Chapter 2 The Unification Movement in Korea






1979 - The Completion of the Kingdom of Heaven through Home Church



The significance of this year, 1079 which not only marked the conclusion of the 1970s, but also indicated that three years of the third seven-year course remained was greater than that of any previous year, The motto for the year, The Completion of the Kingdom of Heaven Through Home Church, was therefore correspondingly meaningful and reflected the ultimate goal of God's providential history. The Home Church movement was  henceforth emphasized to be the concrete way to the realization of the Kingdom of Heaven.

In particular, this was a meaningful year for reflection on the past activity of the Unification Church. Such memorable events as the 12th God's Day, Reverend Moon's fifty-ninth birthday, the 20th Parent's Day, the 25th anniversary of the establishment of HSA-UWC (the quarter century anniversary), and the 20th Children's Day, all took place this year.

At the beginning of the year, to encourage members to actively participate in Home Church activity, there were events such as the church president's  district meetings, and training for the wives of church leaders. In America, the Home Church movement was actively and substantially promoted, members being encouraged to work in their Home Church areas for three hours per day. (Activities included organizing public meetings and use of printed materials.)

This year's missionary activity was somewhat quieter as individuals were asked to concentrate on Home Church activity. Members focused on witnessing and on harvesting the fruits from seeds previously sown and scattered.

CARP activities in America expanded centering on Jong-gu Park, of which members conferences, activities of the blessed wives mobile witnessing teams, and invitational professors banquets formed the core.

A variety of seminars to introduce the Unification Church to those dignitaries who has made some connection through the various mission activities, were held. Public presentations of the Principle were held for professionals, such as a theologians and attorneys, and meetings sponsored by the Unification Theological Seminary in America and New ERA (The New Ecumenical Association) attracted graduate students and theologians. Begun the previous year, in February, April, May, and December in 1978, a total of fifteen separate meetings were held at the Seminary in Barrytown, New York, and one in Bristol, England in 1979. Public presentation of the Principle for Koreans resident in America, sponsored by the Korean Evangelical Association (KEA), initiated in 1976 and chaired by Chung-hwan Kwak, were held on five occasions in 1979 (having been held twice in 1976 and seven times in 1977.)

An engagement ceremony for 705 couples was held in New York on May 11, and there were two reshuffles of personnel, on April  10 and on October 1.

Reverend Moon returned to Korea briefly on October 25 and flew back to America no November 3 after a busy few days.

In 1979, although missionary work was quiet, it faced internal as well as external difficulties. Representative of these were the "Myung-hi Kim Incident," the "Nam Dae Mun Church Incident," and the "Senate Hearings Incident." At the final verdict of the "Myung-hi Kim Incident," in which the church had filed suit for defamation of character on January 26, and prosecutors sought a prison term in a criminal proceeding, the June 8 verdict of the district court against him in the criminal trial was upheld on appeal, and Mr. Kim's own civil action was dismissed on September 7. He subsequently received a one-and-a-half year jail sentence.

With the "Nam Dae Mun Church Incident," protests by the Unification Church against Sa-hum Shin, who had been spreading groundless criticism of the church, reached the point where a confrontation between the two parties occurred. Equally unfortunately, this incident stirred the religious community in Korea into turmoil. The Christian churches, which had already been antagonistic to the Unification Church, hastily concluded that it was to blame for the incident, and thus persecuted the movement even more harshly than before by establishing a "Unification Church in Korea made two official announcements. These were an expression of protest against the misunderstandings and suffering of the Unification Church at the hands of professional critics who were ignorant of the true situation. Ultimately, the incident revealed the deplorable fact that the Darwinian principle of the survival of the strongest applied to the world of religion, and inspired reflection on the "Cain and Abel" principle that the Unification Church, in the position of younger brother, had to serve and attend the Christian churches, in the position of elder brother.

At a February 5 Senate hearing on new religions attended by representatives from the Unification Church, Senator Robert Dole's anti-religious agenda was exposed to the world. A statement of support from the National Council of Churches (NCC) in the USA, coupled with media criticism, contributed to preventing a damaging blow to the church.

In Korea, Myung-hwan Tak, who had made it his profession to criticize new religions, and who had been targeting the Unification Church relentlessly, published a formal statement of apology in seven major Korean newspapers on September 10, recognizing his mistakes, and determining never to propagate false criticism again.

Notable events this year included:

July 9: Public forum for the unity of the churches sponsored by the Supra denominational    Christian Association.

August 9: Public presentation of the Principle for the legal profession (Bahamas, 62 persons     for 40 days.)