Unveiling Love and Truth
This week in history: August 24-30
- True Father hosts the World Tuna Tournament.
- True Parents conduct the International Holy Wedding Ceremony of 30,000 couples (1992) and 360,000 couples (1995).
- World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts is finished and unveiled.
August 24-30, 1980
True Father Hosts World Tuna Tournament in Gloucester, Massachusetts
True Father considered the ocean to be a solution to world hunger and a key to future human survival. He also wished to revitalize American seaports and spoke of the need for youth, especially inner-city youth, to be exposed to the challenges and excitement of sea-going life. An early effort to stimulate interest and excitement was the “World Tuna Tournament,” which the Unification Church sponsored in Gloucester, Massachusetts, from August 24 to 30, 1980. Total prize money was $100,000: $70,000 for first prize, $20,000 for second, and $10,000 for third, the largest cash prizes ever awarded in a tuna-fishing tournament. The tournament was controversial, given the negativity toward the Unification Church in the United States at that time, and many Gloucester fishermen boycotted the event. Nevertheless, 88 boats entered, 15 of which were part of the churches’ fleet. In the end, True Father’s New Hope boat won first prize, which was donated to charity. The World Tuna Tournament was a stepping stone toward the establishment of “Ocean Church” later in the year.
August 25, 1992
International Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony of 30,000 Couples
True Parents conducted the International Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony of 30,000 Couples in the Seoul Olympic Stadium on August 25, 1992. It was the centerpiece of the first World Culture and Sports Festival (WCSF), held from August 19 to 30, and the largest Marriage Blessing ceremony yet conducted by True Parents. True Father stated that it marked the beginning of the worldwide Marriage Blessing era through which anyone, regardless of religion, could be blessed. He also noted that it occurred in the year that True Mother stepped forth as a public figure. Afterward, True Father announced that True Parents would conduct a Marriage Blessing for 360,000 couples.
August 25, 1995
International Holy Marriage Blessing of 360,000 Couples
True Parents took a major step forward in the August 25, 1995 International Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony of 360,000 Couples, which was the central event of the second World Culture and Sports Festival, held August 20 to 27. The main site was at Seoul Olympic Stadium where 36,000 couples and additional onlookers gathered. The remaining couples were linked simultaneously to the main ceremony at more than 500 satellite locations in 160 nations. True Parents extended an invitation to people of all religious persuasions to participate in the Blessing. As pointed out by Dr. Tyler Hendricks, president of the Unification Church in the United States at the time, “The Blessing isn’t about changing your religion but about changing your character.” For many thousands of previously married couples who participated in the International Holy Marriage Blessing of 360,000 Couples, the Blessing was both a blessing of their existing marriage and a public expression of their commitment to God, humanity and each other.
August 27, 1991
Unveiling of World Scripture
A highlight of the Inaugural Assembly of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace was the unveiling of World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts. Commissioned by True Father at the first Assembly of the World’s Religions in 1985, the nearly 1,000-page text required the labors of more than 40 scholars and religious leaders from every faith. World Scripture compares passages from the sacred writings of the world’s great religions as they deal with all the significant issues of life: God, the purpose of life, sin, salvation, and the spiritual path, and demonstrates that there exists a vast sphere of spiritual common ground. The text was edited by Dr. Andrew Wilson, professor of Biblical Studies at Unification Theological Seminary, and contains over 4,000 passages gathered from 268 sacred texts and 55 oral traditions. Religions represented include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Baha’i Faith, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Unification Church , among others. Scriptural texts are gathered around 165 topics and concerns shared by most or all religions.
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 August 24 to 30.