A History of the Unification Church in Canada: 1965-1991

by Franco Famularo

Part III - Decentralization: 1989-91

Although there was no formal announcement declaring the beginning of a new phase in the development of the Canadian Unification Church, several factors accelerated the decentralization of the church. Aside from new leadership, the response of the general membership to the changes is a factor that shouldn't be overlooked. There were those who tried to hold on to the past, while there were others who sought to break completely with any remnants of the previous period.

At the beginning of 1989, the church in Canada consisted of approximately one-hundred full-time members and roughly four-thousand people who had signed associate membership. This number did not take into account the substantial number of members who had earlier joined in Canada but had moved to other parts of the world, due to such reasons as, new missions in the United States, and joining spouses that resided in countries other than Canada. A new element for the church was the ever increasing number of offspring. This was an area in which Unificationists were rather fruitful. By 1991 there were almost one hundred children of Unification Church members in Canada as well. Five years earlier, most of the members had been single and unattached.

A considerable number of members were spread out rather thinly across the vast Canadian landscape. Reinforcement did come during this period as a result of the earlier mentioned, "Hometown Providence". As noted, many Canadians joined the Unification Church in America and in Western Europe and some slowly made their way back to their native land, usually with spouse and children in tow. When all factors are considered the issue of time involvement and active participation in church projects became a serious problem. This was evident when outreach projects were initiated and financial affairs of the church were addressed.

Main areas of consideration in this section are, the interim period, the introduction of new leadership, financial difficulties resulting from the change in church structure, the rise of the Quebec City chapter and most importantly the impact of Rev. Moon's visits in 1991, which led not only to a further decentralized movement, but to the regionalization of the church in Canada as a whole.

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