A New Generation of Blessings
This week in history, August 28 – September 3:
- The Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace is inaugurated (August 27, 1991)
- World Scripture is unveiled (August 27, 1991)
- Third generation Unificationists receive the Holy Marriage Blessing (August 28, 2006)
- True Father prays at Calvary and Gethsemane (August 31, 1965)
- The Ceremony for the Settlement of the Eight Stages is held (August 31, 1989)
- CAUSA holds a 10 million signature drive (September 1, 1986)
- The Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture reading) tradition begins (September 1, 1997)
August 27, 1991
Inauguration of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace (IRFWP)
On August 27, 1991, the inauguration of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace was held at the Little Angels Performing Arts Center in Seoul, Korea. Some 1,200 people attended, notably representatives of twelve world religions including Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. Religious scholars also attended the event. Participants vowed to work together to further world peace and interreligious unity. In True Father’s keynote address, “Religion’s Mission for World Peace,” he emphasized that peace can be attained when there is harmony among religious traditions and a movement to realize world peace is pursued based on the activities of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace. (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)
August 27, 1991
Unveiling of World Scripture
A highlight of the Inter-Religious Federation of World Peace’s (IRFWP) Inaugural Assembly was the unveiling of World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts. Commissioned by True Father at the first Assembly of the World’s Religions in 1985, completion of the nearly thousand-page text required the labors of more than 40 scholars and religious leaders from every faith. World Scripture compares passages from the sacred writings of the world’s great religions as they deal with all the significant issues of life: God, the purpose of life, sin, salvation and the spiritual path, and demonstrates that there exists a vast sphere of spiritual common ground. The text was edited by Dr. Andrew Wilson, professor of Biblical Studies at Unification Theological Seminary, and contains over 4,000 passages gathered from 268 sacred texts and 55 oral traditions. Religions represented include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, the Baha’i Faith, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Unification movement, among others. Scriptural texts are gathered around 165 topics and concerns shared by most or all religions.
August 28, 2006
Holy Blessing of the Third Generation
True Parents officiated a Holy Wedding Ceremony for the third generation of Unificationists, which included some of their own grandchildren (seen on stage). On the foundation of True Parents’ victory in realizing God’s kingdom of a peaceful, ideal world, a Holy Wedding Ceremony was officiated by True Parents on August 28, 2006.
August 31, 1965
True Father Prays at Calvary and Gethsemane
True Father visits Jordan prior to crossing over to Israel during his first World Tour
True Father visited Jerusalem on August 31, 1965, as part of his first World Tour. Two days previously, on August 29, he visited Mount Nebo where Moses stood and looked over the Promised Land. The next day, he and his party crossed the Jordan River and visited the area where Jesus was reported to have been baptized and the Mount of Temptation. He went into the city through the gate Jesus entered on a donkey, went to the Temple Mount, visited Pilate’s court and proceeded to Calvary under the altar of a Greek Orthodox Church. He went to Gethsemane at sunset, where he blessed a Holy Ground. Dr. Young Oon Kim, who traveled with True Father, wrote, “Our Leader and all of us burst into tears as he prayed on Calvary and Gethsemane.”
August 31, 1989
The Ceremony for the Settlement of the Eight Stages
On August 31, 1989, in Kodiak, Alaska, the Ceremony for the Settlement of the Eight Stages was held. The ceremony signifies the completion of all eight stages of both the vertical and horizontal courses of indemnity. On the basis of this ceremony, the following day True Parents declared the “ideology centered on the Heavenly Father” at the same place.
September 1, 1986
CAUSA 10 Million Signature Drive
A woman collects signatures for CAUSA USA
True Father planned to conduct a Moscow rally by 1981, but this was prolonged for nearly a decade due to court battles in the United States and the need to build up a stronger church. Having concluded the “Danbury Course” and established a multifaceted presence in America by 1985, True Father mounted a march to Moscow from 1985 to 1990. He understood that the Soviets respected strength and that any perceived weakness on the part of the West would set back the providence. Therefore he continued to expend resources in the fight against communism. One major effort was a massive signature drive launched by CAUSA-USA on September 1, 1986. The goal was to obtain 10 million signatures, including names and addresses, on a form stating that the signers agreed with CAUSA-USA’s goals to:
1) Affirm a God-centered morality in America,
2) Uphold freedom for all,
3) Educate people about the dangers of atheistic communism.
Unificationists and other supporters worked aggressively in all fifty states to complete the drive by Thanksgiving. The signature drive “victory” had an especially positive effect on American Unificationists, who gained self-esteem and confidence as a result of being able to accomplish one of True Father’s goals on the national level.
September 1, 1997
Beginning of the Hoon Dok Hwe Tradition
A Hoon Dok Hwe conference is held in Washington D.C. in 1999
On September 1, 1997, True Father proclaimed a “New Start.” He began a tradition where all Unificationist families set aside one hour each morning from 6:00 to 7:00 to recite the Family Pledge (the core pledge of Unificationists), and then hold a daily study and discussion of his words. On October 13, 1997, True Father named the daily morning reading tradition Hoon Dok Hwe, which was understood to be a “gathering for reading and learning.” In addition to being a cornerstone of morning devotions, the church sponsored Hoon Dok Hwe conferences for civic and religious leaders that focused on “reading and learning” True Father’s words. True Father’s words would later become the basis for the Cheon Seong Gyeong (2004) or “Heavenly Scripture.”
September 3, 1967
Opening of the Takarazuka Training Center in Japan
On September 3, 1967, the Takarazuka Training Center in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan opened. To build the training center, Unificationists had offered devotion by conducting a Mt. Fuji climbing tournament a year earlier. A month before the training center opened, on August 7, True Parents visited Takarazuka, prayed over the building and declared the site a holy ground. The Takarazuka Training Center is currently used for outreach and to hold workshops for young Unificationists in the Kansai area.
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 August 27 to September 2.