In Pursuit of Cosmic Peace
This week in history, February 10-16:
- The Central Training Center is founded (February 10, 1970)
- The first Victory over Communism Rally is held (February 10, 1978)
- Toru Goto is freed from captivity (February 10, 2008)
- Ceremony marks publication of The Sermons of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon (February 11, 2000)
- Heaven G. Burger Dedicated (February 11, 2016)
- True Father arrives in America for the first time (February 12, 1965)
- The 2014 Cosmic Blessing Ceremony is held (February 12, 2014)
- 400 million couples receive the Holy Marriage Blessing (February 13, 2000)
- The Cheon Il Guk Constitution is proclaimed (February 13, 2014)
- True Parents’ 32-City Day of Hope speaking tour begins (February 15, 1974)
- International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) established (February 15, 2016)
- True Father sends a letter and videotapes to 300,000 U.S. ministers (February 16, 1985)
- The third phase of the 400 Million Couples Holy Blessing is held (February 16, 2002)
February 10, 1970
Founding of the Central Training Center
The Central Training Center was founded in Sutaek-ri, Guri city, Gyeonggi Province, on February 10, 1970. The “A” building was completed twenty-eight days after construction began. True Parents named the facility the HSA-UWC Central Training Center. Countless Unification Movement members and non-member leaders have been educated at this site, and it is still serving as one of the Family Federation’s most important educational facilities. (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee)
February 10, 1978
The First Victory over Communism Rally
The first Victory over Communism (VOC) rally was held in Suwun Hall in Seoul on February 10, 1978. With 134 foreign participants and over a thousand citizen-guests, the rally was successful. Dr. Sang Hun Lee, author of the VOC text, explained the significance of the rally, which was held to make a resolution to protect the Republic of Korea, one of the most ardently anti-communist countries in the world. Korean President Park Chung-hee and U.S. President Jimmy Carter sent congratulatory messages. (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee)
February 10, 2008
Toru Goto Freed from Captivity
Mr. Toru Goto, the world’s best-known survivor of coercive conversion in Japan, was freed from incarceration in a Tokyo apartment on February 10, 2008, after twelve years of confinement by family members. After three hunger strikes and “slow starvation” imposed on him for failing to acknowledge “issues” of the Unification Movement, his family ordered him out of the apartment due to fear that he would carry out another hunger strike and starve to death. Mr. Goto had no money and was physically debilitated. Barely able to walk and wearing a light sweater, he feared he would freeze to death before morning. Fortunately, after being refused help at a police station, he encountered a Unificationist who helped him get to church headquarters. Around midnight he was taken to Isshin Hospital, where he was diagnosed as suffering from severe malnutrition as well as generalized muscular weakness, muscular atrophy, and anemia. He finally was discharged from the hospital on March 31. He later noted, “I was continuously confined in a small room from the time I was 31 years old until I was 44 years old [12 years and 5 months]. They deprived me of not only my freedom of religion, freedom of marriage, freedom of choice in employment, freedom of movement and freedom of vote, but they denied and violated my human dignity. They spoiled my precious life. I continued to endure criticism, smear and defamation which degraded my humanity, and also physical violence in the confinement room. I endured forced starvation, while I was continuously pressured to withdraw from the church.”
February 11, 2000
Ceremony Commemorating the Publication of The Sermons of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon
The publication of The Sermons of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon was marked by a ceremony on February 11, 2000, in the Little Angels Performance Hall that was attended by 1,500 people. The ceremony occurred on the occasion of the publication of the 300th volume of True Parents’ sermons. Hangeul Foundation Chair Han Gab-su and Korean Publishers Association President Na Chun-ho gave congratulatory remarks. True Parents donated the books to the National Assembly Library, the Gangnam Library and the University Library. To date, more than 600 volumes have been published. Other collections of their messages, such as Cheon Seong Gyeong, Pyeong Hwa Gyeong and Cham Bumo Gyeong, have been published based on this collection of sermons. (Courtesy of History Compilation Committee)
February 11, 2016
Heaven G. Burger Dedicated
During the 1970s speaking tours and afterwards, True Parents discovered the American hamburger. In his autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen (2009), True Father wrote, “The meal I enjoy the most in America is McDonald’s. Some people call it junk food and don’t eat it, but I like eating at McDonald’s for two reasons. It’s cheap and it saves time … The message I give members every year is spend money carefully and conserve on everything… I want them to have the consciousness of conserving in order to help the country and save humanity.” (336-37)
According to Sun Jin Moon, “For True Father, who was always on the go, the hamburger was the perfect 5-minute meal.” Combining hearty beef, nutritious vegetables and delicious bread, it was “an entire meal packed in a simple, easy-to-eat package.” She noted, “True Mother has fond memories of those times. So, with “Heaven G. Burger,” True Mother is sharing some very heartfelt memories from the early days of our movement, especially pioneering days in America.”
The “G” in its title means “gung” or palace. The two-story site was previously the location of a water-purification facility. At its dedication, True Mother prayed, “This place that we are offering you today is situated at the center of this holy ground like the yolk of an egg … allow your blessing upon it so it may become a place where people can come and foster dreams that are full of hope and happiness.”
February 12, 1965
True Father Arrives in America for the First Time
True Father established the first Holy Ground in the United States on Twin Peaks overlooking San Francisco.
From its earliest days, the American Unification movement anticipated the imminent arrival of True Father. Miss Young Oon Kim, the first church missionary to the United States, expected True Father’s arrival with Mr. David Kim in September 1959 and out of her meager funds rented an apartment and purchased bedding and other items. The original Bay Area group anticipated his arrival in the spring of 1961 and purchased a camper. The same expectation was a focus of the American church in 1964. Members throughout the country began a “High Noon Prayer Vigil” in anticipation, and by November word came that “Time is growing short.” True Father departed from Korea for his first world tour in January 1965. After spending two weeks in Japan, he left for America. Miss Kim, who accompanied them to Japan, departed ahead of them to prepare Americans for his visit.
Three days later, True Father established the first Holy Ground in the United States on Twin Peaks overlooking San Francisco. In the next forty-four days, he traveled by car to all forty-eight contiguous states, setting up a total of fifty-five Holy Grounds. True Father’s first visit to the United States lasted nearly five months, until July 1, 1965, when he departed for Europe.
February 12, 2014
Cosmic Blessing Ceremony
On February 12, 2014, some 20,000 couples from 194 countries said, “I do” at a Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony that spanned the globe. True Mother officiated the 2014 Cosmic Blessing of 2,500 couples—including 50 couples from the United States—at the Cheongshim Peace World Center in South Korea. It was conducted on the first anniversary of the Cheon Il Guk Foundation Day Commemoration Ceremony. In the United States, couples took part via satellite in local ceremonies from Seattle to New York.
February 13, 2000
First International Blessing of 400 Million Couples
400 million couples receive the Holy Marriage Blessing.
Many Unificationists expected that the Holy Marriage Blessing of 360 Million Couples of 1999, which focused largely on previously married couples, would be the final Marriage Blessing in the sequence of international wedding ceremonies conducted on a global and mass scale. Unificationists, therefore, were surprised when True Father announced a 400 Million Couple Blessing to be conducted in conjunction with his 80th birthday, on February 13, 2000. They were more surprised to learn that the 400 million were to be “matched couples only.” True Father envisioned that the 400 million “Youth Blessing,” in conjunction with the 360 Million Couple Blessing of 1999, “will influence the entire human race.” In America, Unificationists targeted school graduations, movie theaters, ball parks, beaches, fairs and other places where young people congregated, passing out “Pure Love Pledge Cards.” The “Pure Love Pledge” called on young people to refrain from all sexual relationships before marriage; to respect and honor the ideal of purity in themselves and others; to learn how to practice pure love as a child, friend, spouse and parent; to dedicate themselves to absolute fidelity within marriage; and to encourage others to do the same. Legions of female Unificationists from Japan helped in the work. True Parents conducted Blessing 2000, as they had in 1999, before a packed Seoul Olympic Stadium. Representatives from ten world faith traditions pronounced blessings, and the event, coordinated with the 2000 World Culture and Sports Festival, was a spectacular success. However, it was apparent that “matched couples” still made up a minority of the Blessing participants. True Father, therefore, designated it “Phase One” of the 400 Million Couple Blessing. Successive phases followed over the course of the next decade.
February 13, 2014
Proclamation of the Cheon Il Guk Constitution
Hyo Jin and Heung Jin Moon’s families dedicate the Cheon Il Guk Constitution.
The Constitution of Cheon Il Guk, which outlines the system and the standard of Cheon Il Guk, was dedicated and proclaimed on February 13, 2014. After Cheon Il Guk Foundation Day in 2013, True Mother directed that the Cheon Il Guk Constitution be established quickly and commissioned a Legislative Committee to complete the draft. The committee reviewed constitutions of eight nations and eleven religious denominations. Over the course of eight public hearings involving 1,035 persons from 21 nations, the Constitution was prepared for presentation on the first anniversary of Foundation Day. Consisting of nine major sections, the Constitution is intended to establish the laws, principles and guidelines that will serve all the people of Cheon II Guk to actualize God’s peaceful ideal world. In addition to proclaiming the Constitution, True Mother announced the 12 Supreme Council members who will comprise the legislative body under the Constitution of Cheon Il Guk.
February 15, 1974
True Parents’ 32-City Day of Hope Speaking Tour Begins
True Parents’ public speaking tour of 32 mid-sized cities of the United States began on February 15, 1974, in Portland, Maine, and concluded on April 21 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The speech that True Father gave throughout the United States, “The New Future of Christianity,” contained the statement “For the realization of God’s will, the returning Lord will not come on the clouds.” True Father also said that Jesus died when he did because John the Baptist failed to fulfill his responsibility. (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)
February 15, 2016
International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) established
In her keynote address read before more than 340 international delegates from 60 nations at the Korean National Assembly, True Mother called on participants to establish “an international association of parliamentarians dedicated to peace.” The meeting was part of a special International Leadership Conference (ILC) convened from February 12-16 to discuss the theme, “Addressing Critical Challenges of Our Time: The Role of Governments, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations.”
True Mother stated, “If parliamentarians of the world join together in harmony and cooperation for the sake of peace, we can transform the current reality of our world, creating a world of joy, harmony and lasting peace … You are the representatives of the 7 billion people of the world. If you join together in this way, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”
Korean leaders, including the Chairman of the National Assembly, Vice-Chairman of the National Assembly and Chairman of the Korean Council of Foreign Relations supported the establishment of IAPP in their congratulatory addresses. Those present signed a resolution to establish the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace. True Mother called on the Universal Peace Federation to carry out a series of International Leadership Conferences in eight regions of the world to promote and launch IAPP. These culminated in the inaugural World Assembly of IAPP, convened at the Lotte World Hotel, Seoul on February 4, 2017.
February 16, 1985
True Father Sends “Letter from Danbury” and Videotapes to 300,000 U.S. Ministers
Dr. Bo Hi Pak led Unificationists at Belvedere in a farewell gathering hours before True Father departed to Danbury Correctional Facility in 1984.
In August 1984, shortly after his incarceration in the Federal Correctional Institution at Danbury, Connecticut, True Father proposed that Unificationists produce and distribute sets of videotapes explaining the Unification Principle for Christian ministers throughout the United States. Originally the plan was to offer 30,000 videos to 30,000 ministers and to ask each of them to share their tapes with ten other ministers and with their congregations. By October, American Unificationists had distributed more than 30,000 tape sets. True Father felt that was not enough. So it was decided to distribute videotapes directly to 300,000 ministers. It required several months to produce, duplicate, label and package the videotapes, which was done entirely in-house. New Future Films worked with 25 staff members around the clock in areas set up on the sixth, eighth and tenth floors of the World Mission Center (New Yorker Hotel) with 800 video-copying machines in continuous use. The crew managed to turn out 900 tapes daily. Another 23 members worked in the shipping department. Packets included three 120-minute-long videotapes on the Unification Principle, a brochure and booklet about the Unification Church, an Outline of the Principle text, a book of True Father’s talks titled God’s Warning to the World, and True Father’s personal “Letter from Danbury.” Twenty-eight tractor-trailers were required to ship all 300,000 packages to the mailing location. The project was completed on February 16, 1985. True Father stated, “I feel very good because that is all done now; that was an incredible operation.”
February 16, 2002
400 Million Couples Holy Blessing, 3rd Phase
On February 16, 2002, True Parents blessed some 4,000 couples at the Olympic Fencing Gymnasium in Seoul. This was the main ceremony of the third phase of the International Holy Marriage Blessing of 400 Million Couples. Simultaneous ceremonies were held in locations around the world. The Blessing culminated the eighth World Culture and Sports Festival (WCSF) which was convened under the theme “Toward a World Culture of Peace of a New Dimension.”
February 17, 2010
True Parents Officiate the 1.4 Cosmic Blessing Ceremony
True Parents officiated the “1.4 Cosmic Blessing Ceremony” at the Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX), located in Ilsan, South Korea, on February 17, 2010, or the fourth day of the first month of the Heavenly Calendar. Referred to publicly as the Interreligious Cross-Cultural Holy Wedding Ceremony, it was broadcast via the Internet to 192 nations. Including the 7,000 couples present at the event in Korea, a total of 43,000 brides and bridegrooms participated worldwide. Special congratulatory prayers were given by leaders representing the world’s major religions, including Catholicism, Buddhism, Protestantism, Islam, Shintoism and Hinduism.
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 February 10–16.