Pledging to Take Initiative to Realize World Peace
This week in history, July 9-15:
- Street lecturing begins at Pagoda Park in Seoul (July 10, 1959)
- True Mother’s speaking tour in the United States begins (July 10, 1993)
- Kyung Yu Moon, True Father’s father, is born (July 11, 1893)
- First Korean Professors’ World Tour and Seminar is held (July 11-24, 1987)
- Archbishop Milingo returns (July 12, 2006)
- The Universal Ballet Company is established (July 13, 1984)
- True Father is invited to give a lecture at the National Assembly in Seoul (July 13, 2001)
- The fourth phase of the International Marriage Blessing Ceremony of 400 Million Couples is held (July 13, 2003)
- The God’s Hope for America pilgrimage reaches its halfway point (July 13, 2014)
- Unificationist missionaries come to Japan for the first time (July 15, 1958)
- The first Peace Cup Soccer Tournament is held (July 15, 2003)
- True Parents meet the Nigerian president (July 15, 2011)
July 10, 1959
Pagoda Park Street Lecturing Begins
On July 10, 1959, Korean members did street lecturing for the first time. Following True Father’s guidance, Hyun Shil Kang, Hui Ok Kim, and Seok On Jeong brought chalkboards to Seoul’s Pagoda Park. They cleaned the area around the stone pagoda, set up the chalkboards and started lecturing Divine Principle. Many people would stop to listen to the lectures—at times over one thousand people. Though the crowds were not without those who criticized, most were moved by the new teachings and would applaud. The street lecturing went on for seven years. (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)
July 10, 1993
True Mother’s Speaking Tour in the United States Begins
True Mother began a 23-city U.S. speaking tour in Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 10, 1993. She concluded it in Columbus, Ohio, on July 31. Leaders from many areas of society, including woman leaders, came to each event. True Mother emphasized the beginning of the Completed Testament Age and the role of women through her speech, “True Parents and the Completed Testament Age.” (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)
July 11, 1893
True Father’s Father Is Born
According to the inscription on his tombstone, Kyung Yu Moon, True Father’s father, was born on July 11, 1893. True Father notes in his autobiography that he could sing from memory the Christian hymnal which consisted of more than 450 pages, that he was not good at collecting debts but honored his pledge to repay debts, “even if it meant selling the family cow,” and that he was large in stature and strong. True Father stated, “The fact that at age 90 I’m still able to travel around the world and carry on my work is a result of the physical strength I inherited from my father.”
July 11-24, 1987
First Korean Professors’ World Tour and Seminar
The First Korean Professors World Tour and Seminar, sponsored by the International Cultural Foundation (ICF), was held from July 11 to 24, 1987, bringing together 144 professors from major universities throughout Korea for a program that took them to Kodiak, Alaska, Washington, D.C., and the New York City area. Dr. Se Won Yoon, president of Sung Hwa Theological Seminary in Korea, served as convener of the seminar, which had as its central theme the responsibility of scholars in the quest for world peace. In their group discussions throughout their two-week stay in the United States, they expressed special enthusiasm to create responsive and scholarly leadership and a popular base for moving Korea toward democratization and unification.
July 12, 2006
Archbishop Milingo Returns
Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo and Maria Sung receive the Holy Marriage Blessing.
True Parents blessed Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo of Zambia to Maria Sung of South Korea in a Holy Blessing of Religious Leaders on May 27, 2001. In August 2001, Milingo announced that he would leave his wife, whom he now loved “as a sister,” and asked her to respect his wishes. He then departed on a thirteen-month penitential retreat in Argentina and receded from public view over the next four years, until resurfacing dramatically at a press conference in Washington, D.C., on July 12, 2006. Milingo said he had lived through five years of “doubts and difficulties” and said, “The shadow of Maria Sung always hung over me.” He stated that he was reuniting with his wife and embarking on an “independent charismatic ministry” to reconcile married priests with the Catholic faith.
July 13, 1984
Establishment of the Universal Ballet Company
On July 13, 1984, the Universal Ballet Company was inaugurated at the Little Angels Performing Arts Center in Seoul. True Parents founded the Universal Ballet Company to raise Korean ballet to the world standard, to contribute to better international cultural exchange and to lead the globalization of Korean ballet arts. They have given the troupe its full support. True Parents wrote the calligraphic message “Rapid Advancement” on this day. (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)
July 13, 2001
True Father Invited to Give a Lecture at the National Assembly
True Father gave a speech in a conference room at the National Assembly Building in Seoul on July 13, 2001. Congressman Man Seop Lee, the National Assembly’s vice chairman, around fifty other members of the National Assembly from all parties and around 700 staff members were in the audience. True Father gave the speech “The Liberation of God’s Homeland,” calling everyone to this cause, saying, “Let us establish head-wing and Godism values and completely commit ourselves to the unification of the Koreas for the sake of the nations on the Korean Peninsula and for world peace.” (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)
July 13, 2003
The Fourth Phase of the International Marriage Blessing Ceremony of 400 Million Couples
The Fourth Phase of the International Marriage Blessing of 400 Million Couples was held at 2 p.m. on July 13 at Yu Gwan Soon Gymnasium in Seoul, with True Parents officiating the event in front of some 3,550 couples. The blessing ceremony was broadcast throughout the world via satellite and the Internet so that 30,000 couples in the major cities of 186 nations of the world were able to participate in the ceremony simultaneously. The Blessing was the culmination of the World Culture and Sports Festival (WCSF) 2003, the ninth to be held since 1992. Couples pledged to take the initiative to realize world peace through true love as they began their lives as husbands and wives.
July 13, 2014
God’s Hope for America Pilgrimage Reaches Halfway Point
Washington, D.C., marked the halfway point in the 2014 God’s Hope for America Pilgrimage Tour as participants prayed at the 25th and 26th Holy Grounds established by True Father in 1965. The first stop was the Holy Ground in the middle of the lawn on the west side of the U.S. Capitol building. The next stop was the Holy Ground located in the center of the Ellipse, an elliptical field directly south of the White House. The pilgrimage bus then drove to the Washington, D.C., church which had been purchased from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) in 1977. That evening The Washington Times held a banquet for pilgrimage participants, local church members, employees of The Times, friends and clergy. All were briefed about exciting developments at The Times, including the plan to be financially independent. In his closing remarks, FFWPU North America Director Dr. Ki Hoon Kim called on those present to “Remember; Revive; Re-imagine!”
July 15, 1958
Unificationist Missionaries Come to Japan
On July 15, 1958, missionaries came to Japan for the very first time in the history of the Unification Church. True Father chose Japan as the place to begin foreign missionary work and sent Choi Bong Chun there. As this was before diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan had been established, coming and going between the countries was not easy. Missionary Choi got on the ferry from Busan and settled in Tokyo after overcoming a series of difficulties. On October 2, 1959, he held the first worship services and started the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification of Japan. This year is the 57th anniversary of Japanese evangelism. (Materials provided by FFWPU History Compilation Committee)
July 15, 2003
First Peace Cup Soccer Tournament
True Parents launched the first Peace Cup Soccer Tournament from July 15 to 22, 2003. One year earlier, the World Cup, soccer’s most prestigious tournament, had been staged in Asia for the first time, jointly hosted by Korea and Japan. At that time, “soccer fever” gripped Korea, not only because it was a co-host nation but also because the Korean national team made it past the traditional soccer powers to the semi-finals. After that tournament, True Father announced the establishment of the Peace Cup and said that Brazilian soccer great Pele had promised to support its work of reconciliation within the world community. The first Peace Cup tournament brought eight professional soccer clubs to Korea, including Korea League champion Seongnam Il Hwa, the team True Father had founded in 1989. The inaugural tournament champion and $2 million prize-winner was PSV Eindhoven (the Netherlands).
July 15, 2011
True Parents Meet Nigerian President
True Parents met newly re-elected Nigerian President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan at the president’s invitation on July 15, 2011. The president had invited True Parents to attend his inauguration on May 28. However, True Parents were unable to attend due to schedule conflicts during their 2011 World Tour. In 2006, while governor of Bayelsa State, Dr. Jonathan and his wife received the Blessing from True Mother during her 120 Nation Tour. He was quoted as saying at that time: “The newspapers and television portray so much conflict and hate. That is why I am so elated to be an Ambassador for Peace and to be a part of UPF. After today, I only want to do more for peace.” He also reportedly donated $70,000 toward True Mother’s speaking engagement in Nigeria.
During their audience, True Father offered the president three suggestions for the future of Nigeria. First, he strongly urged President Jonathan to honor God and God’s laws and traditions at the center of his government and to channel Nigeria’s national passion for religion toward being an asset for peace instead of a source of division. Second, he emphasized the importance of supporting strong marriages and families, so that Nigeria’s traditional family tradition would not be eroded by a tide of secular and humanistic values threatening to sweep the country. Third, he voiced the hope that Nigeria would emerge as a model nation for all of Africa, and for the world. True Father also spoke to the president about lineage, harmony and tradition. Afterward, True Father spoke to 3,500 participants at a Universal Peace Federation (UPF) International Leadership Conference at the International Conference Center in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
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 July 9 to 15.