Ancestor of Witnessing”
Rev. Yo Han Lee Visits UTS

At a time when the Seminary community is reaching out to Christian ministers, it was very appropriate that on Wednesday, February 19, UTS received a visit by the first Christian minister to join the Unification Church. Reverend Yo Han Lee first met Reverend Moon in 1952 and, as Dr. Mickler pointed out in his introduction, “Rev. Lee has known True Parents for 44 years, twice as long as the entire history of UTS!” Dr. Mickler also referred to “An Account of Father’s Life” by Martin Porter, in which the introduction of Reverend Lee to the Divine Principle is recorded in the testimony of a Mr. Yoo. “The next year, Minister Lee came in, the first male member in the South. Before he came into the Principle, Minister Lee was a special man. Many people around him were thinking that he might be Jesus and he received many messages from God. These two members, Mrs. Kang Hyun Sil and Minister Lee, are ancestors of witnessing.”
During a lunch-time conversation and an afternoon address, Reverend Lee spoke about his early years leading up to his meeting with Reverend Moon. He was born in September 1916 to a Christian family and while attending elementary school in Japanese-occupied Korea, his Christian faith caused him to refuse to worship at a Shinto shrine established by the Japanese. “The teacher took our class to this shrine but I prayed, asking ‘If Jesus Christ was in my position, would he do this?’ Then my body couldn’t go forward to the shrine.”
Rev. Lee’s family later moved to China. He wanted to work in the embassy there but to do this he would need to learn Japanese so he moved to Japan where he studied at Tohoku Theological Seminary. He stayed there for one year before the question of worshipping at a Shinto shrine rose again. This was the period of the Second World War, a time when Koreans in Japan were given the choice of continuing to study or working in the military industry. He therefore chose to work in a factory but kept his faith and still observed Sunday service. He was still viewed with suspicion by the Japanese government, especially when the US Air Force began to bomb the factory with great accuracy. “I was suspected as a spy,” he said. “At the end of the war, everyone around me was sad but I was very happy but I had to hide it.”
When he returned to Korea after the war, Rev. Lee found a society filled with eager anticipation. “In 1946, the Korean churches believed that the Lord of the Second Advent would come at any moment. The New Testament era was over.” It would still be several years, however, before he would meet Reverend Moon. “During the Korean War, I went to Pusan and the following year, Father came there also.” On December 1, 1952, Rev. Lee entered the small hut where Father was living. “I found a young man sitting there and he said ‘This is a very special day.’ He already knew everything about me and I immediately felt a sense of closeness with him. When he explained why God did not intervene in the Fall, I was so surprised - I had not even asked myself that question!” Reverend Lee brought several other people to listen to this young man. “The services were very tearful,” he said. “We knew that he had some special mission.”
Reverend Lee urged the UTS students to take advantage of their time in Barrytown by developing their love and care for others. “Love means having someone who respects you and always wants to be with you. Can you cry for someone else’s sin? Are you sharing your neighbor’s difficulties? This is the place to build a foundation to fly based on true love,” he said.
Reverend and Mrs. Lee were among the 36 couples blessed in May 1961 and they have two sons and a daughter. Reverend Lee was recently appointed as National Messiah of Sweden.