Dedicated to Peace
This week in history, October 15-21:
- True Father is indicted in America (October 15, 1981)
- True Parents visit the Marshall Islands (October 15, 2000)
- The Million Family March is held (October 16, 2000)
- The Rally for the Harmony and Unity of Heaven and Earth is held (October 16, 2002)
- Children’s Day is established (October 19, 1960)
- A post-9/11 conference is held (October 19-22, 2001)
- The first World Media Conference is held (October 20, 1978)
- True Father begins his journey on the Amazon River (October 20, 1997)
- Julia Kim ascends (October 20, 2014)
- 777 couples receive the Holy Marriage Blessing (October 21, 1970)
- A 7-day fast is held for Japanese wives of North Korean repatriates (October 21, 1974)
- The Middle East Peace Summit is held (October 21, 1990)
October 15, 1981
True Father Indicted in America
In 1976, Senator Robert Dole (R-Kansas) wrote a letter to the Internal Revenue Service commissioner requesting an audit of the Unification Church. Within days, the IRS began what journalist Carlton Sherwood, in his book Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon (Regnery Gateway, 1991), termed “the most intensive and expensive criminal tax investigation of any religious figure in U.S. history.” A squad of IRS agents took up permanent offices in the Unification Church’s New York headquarters, while a team of field agents began round-the-clock surveillance of selected church members and their telephones. In 1978, after two years of investigations, the IRS was unable to find anything that compromised the church’s tax exempt status but turned over to the New York District Attorney’s Office “certain anomalies” in Rev. Moon’s tax returns for the years 1973-75.
The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York pursued the matter aggressively despite the unanimous recommendation in writing from attorneys in the Criminal Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division that prosecution was not advisable. Two grand juries refused to indict True Father. It was highly unusual that a prosecuting attorney would convene a second grand jury once an initial grand jury had determined there was no case. However, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York took the almost unprecedented step of convening a third grand jury to get the necessary indictment on October 15, 1981. True Father was in Korea when the indictment was handed down. There was no extradition treaty between the Republic of Korea and the United States, so as long as he was in Korea, he would never have to appear in a U.S. courtroom. Some suggested that prosecutors intentionally announced the indictment when True Father was away, hoping he would not return. Yet, as soon as he heard of the indictment, True Father booked a flight back to America to face the charges and his accusers.
October 15, 2000
True Parents Visit the Marshall Islands
True Parents visited the Marshall Islands at the invitation of the Honorable Kessai H. Note, president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, beginning on October 15, 2000. The president accorded True Parents a state-level welcome. President Note and his wife previously had attended several conferences and events held by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). In fact, President Note, alone among the Marshall Island candidates for the presidency, attended an International Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., at the very time elections were being held. He found out he had been elected during the conference. Those who had declined the Washington invitation all lost! During their visit, True Father discussed his vision for establishing a school to educate youth from throughout Oceania. True Parents also spent a day fishing with the president. Their visit was a stepping stone toward what later would be declared as the Ocean Providence.
October 16, 2000
The Million Family March
Based on mutual contacts, Unificationists in Chicago had been interacting on a cordial basis with the Nation of Islam (NOI) since 1995. That year Minister Louis Farrakhan attended a FFWPU-sponsored True Family Values Ministry awards banquet. Unificationists reciprocated by attending several NOI events. In 1997, Minister Farrakhan attended “Blessing ’97” at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., where he offered congratulatory remarks and a prayer of blessing on behalf of the Muslim world. In 1998, Minister Farrakhan visited Korea, where he met True Parents and toured church-owned facilities. Later that year, he announced his intention to hold a Million Family March on October 16, 2000, five years to the day after the 1995 Million Man March. Significantly, he asked his directors “to work together with the leadership of the Family Federation.” This met resistance among some within NOI and FFWPU. However, three months prior to the march, True Father invited Minister Farrakhan to his residence, advising him that the event should be non-political, interreligious and interracial. A month prior to the march, True Father expressed hope that it would be “a turning point for racial reconciliation in America.”
The march went off smoothly. Thousands of families crowded the U.S. Capitol plaza and the National Mall, and there were no incidents. Minister Farrakhan preached family, ecumenism and brotherhood, at one point proclaiming, “I am a Christian. I am a Jew. I am a Muslim.” In his keynote address he offered “special recognition and thanks” to True Parents and conducted a Unification-inspired “Blessing” for several dozen international, intercultural and interracial couples immediately afterward. Dr. Chang Shik Yang, FFWPU continental director at the time, reported that FFWPU “mobilized about 2,000 members of the American Clergy Leadership Conference for this event,” including “a number of mainline denominational leaders.”
October 16, 2002
Rally for the Harmony and Unity of Heaven and Earth
On October 16, 2002, the northern Rally for the Harmony and Unity of Heaven and Earth was held for the settlement of Cheon Il Guk at the Guri Training Center, Gyeonggi Province. Around four thousand people, including key members and peace ambassadors, took part in this rally. The southern rally was held on October 20 at Sun Moon University and attracted around twelve thousand people. Through the speech “God’s Homeland and One World,” True Father emphasized, “It is humankind’s mission and responsibility today to find and restore the ideal world God had envisioned in the beginning but that was lost through the Fall.” (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)
October 19, 1960
Children’s Day Established
True Parents celebrate the 48th Children’s Day and cheer with their grandson.
True Father established Children’s Day at the former headquarters church at Cheongpa-dong in Seoul on October 19, 1960 (October 1 lunar). It was the second major Holy Day established by the church, following Parents’ Day, which had been declared on March 1, 1960 (lunar). Children’s Day signified the restoration of God’s direct lineage and opened the way for humanity to be engrafted into that lineage as God’s sons and daughters. Children’s Day continued to be celebrated annually according to the lunar calendar. At the 35th Parents’ Day in 1994, True Parents directed that the word “True” be placed before the names of the four major Holy Days (God’s Day, Parents’ Day, Children’s Day and Day of All Things). Thenceforth, the day has been observed as True Children’s Day.
October 19-22, 2001
Post-9/11 Conference on “Global Violence: Conflict and Hope”
The Global Violence Crisis and Hope assembly is held as a response to the tragedy on September 11.
Like the rest of the world, the Unification Church and its affiliated organizations were shocked by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. After a 12,000-Couple World Clergy Marriage Blessing Ceremony scheduled for September 22 at Madison Square Garden was canceled, a “Day of Prayer and Healing” prayer breakfast and rally were held in the heart of Manhattan. However, True Father did not consider this to be sufficient and convened a major gathering at the New York Hilton from October 19-22 to address “root causes and potential solutions to global violence.” Assembly 2001 was the second in a series of meetings sponsored by the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP) to address global problems. The event gathered some 400 political and religious leaders, media representatives, NGO representatives, scholars and peace activists from 101 nations, whom conference organizer Dr. Thomas Walsh congratulated for their “courage” in coming to New York.
Those attending included former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle; H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid, former president of Indonesia and head of the world’s largest organization of Muslims; the former presidents of Guatemala, Seychelles, Costa Rica, Belarus and Mongolia, and the former governor-general of Canada as well as many religious leaders such as Dr. Jerry Falwell, founder of Liberty University, Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, and Rabbi David Broadman, chief rabbi of two cities in Israel.
In his closing banquet address, “Let Us Discover the True Meaning of I,” True Father focused on human beings finding their “true” selves. This, he said, was possible only through “living for one’s family, nation, world and God.” In this way, “I” expands to ever more inclusive levels of “we.” Based on this vision of solidarity, True Father asked participants to go out to the world as “God-appointed ambassadors to realize world peace.”
October 20, 1978
First World Media Conference
In its sixth year, the World Media Conference, held in Cartagena, Colombia, was the largest and most successful gathering in its history.
Having experienced the “awesome power” of the media “to create or to destroy,” True Father established the World Media Association to advance the cause of world peace by championing freedom and moral responsibility in the press. The association convened the first World Media Conference in October 1978 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, under the theme “The Future of the Free Press.” Thirty-eight journalists from 16 countries participated. The association continued to sponsor World Media Conferences and associated “fact-finding” tours for journalists throughout the 1980s. The sixth conference, held in Cartagena, Colombia, in September 1983, brought together 600 media representatives from 92 countries. The conferences culminated in the 11th World Media Conference, which was held from April 9-13, 1990, in Moscow. The conference, jointly sponsored with the Soviet Union’s Novosti news agency, resulted in True Parents’ private audience with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
October 20, 1997
True Father Begins Journey on Amazon River
True Parents made South America a focal point of their work during the mid- and late 1990s. During a speaking tour of 23 Latin American nations in 1995, True Father emphasized the region’s “stunning and abundant potential,” noting that its “mountains, rivers and jungles hark back to the original state of creation.” Having purchased land in the Brazilian outback that would become New Hope Farms, True Father began exploring the Paraguay and Amazon Rivers in 1997. He pointed out that the Paraguay River divides the continent east and west and the Amazon divides it north and south, but that their sources were only four kilometers apart. He envisioned that area being preserved as a “place of encounter where God, people and all things meet in a New Eden.” He also envisioned representatives of the nations settling along the banks of the two rivers. In pursuit of this, True Father set out by boat on the Paraguay River in mid-summer. According to a travel companion: “Every 50 kilometers we set out a sign numbered on a stick. … It was not easy to do that, because it is swampy ground covered with growth, and we had to clear the area; walking through the water and getting bitten by bees and ants. We set 63 signposts along the Paraguay River.”
True Father speaks at New Hope Farm in Uruguay.
True Father did the same along the Amazon, beginning October 20, although given the vast stretches of river to be covered, he adopted a different strategy: flying to different sites and then renting boats in which to explore the river. True Father expressed admiration for the small villages and villagers whom he viewed as “pristine Adamic families.” The same companion noted that it was so hot and steamy” and “we all got blisters on our mouths” but that despite his exhaustion and the unbearable heat, True Father “continued to push us, saying that this is where we can build the Garden of Eden.” Following the stake-setting expeditions, the church began purchasing property along the Paraguay River for future development.
October 20, 2014
Julia Kim Ascends
Mrs. Julia B. Kim, the wife of Dr. Christopher Kim, ascended on October 20, 2014, in Seoul, Korea, after a long battle with illness. The Kims served briefly as continental directors of FFWPU in North America in 2008, after completing almost 20 years of service as the continental directors of the Asia region, where they led FFWPU in many nations from the early stages of pioneering to become a movement with national influence, planting churches and establishing schools, non-profits and related businesses. They traveled widely throughout Asia and established many church centers in the Philippines and Thailand. They received awards from True Parents for their outstanding contribution. Upon hearing the news of Mrs. Kim’s ascension, True Mother bestowed a calligraphy and instructed that she be buried at Paju Wonjon. Mrs. Kim joined the church in 1964 and received the Blessing with the 777 Couples in 1970.
October 21, 1970
777 Couples Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony
Rehearsal of the International Wedding Ceremony of 777 couples at Sutaek Ri.
True Parents presided over the first truly international Marriage Blessing Ceremony when they blessed 777 couples on October 21, 1970. As part of the 430 Couples Holy Marriage Blessing in 1968, True Parents blessed 43 non-Korean couples overseas in 1969. For the 777 Couples Holy Marriage Blessing, participants came from 10 nations to Korea. The Marriage Blessing was conducted at Seoul’s Changchung (Metropolitan) Gymnasium in the presence of over 15,000. True Father stated that this was the last Marriage Blessing that he would conduct “before globalizing my mission.” He noted that the 777 Couples Holy Marriage Blessing was the seventh following True Parents’ Holy Wedding. This Marriage Blessing lay the foundation for the Unification movement to work on the worldwide level. “What belongs to Korea,” he said, “can now belong to the world and vice versa.”
October 21, 1974
7-Day Fast for Japanese Wives of North Korean Repatriates
Protestors hold a 7-day fast on behalf of wives in North Korea.
True Father speaks at the conclusion of the 7-day fast.
Seven hundred Unificationists fasted for seven days in front of the United Nations in New York from October 21-27, 1974, to protest the treatment of Japanese wives of North Korean repatriates. True Father initiated the fast for humanitarian and providential reasons. He noted that Korean men living in Japan who married Japanese women and then repatriated to North Korea had “cheated” the wives who were “now ill-treated and persecuted under the regime.” In this connection, the Unification Church published a volume of testimonies from these women, If I Had Wings Like a Bird, I Would Fly Across the Sea, which publicized their plight. Apart from the humanitarian issue, Unificationists undertook the fast within the context of a North Korean proposal, which had gained traction in the UN General Assembly, that called for UN forces to be removed from South Korea. True Father stated that the fast’s purpose was to “make naked the evil reality of what they are doing in North Korea and in all the communist regimes.” Unificationists’ efforts continued after the fast, and on December 9, 1974, the UN General Assembly approved a U.S.-sponsored resolution providing for maintenance of the United Nations Command in South Korea.
October 21, 1990
Middle East Peace Summit
On August 2, 1990, forces under the command of Iraqi President Sadaam Hussein invaded and annexed the neighboring country of Kuwait. This was met with international condemnation, international sanctions and a coalition of the largest military alliance since World War II. All this was deeply troubling to True Father. Unknown to most, Unificationist organizations had cultivated contacts within the Muslim world since the early 1980s. The Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) and the Council for the World’s Religions (CWR) had convened several conferences of high-level Muslim religious leaders, including the grand muftis of Syria and Yemen.
True Parents meet the Grand Mufti of Syria during the Middle East Peace Summit.
In response to the Gulf Crisis, True Father was confident enough of his contacts in the region to call a Middle East Peace Summit in Cairo, Egypt, at short notice, beginning on October 21, 1990. In a “Message to Islam” read to participants, he stated, “The greatest imaginable tragedy would be for war to erupt between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East.” He urged all present to “live only for one goal, and that is, to protect and safeguard this situation against the possibility of a religious war.” Unificationists were not successful in averting the first Gulf War. However, Muslim leaders were impressed with True Father’s message. The grand muftis of Syria and Yemen agreed to send core followers to New York for a 40-day Inter-Religious Leadership Seminar (IRLS), and in 1992, 42 Muslim couples took part in a Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony officiated by True Parents. True Father termed the participation of Muslims “a miracle.” In effect, it broke the tribal barrier, enabling True Parents to extend the Blessing to persons other than Unificationists.
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 October 15 to 21.