To Liberate God’s Heart
This week in history, January 6-12:
- The Internal Revenue Service begins audit of the Unification Church (January 6, 1976)
- True Mother announces that Unificationists should address God as “Heavenly Parent” (January 7, 2013)
- True Father begins Cosmic Assemblies for the Settlement of the True Parents (January 8, 2012)
- Kazakhstan imprisons a Unificationist missionary (January 9, 2009)
- Rev. Yo Han Lee ascends to the spirit world at the age of 102 (January 9, 2019)
- The first National Missionary Training Workshop is held (January 10, 1959)
- CARP is established (January 10, 1966)
- True Father proclaims the Completed Testament Age (January 10, 1993)
- 72 couples receive the Holy Marriage Blessing (January 11, 1989)
- 1,275 couples receive the Holy Marriage Blessing (January 12, 1989)
- Dr. Bo Hi Pak ascends to the spirit world (January 12, 2019)
January 6, 1976
Internal Revenue Service Begins Audit of Unification Church
On January 6, 1976, Senator Bob Dole (R-Kansas) wrote a letter to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner stating that an audit of the Unification Church was needed.
Within days, the IRS began what Carleton 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 downtown 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. This eventually led to the indictment of True Father.
January 7, 2013
True Mother Announces that Unificationists Should Address God as “Heavenly Parent”
On January 7, 2013, True Mother announced that Unificationists should henceforth address God as “Heavenly Parent.” She made the announcement at a Leader’s Conference in Korea, stating that earlier ways of addressing God, such as “Yahweh” during the Old Testament period and “Heavenly Father” during the New Testament period, were now superseded as True Parents have completed providential history.
Unificationists have long understood the Holy Spirit to be the feminine aspect of God and Exposition of the Divine Principle, FFWPU’s core theological text, describes God as “the subject partner” with “the dual characteristics of yang and yin in perfect harmony.” The text also refers to God as “the harmonious union of masculinity and femininity.” The text’s doctrine of creation states that being created male and female is what it means to be created in God’s image and Unification Christology references True Parents as the horizontal manifestation of God as the “vertical True Parent.” “Heavenly Parent” has since become the most widely accepted way of addressing God within the Unification tradition.
January 8, 2012
True Father Begins Cosmic Assemblies for the Settlement of the True Parents
From January 8 to 15, 2012, True Father conducted rallies in eight Korean cities in which he proclaimed the conclusion and fulfillment of the providence of restoration during True Parents’ lifetime. He stated, “The path taken by the True Parents shall serve as a tradition and historic example” and asked that all “model your life course on this path, become families that pledge to inherit and fulfill the will of God that True Parents have already accomplished, and be true to this pledge.” His speech included the topics the Three Stages of Life, the Seonghwa Ascension Ceremony, One Family under God, the Mission of the Korean People, the Path Humankind Should Take, his Final Words for Humankind, the Proclamation of the Era of the Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind, and the Advent of the Era of the New Substantial Image.
January 9, 2009
Kazakhstan Imprisons Unificationist Missionary
Elizaveta Drenicheva (28) was jailed in Almaty, the second capitol of Kazakhstan, on January 9, 2009. She was sentenced to no less than two years behind bars in a district prison.
Elizaveta, a Russian citizen, joined the Unification Church in 1995 and started her missionary work in Kazakhstan in 2006. On July 2, 2008 at 6 a.m., KGB officers broke into the building of the Unification Peace Embassy to conduct a random search. They took away literature and computers. Elizaveta was also arrested. Other Unificationists at the embassy were asked not to leave the country. After two days Elizaveta was released and made to sign a written pledge not to leave the country as well.
On October 24, legal proceedings began. Elizaveta was accused under article 164, part 2 of the Criminal Code for “having violated the peace and security of humanity”; the basis of Elizaveta’s offense: that she had gathered four people for a seminar and, over the course of four days, had taught others about Unification Principles. It was an agent of the KGB under authorization of the office of the prosecutor who had infiltrated the seminar and reported Elizaveta. His report stated, “The materials presented contain a) propaganda demeaning persons for signs of their ethnic affinity; and b) propaganda demeaning persons for signs of their class affinity. Moreover it shows signs of harmful effects on individual, family, society, and likewise the moral integrity of the state.” Kazakhstan was heavily rebuked by various human rights defenders and NGOs for its restrictive measures on religious communities, as demonstrated in this episode. Due to international pressure, Elizaveta was finally freed on March 10, 2009.
January 9, 2019
Ascension of Rev. Yo Han Lee
In 1952, after True Father had written the Wolli Wonbon, Christian minister Yo-han Lee was the first male member to join the church. He was appointed as the first pastor in the Unification Church and began pioneering the church in Daegu and Busan. He served as the director of the Central Training Center, President of the Tongil Theology Seminary, and as an international itinerant missionary for over 67 years on the frontline to raise the members. He was the author of Faith and Life (1977), an important text that provided guidance to Unificationists on their lives of faith and a memoir, A Life Guided through Heavenly Love (2012).
Rev. Yo Han Lee ascended to the spirit world on January 9th at 4 a.m. at the age of 102. True Mother bestowed the title of “The Loyal Son Who Helped Open the Era to Firmly Establish the Heavenly Unified Korea” to Rev. Lee and wished him well in his ascension by blessing him with a World-level Seonghwa Ceremony. True Mother summarized Rev. Yo-han Lee’s life like this: “He lived well. He ascended well. He served well.”
January 10, 1959
First National Missionary Training Workshop
The First National Missionary Training Workshop, a 40-day Divine Principle workshop to raise up and prepare missionaries, was held January 10–February 20, 1959. The workshop occurred in the former headquarters church in the Cheongpa-dong district of Seoul. The training program to obtain skills needed to become missionaries attracted 207 persons. True Father offered a prayer to heaven, saying, “Please allow the participants here to feel God’s heart during this time.” Missionary Training Workshops continued until the 18th workshop. (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee)
January 10, 1966
Establishment of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles
The Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) was established inside the main hall of the church headquarters in Cheongpa-dong, Seoul, on January 10, 1966. CARP members from 26 universities in various countries participated in this event. Here, True Father said, “Our mission is to unify the democratic side and communistic side,” and determined that one member of CARP with a college degree or higher should be placed in each of the 2,400 villages in Korea. (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee)
January 10, 1993
True Father Proclaims the Completed Testament Age
After proclaiming the Completed Testament Age on January 10, True Parents toured the nation and spoke on this theme.
On August 24, 1992, at the first World Culture and Sports Festival (WCSF) and on the foundation of the Cold War’s end, True Father declared that he and True Mother “are the True Parents of all humanity … the Savior, the Lord of the Second Advent, the Messiah.” It was hard to imagine how True Father could proclaim anything more dramatic than that. However, he may have succeeded in doing so by proclaiming the beginning of a completely new historical epoch. In a speech, “The Reappearance of the Second Coming and the Completed Testament Era,” delivered at the Belvedere International Training Center, Tarrytown, New York, on January 10, 1993, True Father announced “the transition today to the Completed Testament Era.” Details as to the precise nature of the new epoch were as yet sketchy, but it was understood to involve a fundamental shift in the order of salvation. As one church leader explained, “Previously, religious organizations have always been centered upon the salvation of the individual, but we have now progressed to the salvation of the family.”
The implications of this were momentous. Essentially it signaled a radical new beginning for Unificationism and rendered all previous religious expressions, including that of the Unification Church, obsolete. Within a few years, the church began to reconfigure itself as a “Family Federation,” developed theological concepts and terminology reflective of the shift, and launched efforts to realize a restored and purified Garden of Eden. The gateway to the Completed Testament Age (CTA) was the Marriage Blessing Ceremony, which extended far beyond the Unificationist community during the 1990s. The immediate concern was to proclaim the message of the new age. On April 10, 1993, the statement “True Parents and the Completed Testament Age” was published in the newspapers of 160 nations. Then, in May 1993, True Parents began a tour of 33 U.S. cities under the same theme. True Mother spoke on Capitol Hill and in the United Nations, which served as a springboard to proclaiming the CTA message worldwide.
January 11, 1989
72-Couple Holy Blessing of Second-Generation Unificationists
Seventy-two couples made up of Unificationist-born young adults received the Marriage Blessing in January 1989. Together with the Blessing of the 36 Unificationist-born couples three years earlier, the victory of this Blessing, according to True Father, could be likened to the complete restoration of the 12 apostles and 72 disciples at the time of Jesus.
January 12, 1989
1,275 Couple Holy Blessing
1,275 couples received the Marriage Blessing.
True Parents blessed 1,275 couples from 87 nations on January 12, 1989. The ceremony was conducted at 2 p.m. in the Il Hwa Company compound in Yongin, Korea. The ceremony followed by one day True Parents’ Holy Marriage Blessing of 72 Unificationist-born couples at the Little Angels Performing Arts Center in Seoul. After the ceremony, representatives of the couples were mobilized into 43 groups of 10 each and spread out across Korea to support witnessing activities and, later, the distribution of the Segye Ilbo newspaper.
January 12, 2019
Ascension of Dr. Bo Hi Pak
Dr. Bo Hi Pak, who served as True Father’s special assistant and head of numerous providential organizations in America, ascended to the spirit world on January 12, 2019. Dr. Pak was one of the original Korean missionaries to the United States, arriving on March 14, 1961, to take up duties as Assistant Military Attaché at the Korean Embassy in Washington, D.C. During the 1960s, he founded the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation (KCFF) which sponsored the Little Angels’ performances in the United States and Radio of Free Asia (ROFA). Having been saved from certain death by U.S. led forces during the Korean War, Dr. Pak later said his motivation came from “an inner desire to serve God, humanity, and my two beloved countries of Korea and America.”
Dr. Pak was True Father’s chief translator, serving in that capacity at Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, Washington Monument, most public events and many sermons during True Father’s ministry in the U.S. In 1977-78. Dr. Pak testified before the Fraser Committee which was investigating the Unification Church, his dramatic testimony later documented in Truth Is My Sword. Dr. Pak played a major role as the founding President and/or Chair of CAUSA International, The Washington Times, the Summit Council for World Peace, the Association for the Unity of Latin America (AULA), the World Media Foundation and the Universal Ballet Foundation. He raised the leadership of “Top Guns” in the U.S. and was at True Father’s side when True Father met communist leaders Mikhail Gorbachev and Kim Il Sung.
After Dr. Pak’s ascension, True Mother bestowed on him the title, “The Loyal Son Who Helped Firmly Establish the Era of the Heavenly Unified Korea.” Ceremonies in Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Belvedere, Chicago, and Dallas, Texas occurred at the same time as Dr. Pak’s Seonghwa Ceremony in Korea.
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 6-12.