Forgive, Love and Unite
This week in history, January 27 to February 2:
- True Father and Won Pil Kim arrive in Pusan (January 27, 1951)
- A World Peace Marriage Blessing is held at the United Nations (January 27, 2001)
- True Father begins his first world tour (January 28, 1965)
- The Sunhwa Academy is founded (January 30, 1976)
- The first UPF Asian Summit is held (January 30, 2015)
- True Father is invited to the Presidential Prayer Breakfast (January 31, 1974)
- True Father celebrates his 90th birthday (January 31, 2009)
- True Father is released from his first imprisonment (February 1, 1945)
- True Father meets with President Nixon (February 1, 1974)
- Segye Times publishes its first edition (February 1, 1989)
- True Father celebrates his 70th birthday (February 1, 1990)
- 150,000 receive the Interfaith Peace Blessing in the Philippines (February 1, 2015)
- True Parents begin the Second World Tour (February 2, 1969)
- True Father receives Lifetime Achievement Award (February 2, 2000)
JANUARY 27, 1951
True Father and Won Pil Kim Arrive in Pusan
South Koreans flee south after the North Korean army invades.
After his release from Heungnam Labor Camp on October 14, 1950, True Father walked some 300 kilometers across the Korean Peninsula, arriving in Pyongyang ten days later. He spent 40 days in Pyongyang, searching for former members of his congregation, and finally departed for the South on December 2, 1950, in advance of the Red Chinese army. He was accompanied by his disciple Won Pil Kim and by Chong Hwa Pak, a follower from Heungnam Prison who was injured and had to be pushed on a bicycle. This began their nearly two-month trek to Pusan at the southernmost point of the peninsula. Abandoning refugee columns that were continually being bombed, they traveled alternate routes, sometimes were set upon by vigilantes and were subject to all manner of deprivations. Hearing that Pusan was overflowing with refugees, Chong Hwa Pak, who had mostly recovered, stayed behind at a carpenter’s house in the city of Gyeongju. True Father and Won Pil Kim bought train tickets from there to Pusan, some 50 kilometers away. As there was no room in the passenger coaches, they rode up front, clinging to the front of the engine, the warmth of the steam engine on their backs and a biting winter wind freezing their faces during the final two hours of their journey. They arrived at Choryung Station in Pusan, cold and hungry, on January 27, 1951. From there, True Father restarted his ministry.
JANUARY 27, 2001
World Peace Marriage Blessing Ceremony Held at the United Nations
True Parents conduct a World Peace Marriage Blessing Ceremony at the UN.
At Assembly 2000, True Father called not only for the establishment of a religious assembly or interreligious council at the United Nations but also for an official commemorative day to uphold the ideal of the family. The following year, on January 27, 2001, as part of the 7th World Culture and Sports Festival held jointly at the New York Hilton and UN Headquarters, True Father reinforced his proposal by conducting a “World Peace Marriage Blessing Ceremony” for 210 couples from 135 countries. Each of them was dressed in traditional ethnic or national costumes in the UN assembly room. The couples took an oath to establish eternal families based on true love and pledged their commitment to world peace. Because the assembly room was totally filled, WCSF participants had to watch the event via closed-circuit TV in another room. At the Marriage Blessing’s conclusion, couples and conference participants received chocolate bars with the words “True Love” inscribed on them. Once the newly blessed couples left, the participants returned to the assembly room and the conference resumed. Unfortunately, UN officials objected to the Marriage Blessing as a religious event and considered it a serious breach of the rules for the use of UN facilities. This, among other factors, led True Father to consider the necessity of inaugurating a complementary “Abel UN.”
January 28, 1965
True Father Begins First World Tour
True Father at the Twin Peaks Holy Ground in San Francisco
By the mid-1960s, work in Korea had solidified to the point that the Unification Church was ready to give serious attention to the world mission. The clearest indication of this was True Father’s first world tour in 1965. The main purpose of the tour was to connect the foundation that had been established in Korea to the world. True Father commented:
In 1965, I embarked on my first trip around the world. My suitcase was filled with soil and stones from Korea. My plan was that, as I traveled around the world, I would plant Korea’s soil and stones in each country to signify Korea’s linkage to the world. For ten months, I toured forty countries, including Japan, the United States, and the nations of Europe. … When I returned to Seoul, my suitcase was full of soil and stones from 120 locations in forty countries. … I connected Korea to these forty countries in this way to prepare for the day in the future when the world of peace would be realized.
After spending two weeks in Japan, True Father stayed in the United States for nearly five months, from February 12 until July 1. He set up 55 Holy Grounds in all 48 continental United States. After a short trip to Canada and several South American countries, True Father began the European portion of his tour. He then traveled to the more ancient lands of Egypt and the Middle East. While in Iran, True Father learned of the war between Pakistan and India. Avoiding Pakistan entirely, it was only after difficulty that his party got out of India and traveled to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, which was full of American GIs. Then followed the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and finally Japan on September 29, where after 12 days, on October 10, True Father returned to Korea, 260 days after his departure.
January 30, 1976
The Founding of Sunhwa Academy
Sunhwa Academy was founded at 25-Beonji Neung-dong, Seongdong Borough, Seoul, on January 30, 1976. Thanks to the establishment of the school corporation, Sunhwa Academy, the Little Angels Arts School was able to gain a stable foundation for management. On February 8 of the next year, the first class of the Little Angels Arts School graduated, and its name was changed to Sunhwa Arts School on the 16th of the same month. Sunhwa Arts High School was established the following March 4, and forty years later is a mecca of arts education. (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee)
January 30, 2015
First UPF Asian Summit Is Held in the Philippines
Four hundred participants from 28 nations took part in the first ever Asian Summit organized by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). The summit, titled “Toward Peace, Security and Human Development in the Asia Pacific Region,” was held in the Manila Hotel in Manila, Philippines, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2015.
The 400 participants included 121 foreign delegates. Philippine dignitaries included His Excellency Joseph Ejercito Estrada, the former president of the Philippines, currently the Manila City mayor. His Excellency Madhav K. Nepal, former prime minister of Nepal, gave the Keynote Address and was awarded the prestigious Leadership and Good Governance Award by UPF. Another highlight of the summit was the first-ever PEACE Awards for the media in the Philippines. The concept of the PEACE (People’s Empowerment for the Advancement of Communities and Environment) Awards is to recognize media practitioners who have made exemplary contributions for the advancement of peace, community development and environmental protection. Awards were given to 16 winners in the four media categories of print, TV, radio and social media.
January 31, 1974
True Father Invited to Presidential Prayer Breakfast
Rev. Moon and members of the Unification Church in America hold a national prayer and fast during the Watergate Crisis at the Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. July 23, 1974.
On January 31, 1974, True Father was invited to the Presidential Prayer Breakfast. A post-breakfast rally at Lafayette Park brought out Edward and Tricia Nixon Cox, the son-in-law and daughter of 37th U.S. President Richard Nixon, who greeted well-wishers who rallied to “Forgive, Love and Unite” as an answer to the Watergate Crisis. On February 1, 1974, Rev. Moon had a twenty-minute audience with President Nixon, reportedly telling him, “Don’t knuckle under to pressure. Stand up for your convictions.”
January 31, 2009
True Father’s 90th Birthday
True Father celebrates his 90th birthday.
True Father demonstrated extraordinary dedication and endurance on the occasion of his 90th birthday (and True Mother’s 67th) on January 31, 2009, by conducting special Coronations for the Authority and Liberation of God, the King of Kings, both in Korea and the United States. Due to the time difference, True Father was able to deliver a birthday address, officiate at the Coronation ceremony, and be honored at a congratulatory banquet in Korea; then board a plane to New York to address world leaders at the 2009 World Summit on Peace, conduct the Coronation ceremony, and officiate at the Interreligious Cross Cultural Marriage Blessing Ceremony in New York, all on January 31. Congratulatory letters to True Father on his 90th birthday were sent by numerous former national leaders, including former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, and former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
February 1, 1945
True Father Released from His First Imprisonment
True Father had been a student leader in Korean independence activities while studying in Japan from 1941 to 1943. He was interrogated numerous times and placed on a watch list. On returning to Korea, True Father took employment at the Kyeongsung branch of the Kashima Gumi Construction Company in Seoul’s Yongsan District while continuing his religious and independence activities. In October 1944, Japanese police stormed into True Father’s lodgings because one of his friends who had been arrested for being a communist had mentioned his name to interrogators. Once arrested and incarcerated at the Gyeonggi Province Police Station, True Father was subjected to brutal torture in an unsuccessful effort to have him reveal names of people who had worked with him while in Japan. In A Peace-Loving Global Citizen, True Father details the several types of torture. Police broke all four legs of a table against his body, stomped on him “mercilessly with their spiked boots,” beat him while he was being hung from the ceiling, and forced water down his esophagus. With the war winding down and unable to obtain information, the police released True Father on February 1, 1945. True Father noted, “My body did not recover easily from the torture.”
February 1, 1974
True Father’s Meeting with President Nixon
The “Watergate Crisis” gripped the United States following exposure of White House involvement with a break-in at the Democratic Party’s campaign headquarters during the 1972 presidential election. True Father was concerned that the crisis was weakening America in the face of communist aggression and issued an “Answer to Watergate” statement on November 30, 1973, which called upon Americans to “Forgive, Love and Unite.” True Father then launched a forty-day National Prayer and Fast for the Watergate Crisis (NPFWC). Unificationists conducted vigils, rallies, letter-writing and leafleting in all fifty states. At the National Christmas Tree lighting in Washington, D.C., in 1973, 1,200 pennant-waving, banner-carrying Unificationists from all over the country demonstrated in support of the president and garnered national attention. President Richard Nixon emerged from the White House later that evening to personally thank the Unificationists who were holding a candlelight vigil across the street at Lafayette Square. True Father subsequently was invited to the annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton Hotel on January 31, 1974. The next day, February 1, 1974, True Father had a twenty-minute meeting with President Nixon in the Oval Office of the White House. He reportedly told the president, “Don’t knuckle under to pressure. Stand up for your convictions.”
February 1, 1989
Segye Times Publishes Its First Edition
True Father founded the Segye (“universal”) Times to be the “window on the world” for the Korean people.
In 1988, following South Korean President Roh Tae-woo’s declaration of greater freedom and the Seoul Olympics, the number of newspapers in Korea doubled. True Father founded the Segye (“universal”) Times. He intended it to be the “window on the world” for the Korean people. According to True Father:
The last part of the 20th century is an age when the world is governed by the media. The power and responsibility of the media are becoming stronger than those of an atomic warhead or any military might. Accordingly, when the media put forward sound arguments based on a consistently true viewpoint about values, the media will become the standard-bearers of world peace. When they blind people with irresponsibility, wrong guidance and exhortations, the media will become a tool for the destruction of world peace.
Most of the established newspapers in South Korea increased their page numbers to make things difficult for the newly established papers. Due to the efforts of Unificationists, many from overseas, in newspaper distribution and the commitment of True Father, the Segye Times flourished. ROK President Kim Dae-jung participated in the paper’s 10th anniversary celebration in 1999, saying, “I set a high value on theSegye Times’ decade of efforts of capable journalism, and I hope it becomes prosperous as a worldwide newspaper, as its name implies.” It has since become one of Korea’s leading newspapers.
February 1, 1990
True Father’s 70th Birthday Celebration
True Father gives a speech about his 70 years of life.
True Father’s 70th birthday celebration was auspicious as it occurred when communism was crumbling. Ten years previously, in 1980, True Father refused to celebrate his 60th birthday as communism was on the march, especially in Latin America. Instead, he founded CAUSA International and engaged in an all-out campaign during the 1980s to halt its spread. By 1990, the Berlin Wall was open and the Soviet Empire was collapsing. True Father commented:
I am well known around the world as a leader in the anticommunist and victory-over-communism movements. The purpose for which I conduct a movement for victory over communism is not to kill communists but to liberate them with truth and true love so that they may live. This is the reason I am working to help the communist world today and rescue it from its current distress. For that reason, I have been welcomed even in the Soviet Union and China. Even Kim Il Sung in North Korea cannot be my enemy.
True Father celebrated his 70th birthday in the context of the Second Summit Council for World Peace and the Eighth International Conference of AULA (Association for the Unity of Latin America) held in Seoul. Twelve former heads of state and prime ministers, and 56 dignitaries including ambassadors, legislators, royalty and nobility from 20 nations, took part in a congratulatory banquet attended by 2,000 VIPs in all. In his banquet speech True Father said, “Never during my life did I even dream that someday when I lived to be seventy, there would be such a large banquet and so many distinguished guests would gather to congratulate me.” Two months later, the 3rd Summit Council and the 9th AULA International Conference would convene in Moscow simultaneously with the 11th World Media Conference. There True Parents met Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. This paved the way for expanded activities of the Unification Church there and, as some contended, the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union (later the Commonwealth of Independent States) and the Republic of Korea.
February 1, 2015
150,000 Receive Interfaith Peace Blessing in Philippines
The Interfaith Peace Blessing took place in the Philippines
On Feb. 1, 2015, the largest Interfaith Peace Blessing in the Philippines was held at the Marikina Sports Complex in Marikina City in the eastern part of Manila. An estimated 150,000 people, garbed in white, came from all over Metro Manila and neighboring provinces. From as early as 9 in the morning, participants started to arrive for the Blessing and continued until around 3 in the afternoon. Sun Jin Moon, who delivered the Blessing Address on behalf of her parents, UPF Founders Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, said: “All the couples in their white clothes! You look so noble and angelic. It feels as if we are in the true Garden of Eden: the garden of pure love and boundless joy!” Distinguished leaders from the Philippines and other nations, in particular the delegates from the Asian Summit in Manila City that had just finished, took part in the historic event which had the theme “Strengthening the Families, Rebuilding the Nations, Creating a World of Lasting Peace.” Former Prime Minister of Nepal His Excellency Madhav K. Nepal delivered a congratulatory message. Five-time Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives Honorable Jose De Venecia Jr. also delivered a very dynamic congratulatory message. He then encouraged Prime Minister Nepal to organize a large-scale Interfaith Peace Blessing event in Nepal, the nation where the highest peak of the world is located. Vice Mayor of Marikina City Honorable Jose Fabian Cadiz, representing Mayor Del De Guzman, welcomed all the participants. He expressed the full support of the Marikina City government for the noble activities being carried out by UPF around the world, especially in regard to the strengthening of marriages and families.
February 2, 1969
True Parents Begin the Second World Tour
True Parents began the Second World Tour on February 2, 1969. It would take them to 21 nations over a three-month period until May 2. The First World Tour in 1965 had the purpose of blessing Holy Grounds worldwide. The Second World Tour had as its major purpose giving the Holy Marriage Blessing to overseas members. This included 13 American couples, 8 couples in Germany and 22 couples in Japan, 43 couples in all. Their Blessing was connected with the 430 Couple Blessing in Korea the previous year. In addition to the Blessing, American Unificationists learned of “Victory over Communism” and CARP activities in Korea and Japan as well as economic enterprises. This had the effect of broadening the scope of activity in the United States. The tour also broadened the mindset of Unificationists in Korea. On March 15, just before departing the United States, True Father sent a widely circulated letter to members in Korea, conveying “something of what I have felt in America during the tour.” After detailing “many complicated problems” over which “America is in agony,” he wrote:
Contrasting American and Korean members, both have relative merits and demerits. I feel that Oriental customs are conservative, but that they do not break new ground, whereas the West is open, realistic and sociable.
From this, it is possible to say that the former is internal and passive, the latter, external and positive. There is no racial discrimination among Unification Church members. They are noticeably different from other groups. I think the intimate relationship that exists among members is unprecedented in history. It truly shows we are all brothers and sisters with one heart.
When we compare the American membership, comprising several different races, with the Korean membership consisting of one race, the former seem to have very promising prospects.
In saying that, I do not mean that only the West is good. I just think the reason is that America offers its citizens an environment through which they encounter many nations and cultures, and experience much more. Therefore, I hope that the Oriental members will go abroad and keep in frequent contact with other nations in the future.
True Mother was pregnant during the tour and gave birth to Hyun Jin Moon on May 10, 1969, eight days after returning.
February 2, 2000
American Century Awards
Under the auspices of The Washington Times, numerous dignitaries, including U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and Congressmen Henry Hyde, Danny Davis and A.C. Watts, joined 200 civic and political leaders to present True Father with a Lifetime Achievement Award for “Freedom, Faith and Family” on February 2, 2000. This followed the “America Honors Rev. Sun Myung Moon on his 80th Birthday” celebration on January 22, which was attended by numerous religious leaders. Unificationists understood that the two events “restored” the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus 2,000 years earlier by religious and secular leaders. In his speech “The Cosmos Is Our Hometown and Our Fatherland,” True Father said, “Our fatherland is wherever God can be found.” He further stated: “We no longer live in an age dominated by nationalism, or even in an age of globalism. These have already passed. National purpose and global concerns still exist, of course, but we now live in an age when the universe is to be united with one God.” Heaven and earth, he said, “should become a ‘house’ of true love.” Planet Earth, he concluded, “is the hometown of all humankind, and the spirit world is the eternal fatherland where all humanity will eventually arrive.”
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 January 27 – February 2.