The Words of Hyung Jin Moon From 2010

Unificationism President Hyung Jin Moon visits Europe, addresses challenge of Islam and modernism

Christopher Davies
September 3, 2010

"If Europeans are concerned about the influence about Islam in Europe, they need to consider setting a higher standard in their lives, maybe praying eight times a day in contrast with Muslims praying five times a day, it doesn't matter for long and not as a competition," said Rev. Hyung Jin Moon at a meeting of 1,200 Unification Church members on Sunday, August 29 in Limburg Town Hall, Germany.

Rev. Moon is the international president of the Unification Church and the Family Federation for World Peace and has been designated by his father Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church and many affiliated organizations, as the person to carry on his religious work.

Prior to arriving in Germany, Rev. Moon, had visited Italy and France and had been shocked to hear "in France you cannot talk about God in public, you have to keep your religion at home. There are many people in Europe who are not happy with secularism and modernism, but while Christians have allowed God to be excluded from public life Muslims are very clear about God and their prayer life. They understand clearly that Jesus was a man, not God; and they are very clear that they will not let anyone walk on them about their faith. That is what Christians and Unificationists should be doing. Muslims want to see if they can respect us; how serious is your faith? In much of Europe, Christianity was fading when God sent Islam in the seventh century."

Rev. Hyung Jin Moon and the Unification Church Hyung Jin Moon was born in New York and is the seventh and youngest son of Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. He and his wife Yeon Ah Lee now live in Seoul, Korea and conduct a number of religious services in both Korean and English each weekend at the recently opened Unification Temple there, a major feature of which is a prayer room that includes four paintings honoring the four great saints or religion founders Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Confucius. This was Hyung Jin Moons' first visit to Europe, prior to which he participated in a Universal Peace Federation Middle East Peace Initiative program in Jerusalem and addressed a "Rally for Substantial Peace", which followed similar events held in Seoul and New York in July.

Rev. Moon received his BA from Harvard University and an MA from Harvard Divinity School; and when studying at the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions, he met the leader of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, the Venerable Bub Jang, and pursued an interest in Buddhism, which he studied and practiced in earnest. He has met and shared with the Dali Lama. He later explained that after growing up in the West in a Christian environment, he wished to understand more about the Eastern spiritual tradition. He is also highly skilled in martial arts, which he has practiced since he was young.

In his sermons, Rev. Moon often quotes extensively from many scriptures, and in Germany mentioned that he wished to further study the world's religious scriptures in their original language, in order to more deeply understand the spirituality behind each religion.

He told his audience in Limburg that at Harvard he had studied all the major religions and also newer religions, including Mormonism, Bahai, Soka Gakkai and Unificationism. He said the information on Unificationism had been very fair and positive, including Father's meeting with Jesus (Unificationists refer to Rev. Sun Myung Moon as Father, shortened from True Father, sometimes True Parent/s, a number of Christian ministers refer to him as Father Moon), his being tortured and in prison, his now working with heads of state; it had been so positive, unlike anything he'd ever seen before (outside of Unification Church publications).

He said that while members might think their numbers were small, God had been good in bringing them to this point. No other religion in history had spread to a world level while the founder was alive, whether he be Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, or, more recently, the founders of the Bahai and Mormon faiths: the success of the Unification Church was "unseen in history",

The power of prayer

He had wondered what was the real power behind his father's success. He was sure it was due to the power of his prayer life and he suggested that his audience study Jesus' teaching on prayer. Matthew, Chapter 6 records Jesus giving The Lord's Prayer, and Rev. Moon suggested that he was not simply teaching his disciples a prayer to recite by rote, but was giving his disciples a pattern or formula for prayer.

After asking everyone to say the prayer with him, Rev. Moon noted that it started with "Hallowed be Thy Name, then "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done". We needed to first praise God, then pray that His will be done. A relationship with God was a gift and could only be effective on God's terms. After we had started this way, we could pray for "our daily bread" and to be forgiven and able to forgive others, and not to be led into evil.

People often thought of God as a vending machine, to be kicked a couple of times if the candy didn't come, but that didn't work. And, he asserted, Father Sun Myung Moon's heart and teaching went even further: after praise, he prayed for the world, nations, others, before self.

He had once been in a plane in the middle of a violent storm and started praying "save me, save me", but then he remembered he had recently given a sermon on prayer, this was not the right way to pray! He started praising God and the fear went away. We needed to pray not for what we wished but to trust God. Our lives would change if we came before God in the way He expected.

Rev. Moon's own struggle with his faith He had wanted to find the core of Unificationist teaching, to encapsulate the Unificationist faith in one sentence. Moslems, for examples, asserted simply, "There is one God and Mohammed is His prophet".

He realized that while the Divine Principle contained complex theology, the goal of Unificationism was simple: "to inherit the True Love of God". But what was True Love? Jesus had talked of laying down one's life for a friend, Buddha talked of complete surrender, total focus on God. He had talked to other Unificationists, but had not found anything that totally satisfied him as to what distinguished Unificationism.

Then one night he dreamt of his father. The Christian Apostle's Creed asserts that Jesus descended into hell and then ascended into Heaven. A Christian sees Jesus with his spiritual eyes, and proclaims that Jesus died and went to hell for him, or her. In his dream, he saw that on each of the six occasions that Rev. Sun Myung Moon had been imprisoned, he also experienced hell in the spirit, yet had still pleaded that he suffer in the place of others. He realized deep inside that his father was indeed the Messiah, the Savior.

We needed to inherit the heart of a parent that would die and die again for the child; that was the heart that Rev. Sun Myung Moon had demonstrated in his life. We needed to see him with our spiritual eyes: "True Parents are not the living God, but have inherited the True Love of God, and have the value of God's True Love". He concluded by emphasizing that everything started with our spiritual life.

The talk was preceded by two small bands and a choir. Videos testified to the younger Rev. Moon's spiritual life and to remarkable developments of the Unification Movement in Korea. Rev. Moon was introduced by German Unification Church President Dieter Schmidt, a medical doctor. After his talk, Rev. Moon quickly met and took a photo with each family as a memento.

European itinerary

The day before, Rev. Moon, who was accompanied on his trip by his wife, his sister in law and a number of other Unificationists, visited Wartburg Castle, which is a place of pilgrimage for many people from within and outside Germany, for its significance in German history and in the development of Christianity. It is particularly associated with St. Elisabeth of Hungary and is where Martin Luther was imprisoned and translated the New Testament into German. At Rev. Moon's particular request, the group also visited and prayed at the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Prior to visiting Germany, Rev. Moon and his party followed a similar program in Italy, Rome, where they visited St. Peters (climbing to the top of the dome), St. Paul's, St. Johns, passed by many of the archeological sites and, in the manner of penitents, climbed the steps of the Holy Stairs church on their knees.

He also added to his original schedule, to visit Italy, Germany and Britain, and went to France to visit the family of a Church member who had been recently killed in a coach accident on the way home from an international "workshop", and to visit another member who had been in the crash and was still in hospital.

Rev. Moon left Germany for the UK, where he pursued a similar program in London.

The most obvious purpose of Rev. Moon's visiting Europe was to meet with Unification Church members; he also, as Chairman of the Universal Peace Federation, met with UPF Ambassadors for Peace, in London in the Houses of Parliament.

And it was clear he also wanted to deepen his appreciation of Europe's spiritual history, his visits to historical sites being more in the nature of a pilgrimage than mere sightseeing. Hans Campman, Dutch Unification Church President, said he seemed to be wanting to connect with the main historical points: Italy, home of Roman Catholicism, Germany, home of Protestantism, and Britain, from where the Pilgrim Fathers took the message of Christ to the New World. 

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