father boarded the ferry from Pusan to Shimonoseki, Japan, at 2:00 a.m. on April 1, 1941. On arriving in Tokyo, he entered Waseda Koutou Kougakko, a technical engineering school affiliated with Waseda University. He stated that he chose electrical engineering “because I felt I could not establish a new religious philosophy without knowing modern engineering.”
April 1, 1975
Day of Hope Rallies Begin in Korea
True Father long considered the United States to be the gateway to the world. In early 1975, the church launched activities worldwide based upon its successes in America, particularly True Father’s Madison Square Garden rally in September 1974. The initial step was the creation of a global “Day of Hope” team. On January 14, the first global team, which included some 340 American and European members, boarded a chartered jumbo jet in Los Angeles for Tokyo. There they joined forces with an even larger contingent of Japanese members to evangelize and hold Day of Hope rallies in Japan. After spending nearly 80 days in Japan, the global team of more than 500 members traveled by ferry to Pusan, South Korea, on March 27. There, from April 1 until May 17, they supported massively attended Day of Hope festivals in Pusan, Taegu, Seoul, Inchon, Jeonju, Kwangju, Taejon, Cheongju and Chuncheon. These culminated in the “World Rally for Korean Freedom,” which was held at Yoido Island Plaza in Seoul before an estimated 600,000 to 1.2 million people on June 7.
April 1, 1980
Today’s World Begins Publication
The very first issue of Today’s World.
Today’s World served as the Unification Church’s leading international missionary newsmagazine for thirty-two years, from April 1, 1980 through 2012. It included sermons of True Father and church leaders; extensive coverage, including glossy photographs, of the True Family and their activities; historical testimonies; and reports from missionary outposts in Africa, South America, the Middle East, Oceania and southern Asia. It provided an indispensable account of international Unificationists, indexed by year, during its years of publication. In its earlier years, Today’s World was published out of New York. During the 1990s, it and the movement’s World Mission Department relocated to Korea. After 2012, Today’s World was superseded by Internet and e-publications, notably iPeaceTV and True Peace Magazine, which provide international coverage.
April 1, 1998
True Mother’s North American Hoon Dok Hwe Speaking Tour Begins
True Mother began a 16-city speaking tour of North America, beginning April 1, 1998, in Washington, D.C. The official title of her speaking tour was “Blessed Marriage and Eternal Life.” True Parents conducted a Hoon Dok Hwe tour to seventeen cities in Korea from late January until mid-February. True Mother continued the tour in twelve cities in Japan. Tour participants received a book of excerpts from True Father’s words entitled True Parents. True Parents’ speaking tour was an important condition in preparation for the June 13, 1998, Madison Square Garden Blessing linked to 120 million couples worldwide.
April 1, 2004
Dong Ban Gyeok Pa Providence in America Begins
Dong Ban Gyeok Pa was a term employed by True Father to mean breaking through at district (Dong) and neighborhood (Ban) levels. It carried the connotation of “breaking down walls” and eliminating evils as well as gaining support. In Korea, the emphasis was on Hoon Dok family churches and Hoon Dok grass-roots leaders—that is, local churches and leaders focused on True Parents’ word. On April 1, 2004, FFWPU-USA President Michael Jenkins announced the launch of Dong Ban Gyeok Pa in the United States. The movement immediately convened a National Level Leadership Summit in Ocean City, Maryland, which was followed by regional “bloc” meetings. These were described as times of “honest sharing”—not “look-good reports” but opportunities to empower tribal messiahs. Although top-down providential mobilizations continued, the decentralization model became increasingly prominent in local Unificationist life.
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 March 26 to April 1.