Praying on Mount Myodu
This week in history, April 16-22:
- Three couples receive the Holy Marriage Blessing (April 16, 1960)
- True Father declares the end of the first 21-year course (April 16, 1980)
- True Father encounters Jesus on Easter morning (April 17, 1935)
- The Day of the Resurrection of Shimjeong is proclaimed (April 17, 1960)
- Clergy takes down crosses (April 18, 2003)
- True Mother completes her 12-city US tour (April 19, 2000)
- Young Hwi Kim joins the movement (April 20, 1955)
- Hirokazu Ota is released by Paraguayan kidnappers (April 21, 2007)
- Noticias del Mundo is established (April 22, 1980)
April 16, 1960
Three Couples Holy Marriage Blessing
On April 16, 1960, the fifth day following True Parents’ Holy Wedding, True Parents blessed three couples in Holy Matrimony. They were Kim Won-pil and Chung Dal-ok; Eu Hyo-won and Sa Gil-ja; and Kim Young-hwi and Chung Dae-hwa. There were a number of providential conditions connected to these couples. True Father noted that they represented the families of Adam, Noah and Abraham. They also were chosen as the resurrected figures of Cain, Abel and Seth in Adam’s family. In addition, they were in the position of Jesus’ three main disciples and restored archangels. True Father stated that he required “three disciples” in the position of spiritual children “who will be loyal to him and follow him through persecution, even at the risk of their lives” as a condition for his Holy Wedding. True Father, thereby, engaged the three couples ahead of his wedding. One of the couples had been previously married, one had been previously engaged, and one was “matched” immediately before their engagement. In this way, they were intended to represent all marital situations. The three couples joined 33 additional couples who were blessed in marriage the following year as the Unification Church’s original 36 couples.
April 16, 1980
True Father Declares the End of the First 21-Year Course
Unification theology teaches that the course of creation and restoration unfolds according to the three stages of formation, growth and perfection. True Father applied that principle in conducting his ministry. He initially applied it to his individual course upon embarking on his public ministry after World War II. The 21-year course with which Unificationists were most familiar followed True Parents’ Holy Wedding in 1960. True Father described how True Parents walked a family-level course for seven years, followed by a national-level course in which the Unification tradition stabilized itself within Korea, and then a worldwide course during which True Parents planted Unificationism globally. True Father declared that 21-year course to be completed on Parents Day, April 16, 1980. He said that it was to be followed by another 21-year course centered on Unification blessed families. This course, he noted, would be centered first upon deterring the advance of communists and then liberating them. To do so, he said Unificationists must “be superior in God-centered character and in strength of knowledge, experience and organization.” The new 21-year course would be centered upon “Home Church,” which True Father described as the methodology to “liberate the entire world centered on the true love of God.”
April 17, 1935
True Father’s Easter Revelation
In his autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, True Father traces circumstances that led to his profound encounter with Jesus on Easter morning, 1935. In particular, he notes his exposure to suffering which included the suffering of Korea under Japanese colonial authorities and his family’s suffering, which included the loss of five younger siblings during his fifteenth year. From this time, True Father began to immerse himself in prayer, often at desolate locations. He recounts, “The night before Easter in the year I turned sixteen, I was on Mount Myodu praying all night and begging God in tears for answers.” Then, in the early morning, having spent the entire night in prayer, True Father stated that “Jesus appeared before me … in an instant, like a gust of wind, and said to me, ‘God is in great sorrow because of the pain of humankind. You must take on a special mission on earth having to do with Heaven’s work.’”
True Father said that Jesus’ manifestation “caused my body to shake violently, like quaking aspen leaves trembling in a strong breeze.” He said he was “simultaneously overcome with fear so great I thought I might die and gratitude so profound I felt I might explode.” Jesus, he recounted, “spoke clearly about the work I would have to do … saving humanity from its suffering and bringing joy to God.” True Father said he was “truly afraid.” He wanted “somehow to avoid this mission” and remembers, “I clung to the hem of his clothing and wept inconsolably.”
April 17, 1960
The Day of the Resurrection of Shimjeong Proclaimed
Just after Parents’ Day was established in 1960, True Parents proclaimed the Resurrection of Shimjeong (Parental Heart) on April 17. It was the day on which all Unificationists who had accepted True Parents inherited the potential to be restored as sons and daughters of the True Parents on the shimjeong level. “If you believe in me,” True Father said that day, “spiritually you become my sons and daughters on the shimjeong level.”
April 18, 2003
Clergy Take Down Crosses
True Father believed that “deep-rooted conflict between major religious traditions” constituted the background of “violent wars all over the world. It followed that religious leaders should take the initiative in restoring peace. This lay behind True Father’s proposal for an interreligious assembly or council at the United Nations. It also undergirded his thinking about the Middle East. True Father taught that Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders should resolve their differences as a condition for the cessation of violence. However, this necessitated that Christian clergy acknowledge that “the era of the cross” had passed and, in fact, remove their crosses, which had been a barrier between the first and second Israel.
The “Take Down the Cross” initiative crystallized in early 2003. In February, True Father asked Unification Church and American Clergy Leadership Conference leaders to educate Christian clergy in Unification theology. At the beginning of March, he called upon clergy to remove crosses from their churches. The goal was that on April 18, Good Friday, 120 ACLC clergy nationwide would have a public ceremony to take down the cross. That goal was met. As reported by Michael Jenkins, who at the time was the president of HSA-USA: “123 clergy took down their crosses over the Easter weekend … supported by another 135 clergy. … All told, 258 clergy directly affirmed the taking down of the cross, proclaiming an end to the era of bloodshed and sacrifice and the beginning of a new era of faith and resurrection.” Though controversial in some quarters, their action launched the Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI) which brought 10,000 clergy and Ambassadors for Peace to the Holy Land over the following two years.
April 19, 2000
True Mother Completes 12-City US Tour
Giving a public speech every day for 12 days in a row, True Mother crisscrossed the country, completing the 12-city United States leg of her 2000 World Speaking Tour from April 8 to 19. The tour had been undertaken following Phase One of the 400 Million Couple Holy Blessing and True Father’s 80th birthday. True Mother spoke on “The Path for America and Humanity in the Last Days” to capacity audiences throughout the country. She challenged the United States to fulfill its providential destiny in living for the sake of others.
For the tour finale in New York City, approximately 3,000 people squeezed into Avery Fisher Hall, a concert hall that is part of Manhattan’s famous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. True Mother received awards and gifts from the Nation of Islam, the True Family Values Clergy Coalition, and the Family Federation. She then selected from a basket the number which would indicate the lucky recipients of 24-carat “Pure Love” rings. At the end of the program, True Mother presented the Living for the Sake of Others Award to persons and organizations who had demonstrated the spirit of living for the sake of others.
April 20, 1955
Rev. Young Hwi Kim Joins the Movement
Young Hwi Kim and Dae Hwa Chung receive the Holy Marriage Blessing.
Rev. Young Hwi Kim (b. 1928), who with his wife were one of the original three couples engaged by True Parents prior to their own Holy Wedding, joined the Unification movment on April 20, 1955. He had studied electrical engineering at Seoul National University and joined the first class of Korea’s Special Air Force Academy in 1953. He subsequently served the Unification movement in various leadership positions over the last sixty years. Following Rev. Hyo Won Eu’s passing in 1970, he became the second president of the Korean Unification movement. He was the lecturer at the first Divine Principle workshop in the United States overseen by True Parents and author of The Divine Principle Study Guide, Part 1. He served as a regional leader representing True Parents in several European countries and as their envoy to the United Kingdom. In 2013, Rev. Kim represented True Mother in a five-city U.S. revival tour. He also served as director of the Cheon Seong Gyeong project in Korea.
April 21, 2007
Hirokazu Ota Released by Paraguayan Kidnappers
Hirokazu Ota, a longtime Japanese Unification Church leader, Japanese national messiah to Paraguay, and president of the Unificationist-affiliated land management company in Paraguay, was kidnapped at gunpoint, along with his secretary, on April 1, 2007. Asian people there (Koreans, Japanese, Chinese) are thought to be rich and are frequently targeted by criminals. Mr. Ota, his secretary and two bystanders, one of whom was a police officer, were abducted while traveling by car. The kidnapping gang, which was thought to involve as many as 25 people, raised the initial ransom demand from $25,000 to $300,000. Negotiations were difficult, with Mr. Ota and his companions being relocated numerous times as the kidnappers attempted to stay ahead of Paraguayan authorities. In the end, through the efforts of the Paraguayan police, the Japanese Embassy, the Church and company officials, a reported $138,000 ransom was paid and Mr. Ota was released in Ciudad del Este, a city on the eastern border with Brazil. Mr. Ota recounted his harrowing experience in several news conferences and testimonies. The following year, the Brazilian kidnapping ringleader was shot to death by Paraguayan police in a gunfight.
April 22, 1980
Noticias del Mundo Established
True Father founded the Spanish-language newspaper Noticias del Mundo on April 22, 1980, as an effort to begin a relationship with the Hispanic community in the United States and Latin America that would help turn the tide against communist infiltration of the Western Hemisphere. Earlier, True Father set up the anti-communist educational organization CAUSA and sent Dr. Bo Hi Pak to meet officials in Latin America. In his remarks at its inauguration, Dr. Pak, the paper’s founding president and publisher, expressed True Father’s desire for Spanish-speaking Americans to help shape the nation’s future and to correct misunderstandings and misrepresentations in the North American press. Leadership of Noticias Del Mundo later passed to Phillip V. Sanchez, the former U.S. ambassador to Honduras and Colombia.
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 April 16–22.