64 Years Since the Founding of HSA-UWC
May 1, 1954
The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) is Founded
True Father established the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC, or Unification Church) on May 1, 1954. The armistice agreement ending the Korean War was signed in July 1953, and in September True Father moved from Pusan to Seoul. There, with four early followers, True Father established the new association. According to Dr. David S.C. Kim, who was present, True Father submitted three possible names, two of which “were so complicated that we could not even comprehend the meaning of the Chinese characters.” True Father stated in his autobiography that the group chose HSA-UWC “to signify that we belonged to no denomination, and … had no plans to create a new one.” He said: “I did not want to place ourselves in this separatist type of category. My hope was for the rise of a church without a denomination. True religion tries to save the nation, even if it has to sacrifice its own religious body to do so. … It was necessary to hang out a church sign, but in my heart I was ready to take it down at any time.”
From the Chambumo Gyeong, p. 274:
“My purpose for founding the Unification Church was not only to benefit our church. On this anniversary of the founding of the church, we have to broaden our scope. We need to make this day the day for guiding our nation to God’s Will, and we need to make this day the day we guide the entire world to build the kingdom of heaven on earth that God hopes to see. It is to fulfill this mission that the Unification Church was founded.”
Also this week in history, April 30 – May 6:
- Soviet officials visit the United States and hear CAUSA lectures (April 30-May 2, 1991)
- The Exposition of the Divine Principle is published (May 1, 1966)
- 22 Japanese couples receive the Holy Marriage Blessing (May 1, 1969)
- True Father introduces the Family Pledge (May 1, 1994)
- 2004 World Peace King Cup Fishing Tournament begins in Yeosu (May 2, 2004)
- Unificationists clean Manhattan and the Bronx (May 3, 1976)
- True Father declares a New Sabbath and “The Era after the Coming of Heaven” (May 5, 2004)
- New FFWPU Headquarters building is dedicated in Korea (May 5, 2005)
- A joint worship service for the kickoff of Vision 2020 is held (May 5, 2013)
- The Professors World Peace Academy is founded (May 6, 1973)
- The New York State Court of Appeals declares the Unification Church a bona fide religion (May 6, 1982)
April 30-May 2, 1991
Soviet Officials Visit the United States, Hear CAUSA Lectures
The demise of Marxism as a viable ideology created a serious void for the USSR. True Parents’ meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on April 11, 1990, opened the way for the Unification Church to sponsor seminars for Soviet officials and eventually Divine Principle workshops for thousands of Soviet university students and professors. In December 1990 and February 1991, the church sponsored seminars for 80 deputies of the Supreme Soviet (federal, republic and city levels) in which they received lectures on Victory over Communism (VOC) theory as well as briefings on the underpinnings of U.S. democracy. Then, from April 30 to May 2, 1991, the church sponsored an unprecedented seminar and fact-finding tour in Washington, D.C., for approximately 200 high-ranking Soviet officials and political leaders who were introduced to True Father’s thought and achievements. Dr. Thomas Ward, who lectured, noted, “This was the only time during the final years of the Soviet Union that any person, government or private organization brought together representatives from all 15 Soviet republics.”
May 1, 1966
Wolli Kangron (Exposition of the Divine Principle) Is Published
Following his encounter with Jesus on April 17, 1935, True Father dedicated himself to solving the fundamental problems of God, humankind, nature and history. The fruit of his investigation is the Divine Principle. According to Won Pil Kim, True Father kept a notebook with notes about the Divine Principle, which he carried with him into North Korea in 1946. Unfortunately, it was lost during his incarceration in Heungnam Prison. Afterward, on arriving in Pusan, True Father began writing Wolli Wonbon (Original Text of the Divine Principle), which he finished on May 10, 1952. It circulated as a hand-written manuscript for several years until superseded by Wolli Haesul (Explanation of Divine Principle) in 1957. Wolli Haesul was prepared by Hyo Won Eu, based on Wolli Wonbon and guidance from True Father. In the early 1960s, True Father directed Rev. Eu to prepare a new text with a more systematic structure and additional content. It was published as Wolli Kangron (Exposition of the Divine Principle) on May 1, 1966. It has served as the authorized version of Divine Principle to the present. Wolli Kangron was translated into English in two official versions, Divine Principle (1973) and Exposition of the Divine Principle (1996). It is one of the “Eight Great Textbooks” that True Father designated as his “last words to humankind.”
May 1, 1969
Holy Blessing of 22 Japanese Couples
True Parents’ Blessing of 22 Japanese couples in holy matrimony on May 1, 1969, in Tokyo was the third of three Blessings that comprise what is known as the 43 Couples Blessing. The first was the Holy Blessing of 13 American couples on February 28, 1969, at Upshur House in Washington, D.C. The second was the Holy Blessing of eight European couples in Essen, Germany, on March 28, 1969. These were all conducted during True Parents’ Second World Tour and came on the foundation of the 430 Couple Holy Blessing conducted in Korea in 1968. They were the first Holy Blessings conducted outside Korea and signified the Unification Church’s expansion to the worldwide level.
May 1, 1994
True Father Introduces Family Pledge
On January 10, 1993, True Father announced “the transition today to the Completed Testament Era.” The new epoch was understood to involve a fundamental shift in the order of salvation. As one church leader explained, “Previously, religious organizations have always been centered upon the salvation of the individual, but we have now progressed to the salvation of the family.” The implications of this were momentous. Essentially, it signaled a radical new beginning for the church and rendered all previous religious expressions, including that of the Unification Church, obsolete. On HSA-UWC’s 40th anniversary, May 1, 1994, True Father introduced the “Family Pledge.” It displaced “My Pledge,” which had expressed Unification Church members’ standard of attendance since 1961. According to Rev. Joong Hyun Pak, continental director of the church in North America at that time, My Pledge represented the individual’s pledge. Family Pledge signified the transition to the family era. True Father stated that reciting Family Pledge “means we have crossed over the barriers and are now on God’s side.” He noted that the fullest exemplification of this was that “all paragraphs of Family Pledge begin with the phrase ‘centered on true love.’”
May 2, 2004
2004 World Peace King Cup Fishing Tournament Begins in Yeosu
The opening ceremony of the 2004 World Peace King Cup Fishing Tournament was held at Heung-guk Gymnasium on May 2, 2004. The event, which was hosted by the World Sports Fishing Federation, a providential organization, attracted around 3,000 lovers of angling. The tournament took place in the sea off Yeosu. At the awards ceremony on May 5, True Father said, “When the winners from each country partake in the fishing tournament, win prizes and achieve a pastime satisfaction in which all are happy, a nation on earth can be formed in which all are equal.”
May 3, 1976
U.S. Members Clean Manhattan and the Bronx
True Father launched an “America the Beautiful” project on May 3, 1976, as part of the “God Bless America” campaign on the occasion of the United States’ 200th anniversary. More than 1,000 Unificationists from across the nation took up brooms and dustpans to clean the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. Dressed in white jumpsuits with the God Bless America Festival logo on the back, they cleaned in their witnessing area every morning from 7 to 8. The cleanup project was intended to raise awareness for the upcoming “God Bless America Festival” at Yankee Stadium on June 1 at which True Father would deliver an address on “God’s Hope for America.” The Unificationist folk-rock band Sunburst provided free lunch-hour concerts, and hundreds of additional Unificationists arrived for the final push, spearheading street rallies and massive ticket distribution efforts.
May 5, 2004
Declaration of a New Sabbath and “The Era after the Coming of Heaven”
On May 1, 2004, the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC), or Unification Church, observed the 50th anniversary of its founding. In connection with this observance, True Father made two bold announcements—first, that the Sabbath had been fulfilled and that he was proclaiming Ahn Shi Il, the Day of Attendance of Safe Settlement, to be observed by Unificationists every eighth day. The first Ahn Shi Il was conducted on May 5. On that day, True Father made the second announcement: that a great transition from “the era before the coming of heaven” to “the era after the coming of heaven” had taken place. The key implication of this providential announcement was that world peace, which had been impossible to achieve during “the era before the coming of heaven,” was now possible. This, in particular, was understood to be the reason why the United Nations, born prior to “the era after the coming of heaven,” had not been able to fulfill its mission. True Father’s proclamation of a new Sabbath and “the era after the coming of heaven” culminated trends in his thought and practice that he had introduced previously, including his declaration that the “providence of salvation” was “over,” that “blessed families” should pray in their own names, that humankind had entered an era “beyond the realm of the Fall,” that a time of “high noon” with “no shadows” had arrived, that the time of “indirect dominion” had passed and that “God is now directly teaching and instructing us.”
May 5, 2005
New FFWPU Headquarters Building Dedicated in Korea
The dedication ceremony for the new FFWPU Headquarters building was held on May 5, 2005, with the attendance of True Parents. The headquarters consisted of four floors under ground level and nine floors above ground level. Construction began in June 2003 and took a little over two years. Some 1,000 people gathered for the ceremony. True Father offered a simple prayer in the lobby before cutting the tape. True Parents then presided over the sprinkling of holy salt to sanctify the new building. True Father wrote calligraphy for the new building: “Mansei for the Kingship of Peace throughout Heaven and Earth” (unofficial translation) and then went up to the 8th floor to participate in the main ceremony.
May 5, 2013
Joint Worship Service for the Kickoff of Vision 2020
Prior to Foundation Day 2013, True Mother declared, “Foundation Day is not the end. Until we liberate all humanity and bring back all 6.5 billion people to Heaven, we have to offer our utmost effort.” In line with this commitment, True Mother announced the “2020 Vision,” which launched Unificationists on a new seven-year trajectory. True Mother’s stated intention was to “substantiate” Cheon Il Guk and, in particular, offer Korea “to Heaven” on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of True Father’s birthday in 2020. The “Joint Worship Service for Victory of Vision 2020” was held at the Cheongshim Peace World Center on May 5. Forty-three students from the Universal Peace Academy entered the stadium holding the flags of the 43 strategic and providential nations which would take the lead this effort. True Mother asked that all families who had received the Holy Marriage Blessing and all young people born into the Unificationist faith carry on True Parents’ tradition of absolute faith in fulfilling their mission as tribal messiahs and expand the scope of our responsibilities beyond the tribe to the society, nation and world, so that all humankind can become citizens of Cheon Il Guk.
May 6, 1973
The Professors World Peace Academy Founded
The Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) was founded by True Father during an assembly of 168 Japanese and Korean professors, to “contribute to the solutions of urgent problems facing our modern civilization and to help resolve the cultural divide between East and West.” The organization held discussions such as healing historical tensions, first only in Korea and Japan, then spreading around the world to more than a hundred countries. PWPA sponsored a providentially significant conference on “The Fall of the Soviet Empire” in 1985. PWPA-related scholars have written important works through Paragon House and publish the International Journal on World Peace four times annually. PWPA is a major supporter of the University of Bridgeport.
May 6, 1982
New York State Court of Appeals Declares the Unification Church a Bona Fide Religion
The Unification Church was embroiled in near-constant litigation from 1975 to 1985. Though this was costly and time consuming, several decisions, won on appeal, gained the Church gradual recognition as a bona fide religion with tax exemption privileges, public solicitation rights and access to missionary visas. In addition, the Church was able to extend constitutional protections to its adherents and successfully press for action against deprogrammers. By unanimously overturning lower court decisions which had refused to recognize the Unification Church’s religious purposes, the New York Court of Appeals in HSA-UWC v. Tax Commission of New York City , decided on May 6, 1982, held as a matter of law that the Unification Church was a bona fide religion entitled to tax exemption privileges.
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 30 – May 6.