A Culture of Peace
This week in history: July 13-19
- The first Peace Cup soccer tournament was held.
- True Father was sentenced for tax evasion, leading to millions supporting an appeal.
- True Parents launched the Abel Women United Nations.
- True Parents miraculously survived a helicopter crash.
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 16, 1981
True Father Sentenced to Prison in the United States
Following what was described as “the most intensive and expensive criminal tax investigation of any religious figure in U.S. history” and a six-week trial riddled with procedural irregularities, on May 18, 1981, True Father was found guilty of tax evasion and obstruction of justice. On July 16 he was sentenced to 18 months in prison and a $25,000 fine plus costs. This marked the beginning of a broad-based movement for religious freedom which eventually resulted in briefs filed by organizations representing 120 million Americans, that supported True Father’s appeal of his conviction.
July 16, 2012
True Parents Launch the Abel Women UN
True Parents inaugurated the “Abel Women UN” at the Cheongshim World Peace Center at Cheongpyeong Lake in Korea on July 16, 2012. Women representing 193 nations, most of them members of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), attended. In his speech True Father stated:
In history up to now, we have depended on governmental organizations centered upon men to bring global peace. Now, however, to surmount the limitations they have demonstrated, I believe that a women’s peace movement … should take root as the new system resolving problems. … That’s why today’s inauguration of the Abel Women UN is absolutely necessary.
He envisioned women as “the central axis in building a century characterized by its loving, peaceful culture.” The Inaugural Rally for the Abel Women UN concluded True Father’s public ministry. It was, as True Mother later noted, “the last providential event … [he] hosted on earth.”
July 19, 2008
True Parents Survive Helicopter Crash
True Parents miraculously survived a fiery helicopter crash near the Cheongpyeong Peace Palace. They were returning from a meeting in Seoul, along with ten members, three of their young grandchildren and three crew members, when they encountered a fog bank as they approached the heliport. When the pilot attempted to take the craft up and out of the pitch darkness, the helicopter tail struck a tall tree, causing it to plow through the woods at treetop level for a hundred and fifty yards. It finally hit a large tree and crashed in a muddy wooded area near a small stream. An urgent effort to escape the already burning helicopter ensued. Two security staff lifted True Parents through the hatch, which fortunately was still accessible. The grandchildren next were lifted up through the same exit. The remaining members then exited and everyone sought cover. Twenty minutes after the crash landing, the helicopter exploded. Amazingly, no one was seriously injured. True Father referred to their survival as “a miracle from God.”
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 13 to 19.