Sun Myung Moon’s Life In His Own Words
The former headquarters church in Cheongpa-dong as it looked in 1955
When I was put in Seodaemun prison through what we call the July 4 incident, everyone thought that the era of Mr. Moon was over. But that Mr. Moon, whom it was thought would disappear from Korean history, began anew, and today... At that time, they had the intention of striking, grabbing, trampling and erasing me. The established churches and the Korean government joined forces and did whatever they could to get rid of me.
Because I was found innocent and set free, a new history of the Unification Church began. Despite various investigations, there was nothing to warrant the charges and I was acquitted and released on October 4, 1955. After that, however, I still had to shrug off the opposition and make one new start after another.
If we had been defeated by those issues that the nation had raised against us, the problems would have become bigger and more serious. Because of my acquittal and release on October 4, we were able to make a new start, spiritually and practically, as our foundation to that point had not been lost. What if you looked at our church as it was, or looked at me as I was? From such a simple viewpoint we were not in a position of having regained everything that had been lost.
From that point, we had to reestablish our position. Christianity laid the foundation in the spirit world, and I must create a foundation that can work in place of that foundation. We must lay a foundation that is similar to that of Christianity's. The Unification Church is doing this.
Through the Unification Church, we have to establish a new foundation to influence the nation and unite the country and Christianity. That establishes a standard allowing us to reverse the effects of the opposition. To establish that standard, we must move forward and strengthen our spiritual foundation, and at the same time, establish a material base. Even though the Unification Church is still small, we cannot allow persecution by the nation and Christian churches to defeat us. Instead, we must endure and overcome difficulties.
God tried to protect Christianity by striking me. He tried to raise Christianity in Korea by putting me through hardship. When He protected me, he could not protect Christianity as well. God could not protect both. So, he left me on my own. By accepting all the persecution, I had to climb up to the position of an original man.
Therefore, the life I led in prison became the vertical foundation upon which to lay the individual foundation. In order to establish the vertical realm conveying God's heart in this hell on earth -- based on the vertical love of God -- I had to go to prison. From God's viewpoint this was the fastest way. I had to go into this situation and be victorious on the individual level. For me it was a fight between the physical body refusing to endure pain, and the mind. I needed to lead a life wherein I set my mind to the vertical standard and the body to the horizontal standard at right angles. In so doing, I had to give love. I had to love every- thing in that environment as I would my own brothers and sisters and stay imprisoned with members of the church family who represented God's desire for my own family. Therefore, instead of the parents, I needed to walk the path of the cross on the individual level. As an individual, I had to overcome the environment of the cross in my country.
Three months after my release, the prison superintendent, the section chiefs, the Christian chaplain and many other people visited the Unification Church. Did you know that? When they observed carefully, they found it was quite different from what the rumors depicted. At the time of my release, the superintendent and guards had come out to see me off. Some of the guards even followed me and joined our church. From this, you can understand that even if an enemy appears on the path Heaven is forging, that path will nonetheless be opened. In this situation, we must be united with God in order to become Abel. Do not think that you are alone, even when you are following a difficult path.
From what standpoint does God determine who is Abel? He determines this when someone is in the position where Satan cannot invade. Under what circumstances is Satan unable to accuse you? It is when you are becoming one with God, which doesn't occur in a joyful situation but in the saddest and the most difficult state. In other words, in the situation of one who dies, under the most miserable circumstances, you can become one with God. That is why true religion begins in prison. You need to know this.
Don't feel that you have been wronged if you are struck even though you are good. You should understand that through that incident, blessings can come to your from the four directions. This is the way I have lived my life. Even though Korea was in an uproar and made me serve time in prison in 1955, I only became stronger the more I underwent such treatment.
I came out better equipped than I'd been when I went in. Though it was a prison, to me it felt as if I had gone on a journey and come back.
God also treats me mercilessly. He thrusts me in with my head down and only watches and does not teach me anything until I come out. When I have found my way out, braced myself with a laugh and hurried on my way, He intervenes, asking, "Where are you going? Where?" God is masterful.
If you read newspapers from the time I was imprisoned and released, which was under the Liberal Party government, you will find the articles about the church interesting because they're filled with all kinds of rumors. Those papers are a golden treasure that no money could buy. Righteous patriots who had shed blood and sweat for justice and for their country and had lost sleep worrying about the 30 million Korean people were cornered, beaten and imprisoned by their fellow Koreans. Just wait and see. A time will come when the descendants of those persecutors can be rounded up and made to exhume their bodies.
Did you hear of my release? If you look in the newspapers, you will find only three lines written about it. Do you know how much blood and how many tears I shed to break my way through the false charges brought against me? The question was how we were to change our nationwide image. When we promoted the Unification Church, everyone opposed us and spread rumors about us. They caused legal problems and fights. When people went to the police station because of those problems the police would say, "The Unification Church is not like that," but everyone else in the nation thought it was. When the public saw that the police thought otherwise, people would say, "Who are these policemen? They have been bought off by the Unification Church." It became impossible to overcome the environment created by that vile propaganda.
Everyone, even higher-class people, such as professors and church leaders, took it to be the true that we had bought off the police. Pastors from various denominations spread bad rumors, even to my relatives and to every other person they met. No matter how much we explained, the explanations availed nothing. We had no option other than to carry on, with the rumors hanging over our heads, and gradually bring results. It will take decades for us to reach the level where we can be cleared of those rumors.
For this reason, I have lived under false charges in complete silence. I can digest them and make them into fertilizer. It is all historical. That is why in the future, if the Republic of Korea gives me access to a microphone at a broadcasting station and lets me tell the Korean people the truth for three days, all the people in the entire nation will clutch their midriffs and crawl on the floor, weeping. It is my conclusion that there is no way I can go to the next world if this world does not believe me.
They have squandered a huge blessing through which the blessed land, the kingdom of heaven, could be built in the world and be blessed by God. In fact, they have pushed me, kicked me, into the gutter. Christian ministers have punched, stepped on and done all kinds of other things to me. But did you ever hear of me making a public statement about this in my name, Rev. Moon of the Unification Church?
I was incarcerated in Seodaemun Prison and was made to endure all kinds of experiences before being found innocent and acquitted. At that time, all our church officials met together and said, Teacher, we're so exasperated; we can't endure this any more.
Korean Church President Hyo-won Eu was known for his peaceful, easygoing character, and yet the circumstances drove him to say venomously, "Let's gut those bastards." If I had given the word, they might have gone and attacked those men. But I persuaded them, saying, "God's love is not like that. It's not about striking first and taking by force, but involves the law of moving the hearts of others through love and bringing them to voluntary submission."
At that time, Rev. Eu and other officials tried to publish a public statement and take the offensive, but hey, do you think I didn't know how to take the offensive? It was the era of the individual, the era of war on the individual level. We had to go through the eras of the family, tribe and race. The truth was more essential than words and results more essential than making excuses. Results are solemn and yet serene. If something is right, it will turn out to be right in the end, and if something is evil, it will be determined in the end to be evil. A victory will in the end be a victory.
When I entered prison, I did not do so in shame but held my head high, and when I was released I did not offer prayers saying, "You! I will grow stronger, and then you will see. I will take revenge on you all." Instead, I prayed, "Father! Please allow me to visit this place again with laughter." That is the path Heaven follows, and God always protects people who follow that path.
The place in the midst of heaven and earth where the base for the salvation of the fallen world first emerged centering on the heart of the Father is this wretched and shabby Unification Church in Cheongpa-dong [Seoul's Cheongpa District]. How much pity we feel for God, who has come forward to dissolve all His sorrows, accumulated over six thousand years, when He looks at this place! When I look within myself in such circumstances, tears come to my eyes.
When you are entering this historic altar, you should start shedding tears as you cross the threshold. To me, this building is more precious than the most luxurious and glamorous house. Though there are cracks in it, those very cracks are the historical traces of the hardships of history. Looking at the scars on this house, you should think in your hearts, "Your injuries have not yet healed."
As you shed tears on this wooden floor, and offered prayers kneeling on this floor, did you ever feel that this was the very place of the fulfillment of God's desire that He has looked forward to for thousands of years? This is the very place that saw the joining together of the True Parents; an unprecedented event, the Holy Wedding ceremony, took place in this house.
It was also from here that all kinds of rumors began or passed through, because we did things never before seen in history. It was here that God's Day, Parents' Day, Children's Day, and the Day of All Things were established. Here the thirty-six couples and the seventy-two couples were blessed. It is historic.
History was wrought here. Even if the prince of the world is born, he is still born from a womb like anyone else. Regardless of what this house looks like, history was begun here. I am even thinking of making a model of this house and building one just like it in Chung Pyung or leaving it here as it is.
The more important the topic of your prayer is, and the more important the solution, the more your heart in prayer needs to be as if you were offering devotions from the headquarters church. You need to have a heart full of tears as you trace back the historical connection and background of the headquarters church from its onset until now. God will be with you when you do that. If there is someone praying in the headquarters church centering on the will of God, you should have the heart to pray from a position of greater loyalty than that person.
The headquarters church is an important holy ground connected to the one hundred and twenty holy grounds in forty nations. What are the holy grounds in Jerusalem, Busan and Cheongpa-dong? The first is the holy ground of the son, and this is the holy ground of the mother and the father. Which is more important, the holy ground of the mother and father or the holy ground of the son?
Cheongpa-dong will not end as it is right now. In the future, wherever Unification churches are built, innumerable members will love Korea as their original homeland and their fatherland and come to visit it. They will come here yearning for this very place, Cheongpa-dong. Even when you go to visit Jerusalem to see the place where Jesus was born or the Mount of Olives, you will see that it is a nondescript place with nothing but olive groves running wild and rocks strewn about, but that's not a problem.
You completely renovated the headquarters church while I was not here. I felt bad about that. I was doing a tour, but I even sent a telegram commanding you to stop right away. This place is a historical relic. It's a historic memento.
Anyone who knows the providence will find his way here, knowing it encompasses history.