Declarations and Blessings
This week in history: June 15-21
- The Washington Declaration was the second of three declarations made by True Parents on interreligious peace.
- 2,075 couples were blessed in marriage
- True Father announced the Declaration Day of God’s Eternal Blessing.
- True Father held a Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture reading) for nearly 24 hours.
- The Ewha Womans University campaign of defaming Unificationists led to True Father’s arrest.
- 1,440,000 second-generation Christian youth were blessed in marriage.
- True Father was transferred from the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution to Phoenix House.
- Newspapers around the nation began publishing “A Cloud of Witnesses” spirit world messages.
June 29, 2003
The Washington Declaration
This was the second in a series of thee declarations—the others being the Jerusalem Declaration (May 18, 2003) and the Seoul Declaration (August 15, 2003)—which True Parents offered on the foundation of the first, second and third Israels. Each of the declarations focused on interreligious reconciliation and peace. Together they led to True Parents’ Declaration Ceremony for the Beginning of the Nation of the Fourth Israel on August 20, 2003.
July 1, 1982
Holy Blessing of 2,075 Couples
A large percentage of the American Unification movement—2,075 couples, or 4,150 persons in all—participated in a record-setting Blessing officiated by True Parents at New York’s Madison Square Garden arena. This number eclipsed the previous record of 1,800 couples married by True Parents in Seoul in 1975, which was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest mass wedding in history. The Blessing was preceded by the Matching of 705 couples in May 1979, 843 couples in December 1980, and 653 couples in June 1982. More than 60 percent of the couples were either interracial or intercultural. With this event, the church in America went virtually overnight from being a movement of primarily single people to one of married people.
July 1, 1991
Declaration Day of God’s Eternal Blessing
True Father announced the Declaration Day of God’s Eternal Blessing at a special ceremony at True Parents’ residence in Hannam-dong, Seoul, Korea. He declared that members now have the authority to give God’s blessings through the tribal messiahship providence. He said that blessed families no longer belong to any nationality but are members of the Royal Family. He advised members to create a new spiritual attitude and train themselves to overcome their fallen nature in working with their hometown communities.
July 1, 2010
True Father Holds a 23.5-Hour Hoon Dok Hwe
True Father, at age 90, hosted a historic twenty-three-and-a-half-hour Hoon Dok Hwe, speaking on the topic of “God is the Owner and Victor” to Japanese women participating in a forty-day workshop for “world ocean leaders” at Blue Sea Garden in Yeosu, Korea.
July 4, 1955
True Father Arrested in Ewha Womans University Incident
In late 1954 and early 1955, the newly founded Unification Church witnessed successfully on the campuses of Ewha Womans University and Yonsei University in Seoul. Nearly 400 students connected to the church, at which point Ewha President Helen Kim and Vice President Maria Park spearheaded a crackdown. Five Ewha University faculty members who had joined the church, including Dr. Young Oon Kim and Won Bok Choi, were fired. Students were given the choice to discontinue association with the church or be expelled. Fourteen students accepted expulsion. Finally, as a result of an orchestrated defamation campaign, True Father, Won Pil Kim, Church President Hyo Won Eu and two of Mr. Eu’s relatives were arrested. True Father spent three months in Seoul’s Seodaemun prison before being freed on appeal.
July 3, 2002
Holy Blessing of 1,440,000 Second-Generation Christian Youth and World Religious Youth
True Parents officiated at a series of Interfaith Marriage Blessings centered on the American Clergy Leadership Conference (established in 2000) and their “We Will Stand in Oneness” 50-state speaking tour (2001). The first of these, on May 27, 2001, was an Interfaith Marriage Blessing of sixty clergy couples presided over by True Parents in the Cotillion Room of the Hilton Hotel in New York City, which included, most prominently, Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo. The second, on April 27, 2002, was a blessing of 144,000 clergy couples, 700 of whom gathered as representative couples at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The third, on July 3, 2002, was the Holy Blessing of 1,440,000 second-generation Christian youth and world religious youth. Again, 700 couples jammed the Sheraton National Hotel. A member of Congress offered a congratulatory address. World religious representatives, including a Native American chief, offered prayers. There were 40 couples from the Nation of Islam, 20 Sikh couples and 20 Hindu couples, in addition to other groups who “brought their lineages before heaven.”
July 4, 1985
True Father Is Transferred from Danbury to Phoenix House
After serving nearly 12 months at Danbury Federal Correctional Institution in Connecticut, True Father was transferred to Phoenix House, a halfway facility in Brooklyn, New York, where he served the final 45 days of his 18-month sentence, getting five months off for good behavior. True Father was permitted to leave the house at 7:00 each morning and was required to return by 11:00 p.m. During the day, he was free to direct church affairs.
July 4, 2002
“A Cloud of Witnesses: The Saints’ Testimonies to the True Parents”
Leading newspapers in all fifty states began publishing “A Cloud of Witnesses” spirit world messages in ad space purchased by the Unification movement. The spirit world messages were the result of “seminars in the spirit world,” initially for the four religious founders (Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Muhammad) and subsequently for “120 Christians who illuminated history,” 120 leaders each from Buddhist, Confucian and Muslim traditions, and 120 communists. The messages also included a “Letter from God.” The seminars were led by Dr. Sang Hun Lee (who died in 1997) and channeled through Mrs. Young Soon Kim. True Father authorized the messages, stating they “should be considered to be from me.” The “cloud” testimonies were direct about True Parents’ position as the savior of all humankind and controversial among clergy associated with the movement. However, they also provided an opportunity for education. The movement convened National Ministers Workshops for several hundred clergy. As one leader put it, “The trial of the Cloud of Witnesses led to a Divine Principle movement within the clergy.”
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 June 29 to July 5.