Creating a World of Peace - The Thought and Works of Sun Myung Moon by Joon Ho Seuk
Volume 1 - The Life and Teachings of Reverend Sun Myung Moon [Part 5 / 20]
4. The Unification Church
On May 1, 1954, in Seoul, Reverend Moon founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (popularly called the Unification Church).
The church immediately attracted followers from a major Christian women's university, Ewha University, a school closely linked with the Korean government and with the mainline Protestant denominations.
Because many students were joining the church, the school sent professors to investigate. When several professors also joined, the school's administrators began to persecute the church. The university president ordered the professors and students either to leave the church or leave the school.
At the same time, newspapers in Seoul began to print alarming stories about the Unification Church, about sex orgies and Reverend Moon being a North Korean agent. Reverend Moon was thrown in jail, to be released weeks later when no evidence could be found.
Again in the following year, he was thrown in jail on charges of evading the military draft, even though during the time in question he had been in Hungnam prison. After several months of confinement, and sensational media coverage, the charges were dropped. His release received scant notice in the press.
Amidst this tribulation, Reverend Moon nurtured a growing community of faithful disciples. By 1957, churches were established in thirty Korean cities and towns. In 1958, the first missionary went to neighboring Japan; in 1959, the first missionaries arrived in America.
The Founding of the Unification Church
Testimony by David S.C. Kim at the Manhattan Center, New York, May 1, 1984.
On May 1, 1954, according to the dispensational timetable, centering on Father a trinity was formed including Mr. Eu, Mr. Lee and myself, who pledged to follow Father and his truth.
The next day, Father called us, and one other person residing in Seoul, and explained to us the need and purpose of starting an organization even in the midst of continuing persecution to Father and his early followers in both Pusan and Taegu.
Three names for the organization were given by Father to the four of us. Two of them were so complicated that we could not even comprehend the meaning of the Chinese characters.
Among the three names Father showed us we agreed to adopt the present name which is made up of eleven Chinese characters.
We translated these characters into English as "The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity" (HSA-UWC).
The objectives of the HSA-UWC were:
a) Our movement should unite all scattered Christian denominations throughout the world, without initiating a new Christian denomination.
b) Based on the unification of world Christianity, our movement should bring unity among all major religions of the past and present in order to build the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
On March 16, 1960, Reverend Moon was blessed in holy marriage to Hak Ja Han, a devout young Christian who had fled south with her mother during the Korean War and had joined the Unification Church.
The large weddings conducted by Reverend and Mrs. Moon represent the unity of humankind by joining together men and women of different races and nationalities.
Reverend Moon teaches that through the blessing, fallen men and women can be engrafted into the true lineage of God. The couples blessed by Reverend and Mrs. Moon accept God's call to establish ideal, God-centered families. The establishment of ideal families is the starting point for the building of a peaceful world.
Testimony by Mrs. Won Pok Choi in Today's World, January 1983, p. 24.
The heavenly Blessing followed, on April 11, by the solar calendar. The shabby old building which used to be a Japanese temple became the greatest historical place, because of Father's own Blessing. The paper screen doors between the rooms were all removed, giving more space. That building will be kept as a museum for all eternity.
Father and Mother marched towards a decorated stage, with all the members in white robes standing by on both sides. Father walked as though his path were strewn with flowers, bowing with his bride every seven steps. We were all very awe-struck; we were happy, but at the same time sad, because the place was so small for such a great event.
After making the last bow, they exchanged vows and rings; then Father and Mother went up on the stage. Facing the audience, Father announced his Blessing and offered a tearful, deeply touching prayer.