Bringing the World Together
This week in history, September 17-23:
- The Seoul Olympics are held (September 17, 1988)
- David S.C. Kim arrives as the second missionary to America (September 18, 1959)
- The Mongolian Peoples’ Federation is inaugurated (September 21, 2004)
- The Day of Hope Wall Street Rally is held (September 22, 1973)
- An interfaith day of prayer and healing is held (September 22, 2001)
- True Father launches the Substantial Abel UN (September 23, 2007)
September 17, 1988
True Father welcomes the representatives of 120 nations to his home in Korea for the Seoul Olympics.
The Games of the XXIV Olympiad took place from September 17 to October 2, 1988, in Seoul. The “Seoul Olympics” were significant not only for Korea as the second Asian nation to host the Olympic Games but also for the world, as the games brought together athletes from the communist and free-world nations for the first time since 1976. These also were the last Olympic Games for the Soviet Union and East Germany, both of which would cease to exist by the time of the next Olympic Games in 1992. True Father recognized this and made a special effort to welcome Eastern Bloc and Soviet athletes, providing them with generous gifts and invitations to cultural events. Although Coca-Cola was the official soft drink of the Games, athletes, friends and officials of many nations accepted more than 40,000 cans of McCol and bottles of Ginseng-Up. Following the completion of the Games, True Father proposed the holding of a World Festival of Culture (later designated as the World Culture and Sports Festival) as an “internal” complement to the Olympic Games.
September 18, 1959
David S.C. Kim Arrives as the Second Missionary to America
David S.C. Kim was a founding member of the Unification Church in 1954 and its first overseas missionary, having gone to Swansea University College, Wales, as a U.N. scholar during the mid-1950s. He was the second Unificationist missionary to the United States, arriving in Portland, Oregon, on September 18, 1959, some ten months after Dr. Young Oon Kim had arrived in Eugene, Oregon. Like Miss Kim, he came to the United States on a student visa (the only other way out of Korea was via the diplomatic service) and enrolled at Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary. He was expelled for “heresy” just weeks before his graduation in 1961. This precipitated a series of crises as Mr. Kim successively enrolled in Portland University, the University of Oregon, and finally Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, in efforts to retain his student status and stay in the country. He nevertheless founded United Faith, Inc., or the “Northwest Family,” and directed a far-flung network of Unification centers extending as far east as Chicago during the 1960s. He played a major role after True Parents’ arrival in America, translating for True Father, firing up members at the Belvedere Training Center, leading the International One World Crusade (IOWC), and later serving as the founding president of the Unification Theological Seminary (1975-1994).
September 21, 2004
Inauguration of Mongolian Peoples’ Federation
True Father speaks at the International Peace Conference for Mongolian Leaders from Around the World.
True Father established numerous Federations for World Peace following the end of the Cold War and into the new millennium. From September 21-24, 2004, the first International Peace Conference for Mongolian Leaders from Around the World took place in Seoul. This conference led to the creation of the Mongolian Peoples’ Federation for World Peace (MPFWP). True Father defined Mongolian peoples as those born with the Mongolian birthmark, a bluish mark usually seen on the backside. He asserted that nearly three-quarters of the world’s population is linked to Mongolian roots and that the Mongolian birthmark appears not only in persons of the yellow race but also among many black and white people. He maintained that values preserved among Mongolian peoples, such as faith in absolute values, an understanding of human spirituality, belief in the existence of the spirit world, an emphasis on family tradition and the importance of lineage would play a significant role in bringing about the realization of a world of peace. The initial conference brought together 300 participants from Mongolia, Korea, Japan, China and 34 other nations. The Mongolian Federation convened subsequent meetings under the auspices of the Universal Peace Federation.
September 22, 1973
Day of Hope Wall Street Rally
Having completed his first Day of Hope speaking tour of eight American cities in 1972, True Father mobilized American Unificationists for a more ambitious 21-city Day of Hope tour to begin in New York City’s Carnegie Hall on October 3, 1973. By the end of August, more than four hundred Unificationists gathered to publicize the Day of Hope talks under the theme “Christianity in Crisis: New Hope.” On September 22, a major rally was staged on the steps of Federal Hall on Wall Street. The New York Daily News carried a large photo and article on the rally. Time, Newsweek and Christianity Today all carried stories on the campaign, and Associated Press religion writer George W. Cornell’s generally positive feature story appeared in 79 newspapers throughout the United States.
September 22, 2001
Interfaith Day of Prayer and Healing
More than 1,000 clergy from all faiths attended the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast and Day of Prayer and Healing to offer prayers for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy in New York and Washington, D.C.
True Father had called for a 12,000-couple World Clergy Marriage Blessing Ceremony to take place in New York’s Madison Square Garden on September 22, 2001. It was intended to build upon the Interfaith Marriage Blessing of 60 clergy couples the previous May in which Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo was blessed with Korean Unificationist Maria Sung. The tragic events of 9/11 intervened and the clergy Blessing was postponed. In lieu of the Blessing, an interfaith prayer breakfast brought together more than 1,000 clergy and guests in the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center and an outdoor Day of Prayer and Healing rally took place at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building in Harlem. The rally attracted some 3,000 participants as well as coverage on CNN, CBS and other media outlets. Forty American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) ministers had counseled police and firefighters at Ground Zero the night before the prayer breakfast and rally and continued to do so in the days that followed.
September 23, 2007
True Father Launches the “Substantial” Abel UN
True Father launched the “Substantial” Abel UN at the Manhattan Center.
In 2000, True Father’s proposal to renew the United Nations through incorporating an interreligious peace council launched the United Nations Providence. The following year, True Father began the Ambassadors for Peace program. In 2003, he established the Interreligious and International Peace Council (IIPC), and in 2005, on the occasion of the UN’s 60th anniversary, he founded the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). The core objective of these combined initiatives was “to work cooperatively with the United Nations and to serve and support that institution as it seeks to fulfill its own global mission.” Two years later, on September 23, 2007, True Father launched what he termed the “Substantial” Abel UN.
Conducted at the Manhattan Center in New York City, the inauguration brought together representatives from 192 nations seated at UN-style conference tables. Flags and regalia added to the atmosphere. True Father’s keynote address, augmented by extemporaneous comments, lasted three hours. In it, he referred to UPF as “an Abel-type counterpart to the UN” and to the new initiative as the “Peace UN.” He expressed hope that it would “lead the way for millions of Ambassadors for Peace throughout the world … to fulfill the heavenly will of creating ‘One Family under God.’” Finishing at 11:00 p.m., True Father penned an approximately thirty-foot calligraphic message that read, in Chinese characters, “May the Sovereignty of the God of True Love, the Sacred Reign of Peace, Last Forever.” He then struck a giant gong, sealing the evening’s proceedings.
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 September 17-23.
Contributed by Dr. Michael Mickler, Professor of Church History at Unification Theological Seminary.