Family Federation Places Young Talent at the Cornerstone of ‘Vision 2020’
An article from the December 2014 issue of the Monthly JoongAng, a Korean National Major Monthly Magazine
Translated by PR Department of Tongil Foundation
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon leads the movement safely through the generation shift with motherly leadership.
Appointing young leaders and expanding the congregation throughout the world
On October 26th, a crowd of 30,000 people gathered at the Cheong Shim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do. Followers of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (Family Federation) came from around the world for the Global Worship Service for the Accomplishment of Our Mission, Victory for Vision 2020! The year 2020 marks 100 years since the birth of Family Federation founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon. “Vision 2020” also marks the strategy of the Family Federation to establish itself as a mainstream religion, to open a new era with ten million followers and to lay the foundation for world peace.
However, to regard “Vision 2020” as simply a strategy would be inadequate; the words hold a much more significant meaning to the Family Federation. After the passing of Rev. Moon, the Family Federation was reorganized under Dr. Han, and “Vision 2020” was established as the banner heralding the realization of world peace. Thus, it can be reasoned that all evangelistic efforts and movements for world peace initiated by the Family Federation are carried out in accordance with “Vision 2020.”
“Vision 2020” emphasizes expanding the church through evangelical service, particularly through appointing and fostering young talent. After Rev. Moon established the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (currently known as the Family Federation) in 1954, he began holding mass marriage ceremonies. The children of those marriages are now seen as the driving force in carrying out the mission of the Family Federation.
Perhaps this is the reason that Dr. Han has mentioned the role of second generation in the Family Federation in so many of her speeches. At the 2nd entrance ceremony of the Universal Peace Academy in March this year, she said that “the second generation must greet the era of total responsibility and bring about a united world and a united culture.” When she spoke last September at a lecture for second generation, she said that “if the Korean church is to revive itself, our university students and the Youth Federation must first revive themselves.” She also highlighted the importance of the second generation in expanding the church and improving its image.
Young Talent Leads Vision 2020
At the Family Federation’s 60th Anniversary event this year, Dr. Han appointed leadership positions to many young second generation members as a part of her plan to revitalize the structure of the Federation. Recently, “young leaders” has been standing out among the ranks of the Federation personnel. Second generation leaders were appointed in the positions of President of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), which specializes in witnessing to university students, Youth Federation for World Peace President, Family Federation Vice President, Universal Peace Federation and Citizen Federation for World Peace and Unification Joint President, Heaven and Earth Cheong Pyeong Training Center Director, Cheong Shim Theology University President and many other positions.
“After her inauguration as chairman, Dr. Han has dedicated herself first and foremost to the revitalization of our internal structuring. Of course, replacing many of our leaders with young second generation is one of the ways that we are seeking to invigorate our organization,” said a representative of the Family Federation. This action has been replicated in international chapters of the Federation as well. Nations that have made exceptional progress in witnessing, such as the Philippines, Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations, have been announced as models for other nations to follow, and have replaced most of their leaders with young evangelists.
“This past March, in the Philippines, interreligious peace blessing marriage ceremonies were held in 15 cities, including General Santos. The ceremonies were attended by a total of 30,000 people. In Sisaket and Bangkok in Thailand, ‘True Family Movement’ education and blessing marriage ceremonies have been growing in popularity, and the congregation of the Family Federation is seeing remarkable growth in the entire Southeast Asian region. Youth evangelists played a huge role in bringing about the expansion of the Federation in this region,” said a representative of the Family Federation.
“Vision 2020” also incorporates the fostering of young leaders. Through the fostering of young talent, the Federation aims to strengthen the foundation of the church. In order to accomplish this, the Family Federation plans to send young evangelists to 40 nations around the globe to carry out international services and actualize the love of the family, creating a “global network of youth leaders.”
The “Global Youth Festival 2014,” held in Japan on September 23rd, featured many programs for fostering young talent. Youth from around the world went beyond national borders, race and culture to gather together and resolve to strive for world peace. The event, which reflected the Family Federation’s fostering of talented youth, was attended by 10,000 youth members from about 40 countries, representing Africa, Southeast Asia, Middle Asia, North and South America.
The Family Federation emphasizes education in the fostering of young talent, a point which has been constantly stressed ever since the inauguration of Dr. Han. “We must now focus on education,” she said in one of her keynote speeches. “It should become an established standard that all of our future leaders receive education. All leaders in all positions and fields should be educated. This is the fastest way to bring about world peace.”
The “Universal Peace Academy,” founded by Dr. Han, is a cradle of young talent. The Academy, which opened its doors in March 2013, is a place where the future leaders of the Family Federation receive their education. “The cadets of the Universal Peace Academy must dedicate all of their strength, so that their names can be carved into providential history. Your youth and spirit will serve as the pillars and the foundation of the settlement of Cheon Il Guk,” encouraged Dr. Han at the founding Ceremony.
Seeing Dr. Han’s Leadership over the Last Two Years in a Positive Light
The WonmoPyeongae Foundation was established in February 2013 as an institution necessary for carrying out the fostering of youth. The Foundation is the result of Dr. Han’s desire to discover and foster the growth of young talented people by means of scholarships. The WonmoPyeongae Foundation has also established the “Sunhak Peace Prize,” which will be awarded for the first time next August, to an individual or organization that has made substantial efforts for world peace.
It is undisputable that the safe transition of Family Federation leaders to the 2nd generation is due to the strong leadership of Dr. Hak Ja Han. The Family Federation explains that she has gained the support of her followers, due to her inheritance of Rev. Moon’s goal of world peace and salvation for humankind, her taking on his unfinished work and her practical stance on expanding the church congregation.
On August 12th, at Rev. Moon’s 2nd Seonghwa Anniversary Event, Dr. Han said that “the most important task is to inherit and carry on the unfinished work of Rev. Moon, who dedicated his life toward the salvation of humankind and the establishment of world peace. In order to bring this about, we must stabilize and expand the church.”
Dr. Han’s frequent visits with members have played a large role in laying the foundation for “Dr. Hak Ja Han’s Family Federation.” After Rev. Moon’s Seonghwa, Dr. Han’s first public move was a five-city tour of Japan, followed by a 14-day special workshop in Hawaii, which she directly supervised. She also led youth from Korea, Japan, America and Europe to understand their identity as future leaders, as well as 2nd generation members of the Family Federation, through diverse experiences. She visited Sun Moon University and inspected the current management situation of the school, attended the dedication ceremony of a new church in a rural area and supported and encouraged members everywhere.
“Upon the foundation of Dr. Han’s strong maternal leadership, and through our talented youth, the Family Federation will strengthen its foundation and harvest the fruits of the construction of world peace, creating a homeland of faith where we can attend the Heavenly Parent through tribal messiah work,” explained a representative of the Family Federation.
Ever since her inauguration, Dr. Hak Ja Han has continuously emphasized the fostering of talented youth through education. “We must now focus on education,” she said in one of her keynote speeches. “It should become an established standard that all of our future leaders receive education. All leaders in all positions and fields should be educated. This is the fastest way to bring about world peace.”