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True Father: The Rev. Sun Myung Moon An Unofficial Brief Biography
Sun Myung Moon was born on January 6, 1920 (lunar calendar), in North Pyongyang province of what is now North Korea, as the second son in a family of eight children. The small village, consisting of only twenty houses, all of which belonged to members of the Moon clan, was like one extended family -- a family that had farmed the land for generations. At that time, Korea was under the harsh colonial rule of Japan. Aiming to annihilate the indigenous Korean culture, the Japanese prohibited the practice of religions other than their own Shinto tradition. The Moon family, having converted to Christianity in the 1920s, witnessed the cruel enforcement of this policy. Although his grandparents had not been poor, Reverend Moon's great-uncle had dedicated much of the family wealth to supporting the resistance movement. Though little remained, it was said that the house was never without guests, many of them travelers whom Sun Myung Moon's parents, renowned for their hospitality, made welcome.
Receiving God's Call
The closeness of his family, set against the background of his nation's plight, caused the young Moon to agonize throughout his childhood over the suffering of mankind, and to seek a special personal relationship with God. One Easter morning, while he was praying on a Korean hillside, Jesus appeared to him spiritually and asked him to invest his life for the liberation of mankind from conflict and misery. On that day, alone in the knowledge that God had called him to the task, and aware that a difficult course of preparation lay ahead, Sun Myung Moon committee himself to work for the fulfillment God's Providence on earth. The ensuing years saw Sun Myung Moon endure great hardship and spend many sleepless nights in prayer in his quest to understand God's purpose for creating mankind, and how God's will could be realized on earth.
As a youth of eighteen, Sun Myung Moon came to Seoul and entered the Kyongsong Technical High School, specializing in electrical engineering. He became a Sunday school teacher at Myongsudae Christian Church. In 1941 Reverend Moon entered Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. While there he worked for the liberation of his country, and was closely observed by the Japanese authorities. Mission in North Korea
In June 1946, the year following the surrender of Japan, Reverend Moon, having returned to his native Korea, began to teach and hold meetings in Pyongyang, the capital of the emerging communist North. The North Korean government, in no mood to entertain competing ideologies, pursued a policy of stamping out all religious activity. Reverend Moon was arrested. On recovering from an almost fatal beating sustained while in prison, he immediately continued his religious work. But in 1948 he was arrested again, and this time sentenced to five years of hard labor in Heung Nam prison where prisoners were systematically worked and starved to death. His extraordinary determination to survive, and care for fellow prisoners in the face of unspeakable hardship, were noticed even by the prison officials, who, remarkably, gave him awards for being a model prisoner. With the peninsula ravaged by the Korean War, Reverend Moon was miraculously released from the prison camp in October 1950 at the hands of the UN forces who had come to the aid of the stricken South Korea. After making his way to Pyongyang to meet with followers there, Reverend Moon set out for the south coast with one disciple, and an injured prison guard whom he had rescued.
The Beginnings of the Church
Reverend Moon arrived in Pusan in January, 1951. He built a small hut from cardboard ration boxes and lived there with his disciples, whose numbers began to increase. To earn a living, he labored at a nearby US military camp. It was here in Pusan that Reverend Moon first wrote down his teachings, known in Korea as the Unification Principle. The Founding of the HSA - UWC
In March, 1954, Reverend Moon returned to Seoul, and on May 1st of that year he officially founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. From that time on many university students, and even their professors, began to join the Church.
The established churches, confronted by the visible growth and passion of the young church used their power and influence in the government to undermine its progress, and even sought to stop its activities altogether. Reverend Moon and some of his followers were arrested in July 4, 1955, indicted on false charges, and held for three months in Sodaemun prison, western Seoul, after which they were found innocent and released.
Missionary Activities in Korea and Overseas
The Church Headquarters was moved to the Chongpa-Dong district of Seoul in October, 1955. Reverend Moon initiated full-scale missionary activities in Korea at that time. Street witnessing, charity work, Unification Principle lectures, workshops, and revival meetings, were characteristic of the Church's outreach programs. Notable, too, was the dispatch of missionaries to over one hundred local regions, boosting nation-wide Church expansion. In June, 1958, the first overseas missionary was sent to Japan and in the following year Professor Young Oon Kim and Professor David Kim were sent to the USA to lay a foundation for overseas mission work. The Unification Church, now established in almost every nation of the world, has become a global religion regarding Korea as its spiritual homeland. Within the Church, the most significant events are the International Holy Wedding (Blessing) Ceremonies, which bring together in marriage conscientious men and women who wish to transcend the limits of race and nationality, and who share a common vision of building God's ideal world of one human family. Reverend and Mrs. Moon themselves married in 1960. They have thirteen children and twenty grandchildren.
Expanding the Activity
Besides missionary activities, Reverend Moon worked in many fields, with the realization of a truly peaceful world his constant objective. Some prominent examples are:
* Inter-faith work, under the International Religious Foundation, including the Council of the World' Religions (and the resultant Assemblies), the Religious Youth Service, the Interdenominational Conferences for Clergy, and most recently the founding of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace. * Cultural and arts-related organizations, such as the International Cultural Foundation, which sponsors the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, the Artists Association International, and the Universal Ballet Company. * Media-related organizations dedicated to ethical standards of journalism and the defense of ethical values in society, including the World Media Association (sponsoring the World Media Conferences), and newspapers such as the Washington Times in the USA, and the Segye Times in Korea.
* Specialized bodies bringing together the insight and experience of experts to address and attempt to resolve problems of conflict and breakdown in our global society - such as the Summit Council for World Peace, the Professors World Peace Academy and the W omen's Federation for World Peace.
* Educational organizations such as the Unification Theological Seminary in New York, and Sung Hwa University and Sun Hwa High School in Korea, plus a campus ministry in the USA and a world wide student organization (CARP). * Business interests geared to the financial support of the above projects, and to the solving of the problems of hunger and technology transfer worldwide, including computer technology, civil and mechanical engineering, ginseng and health products, fishing and fish processing, and publishing.
Rev. Moon's father: Kyung-yoo Moon
Rev. Moon's mother: Kyung-gye Kim
Rev. Moon's first wife: Sun-kil Choi (m. 1944, div. 1957)
Rev. Moon's son by his first wife: Sung-jin Moon
Rev. Moon's second wife: Myung Hee Kim (Church marriage only - no civil marriage)
Rev. Moon's son by his second wife: Hee Jin Moon (b. 1954, d. 1967)
Rev. Moon's current wife: Hak Ja Han Moon (m. 1960)
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