The Words of Hyung Jin Moon From 2011

Hyung Jin Nim's New Year's Roundtable With Religion Reporters

Park Rok Sam
January 22, 2011
Seoul Shinmun reporter

The South Korean national daily Seoul Shinmun coverered International President Hyung Jin Nim's New Year's rountable with religion reporters and filed a report <> that is translated below by Tongil Foundation.

"May you receive Heaven's Blessing in the New Year."

Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, 32, international president of the Unification Church, placed his palms together and smiled with his well-formed face as he greeted us on entering the room in the Seoul Press Center together with his wife Rev. Yeon Ah Lee on Jan. 18 for a roundtable discussion with reporters from several media organizations. Wearing a white hanbok designed for daily living on his tall height of well over 180 cm, he sported a necklace bearing the Principle Mark of the Unification Church. His greeting was as exotic as his dress. "Heavenly Blessing," is the Unification Church style of greeting. Rev. Moon is the youngest son of Unification Church founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

"For a time I kept my head shaven, wore hanbok and became fascinated with Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy, and I experienced some pressure from within the Unification Church," Rev. Moon said. "The atmosphere was that I should choose one or the other, so now I let my hair grow but still insist on wearing hanbok," he said with an uncomfortable smile.

The Unification Church no longer uses the name "Family Federation for World Peace and Unification." It returned to using "Unification Church" in February 2010.

"We were upright in carrying on our lives of faith, but there were some on the outside who seemed to think we were trying to hide under a new name, and it was decided that we needed to be clear for our own sake as well," Rev. Moon explained.

Rev. Moon was born in New York, U.S.A., and mastered Catholicism and Buddhism before majoring in comparative religion at Harvard University. His interests also extended to the sacred texts of Confucianism and Taoism. This background has caused a new wind to blow within the Unification Church. He has included meditation as a major item in worship services and conducts 120 full bows so as to cultivate the depth of his self-reflection. He placed portraits of the four great saints in the worship hall as an expression of respect. He reorganized the church in terms of "genuine believers," or those who give donations and attend services each week, as opposed to the expansion of external appearance based on registered believers.

Respecting other religions … Avoiding hollow expansion for appearance

"Membership, which was at the 16,000 level in the 1970s, fell to around 11,000 in 1975, but was back up to around 19,000 at the end of last year," Rev. Moon said. "This year, I intend to visit the birthplaces of the four great saints and bring dirt back from those places," he said. His purpose is to carry out interfaith activity.

A True Peace and Unity Cheonbok Festival will be held from Feb. 3 to 9. This will be in celebration of Rev. Sun Myung Moon's birthday, and will include a debate on the existence of God. 

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