How did Family Federation Founders Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon Engage America?
Newsis, June 2016 issue (Korean National Major News Agency)
translated by PR Department of Tongil Group
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, founders of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, traveled to America 45 years ago. After laying the foundation in Korea, they arrived in Washington, D.C. on December 18, 1971. Because the center of the world providence was America and international missionary work, pioneer missionary Young-Oon Kim was dispatched to America in January, 1959 to pave the way, followed by Sang-Chul Kim in September and Bo-Hi Pak in January, 1965.
In 2004, Rev. Sun Myung Moon toured four cities in a speaking tour and explained, “34 years have already passed since I came to this significant country with a mission from heaven to awaken this Christian nation of America and rally all religions together as a stepping stone for world salvation.”
“Why do you think I was able to come to America and raise so many issues in such a short time? It is because although I was a Korean person, I loved America even more than Americans themselves. Day and night, I shed blood and sweat as I worked to help the American youth inherit these great ideals. I ate, worked, and lived for this purpose. As I lived my life in this way, I saw individuals coming together and groups uniting harmoniously.”
FFWPU North American Continental Director Ki-Hoon Kim reminisced, “When he was at the Washington Church in the beginning of 1972, Rev. Moon called out for the ‘Unification Frontline Guard,’ based on the fact that democracy was being threatened by the rise of Communism. Rev. Moon’s ‘One World Crusade,’ which was founded on January 8, also witnessed actively on college campuses. In addition, Rev. Moon spoke in seven cities; New York, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Berkeley; from February 3 to March 6, further imprinting his identity and that of FFWPU on American society.”
Rev. Moon gained momentum as he toured 21, then 40 cities, becoming the most famous Korean in America. More than 30,000 people gathered for his speech at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and 50,000 gathered for the New York Yankee Stadium Rally, as well. More than 300,000 people crowded the Washington Monument Square in 1976, the largest religious gathering in American history at that time. On the 200th anniversary of the nation’s founding, Rev. Moon stated, “God sent me here to convey a new revelation to this nation, particularly to save the American youth living in decadence, and guide them to become future leaders.” He emphasized, “God’s plan centering on America” and stressed that America is a nation chosen by God. Rev. Moon stirred up the crowd as he proclaimed, “Communism, which denies the existence of God, must be eradicated.” The audience cheered Rev. Moon on as he pinpointed that the war on Communism is virtually a debate on God’s existence. Communism collapsed not long after.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon did not try to force the number of American members to increase. Unlike other religions that focus solely on individual church activities and specific leaders, FFWPU proposed a large-scale goal of world peace and the salvation of mankind, a new missionary model that eventually spreads.
This logic has also been applied at the United Nations. Dr. Thomas Wash, Universal Peace Federation World President, explained, “Rev. and Mrs. Moon knew that world peace would never be established through a UN that consists of nations pursuing their own interests. They created organizations, such as Federation of Island Nations for World Peace, Federation of Continental Nations for World Peace, Federation of Peninsular Nations for World Peace, Mongolian People’s Federation for World Peace, International Relief Friendship Foundation and the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, are working all over the world as substitutes of the UN.”
The media also played a role in the Family Federation’s arrival in the United States. Through an American newspaper called The Washington Times, a Spanish-language newspaper called Noticias Del Mundo, and the purchase of a news agency called UPI, FFWPU was able to spread hope and peace, as well as conservative virtues.
Unification must also be accomplished within religions and denominations. The result of an analysis of various religious scriptures concluded that more than 80% of religious content were the same across religions, urging their followers to denounce selfish behaviors. New Ecumenical Research Association, International Religious Foundation, Interreligious and International Peace Council, Religious Youth Seminar advanced, one after the other. “World Scriptures,” a compilation of core doctrines of various religions, was also published.
Within America is also the American Clergy Leadership Conference. Clergy from different religions began to stand together under the banner of “establishing families, reconstructing local societies and creating a new nation and world.” It became common to see 200 clergy members from religions, including Pentecostals, Baptists, Lutherans, Muslims, etc. participate regularly in FFWPU International Weddings (Blessing Marriage Ceremony).
The Unification Theological Seminary, located along the Hudson River in New York, invited professors from the faiths of Judaism, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism and the Greek Orthodox Church. FFWPU increased its effectiveness in spreading its message through its New York church, a hotel (New Yorker Hotel), a cultural center (Manhattan Center), university (University of Bridgeport), choir (International New Hope Singers), symphony orchestra (New York City Symphony), rock band (Sunburst), dance company (International Folklore), band (the Go-World Brass Band), Federation for Unification of North and South America (CAUSA International), etc. 70,000 American pastors completed the CAUSA education course.
“When I first came to America in 1972, this nation was facing a global crisis. Therefore, I began the first 50-state tour, clarifying that America must take responsibility for the three main issues that God is dealing with. The first issue is the threat of Communism, the second is the collapse of Christianity, and the third is the youth that are entering the path of immorality. We must inscribe in our hearts the idea of everyone becoming completely one with God in order to achieve God’s will of freedom, faith and family.