An Article from “ShindongA”, a Korean Magazine
Peace and Purity Message, Spreading the Message to Youth Worldwide
ShindongA – September 2017 Issue (Mainstream Korean Monthly Magazine)
translated by PR Department of Tongil Group
‘5th Anniversary of the Seonghwa of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’ Family Federation for World Peace and Unification
- Dr. Hak Ja Han: “God’s will is to accomplish Blessed Family.”
- “Live a life like the sea.”
- “Fresh impact in the age of non-marriage, low birth rate”
‘Korean comedian’ Johnny Yoon appeared on an American TV show during his debut, and performed a stand-up comedy. “There are a lot of Koreans who came to the US like me … I have nothing to do with Reverend Moon.” American audiences laughed when he said this. Rev. Moon is the most widely-known Korean in the United States.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Family Federation of World Peace and Unification (Unification Church, hereafter referred to as “FFWPU”), and ascended on September 3, 2012 at the age of 92. Rev. Moon was an internationally renowned religious figure, selected along with Lee Seung-Man and Kim Il-Sung as one of “1,000 people who made the 20th century”(1991 UK ‘Sunday Times’). Thanks to the strong reputation and aura of the founder, the Family Federation uniquely expanded its influence in Korea, as well as abroad, as a new religious movement.
I was aware of the activities of the Family Federation before the 5th Anniversary of the Seonghwa of Rev. Moon. In fact, there has been a voice of concern about the Family Federation after the Seonghwa of Rev. Moon. There were questions like “Do you think the Family Federation will work well without Rev. Sun Myung Moon?”
According to the officials of the Family Federation, the wife of Rev. Moon and current Head of the Family Federation, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, is taking a new leap forward in the Family Federation, dismissing these doubts. Rev. Moon has already declared himself and Dr. Han as the “True Parents” to lead humankind. According to this proclamation 25 years ago, Dr. Han, as one of the True Parents, succeeds in Rev. Moon’s inheritance, so members of the Family Federation from Korea and abroad have naturally accepted this.
Dr. Hak Ja Han has started a new age in New York
Of course, because of the doctrine of “True Parents Leading Humankind” some of the local Christians have raised the idea of “Cult” against the Family Federation. However, there are many evaluations that our country has freedom of religion by the Constitution, and that it is a matter of “interpretation of the Bible,” so there are no standing doctrinal, ethical or legal problems.
According to media reports, Rev. Won-Ryong Kang said in 1968, “The Unification Church is counted among Christian faiths, as it is different from the approach of the existing church and the interpretation of the Bible. The existing church interprets the Bible in a deductive way, while the Unification Church inductively explains it,” he said. The late Professor Nam Dong Seo of Yonsei University is said to have commented on the Divine Principle of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, referring to it as “the best of the theological books produced in the Korean theological world in terms of quantity, organization, imagination and originality.”
Many Christian officials say that “As the Family Federation members have been growing, the business of the Tongil Group has been flourishing, and the FFWPU’s peace movements have been actively expanding in the Korean peninsula, as well as internationally. The controversy about being a cult has virtually disappeared.”
Dr. Hak Ja Han began her journey as a religious leader in earnest, while comforting the followers from Korea and abroad who have grieved over the Seonghwa of Rev. Moon. Dr. Han’s speeches in Korea and abroad are said to have been given more than 700 times, up until now, including the time while Rev. Moon was still living. In October, 2013, Dr. Han emphasized in her five-city speaking tour in Japan the importance of “Advance without Ceasing,” while alleviating the pain of the Japanese followers for the loss of Rev. Moon. According to local media reports, the popularity of Sun Myung Moon to the Japanese is beyond imaginable. Dr. Han visited Austria in October, 2015, to organize the 50th anniversary of the European missionary activities.
In June of this year, 17,000 people from 35 countries gathered in Bangkok, Thailand, to hold the Inauguration of the Network for Youth and Students for Peace in Asia and the Pacific. This event was sponsored by the Thai Ministry of Education. Dr. Han emphasized “peace” and “purity” to all the youth from each country who attended.
“Peace Starts With Me”
In this situation, Dr. Hak Ja Han has started new age at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, New York, USA, on July 15. Around twenty-thousand people from 43 countries attended, and Dr. Han held a special peace rally on the subject, “Peace Starts With Me.” Pastor Paula White of the Evangelical Advisory Committee of the Trump Administration in the United States, US Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, and leaders of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism all attended. Grammy- Winning Gospel singer Yolanda Adams made the crowd get excited.
Dr. Han repeatedly emphasized “Family Values” in her keynote address. “When Reverend Moon came to the United States in 1971, the nation suffered from individualism, family breakdown and youth problems. Reverend Moon saw that the way to save America is the way to save the world. Fallen mankind cannot return to God. Family values, which is repeatedly emphasized by the Family Federation, exerts that only through the union of the only begotten son and only begotten daughter can God’s providence be realized. When the world is overflowing with blessed families, human dreams can be realized.”
Dr. Han put great effort into systemizing the Family Federation doctrine. ‘Cheon Seong Gyeong,’ is a compilation of Rev. Moon and Dr. Han’s sermons, thematically. The ‘Pyeong Hwa Gyeong’ contains public speeches, and the ‘Cham Bumo Gyeong,’ contains Rev. Moon and Dr. Han’s life course described in their own words. These scriptures have been translated into English and Japanese. She also compiled 615 books called ‘The Sermons of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.’ This work of scripture is said to be important for the sustainability of the Family Federation after the time of Rev. Moon. Dr. Han said, “I feel very glad when I think that these messages are not disturbed, but rather kept like beautiful jewels weaved together by one string.”
Following this, Dr. Han built the HyoJeong World Peace Foundation with the 50 billion won poured in from every country from the Rev. Moon’s memorial service, and 110 billion won of the price sale of Rev. Moon’s personal helicopter. Since 2013, this foundation has selected around 2,000 scholarship students from around the world, and is delivering 10 billion won worth of scholarships each year. In addition, Dr. Han is annually awarding 1 million dollars to exceptional individuals or organizations that have been striving for world peace by enacting the “Sunhak Peace Prize.”
In 2015, President Anote Tong of Kiribati, who made preparations for migrating the entire nation upon predicting that the entire country would submerge into the sea due to global warming, was awarded along with Dr. Modadugu Gupta of India, who pioneered innovative fish farming techniques for the disadvantaged population. This year, Dr. Gino Strada, a cardiac surgeon from Italy, who has provided emergency medical relief to 8 million people in the global conflict area, was awarded, along with Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, an educator and women’s rights activist from Afghanistan.
The Chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee, Il-Shik Hong (former president of Koryo University) said, “Rev. Sun Myung Moon has created a universal ideology fusing Christian thoughts based on the Korean people’s Humanitarian ideology. It is only the Korean people who do not recognize Rev. Moon. I hope that it will be a chance to reevaluate Rev. Moon through the enactment of the Sunhak Peace Prize.”
Dr. Han has created an “International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP)” in the hopes that active parliamentarians in each country will work together to find solutions to problems such as territorial disputes, terrorism, climate change, hunger and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. 450 congressmen from 113 countries attended the conference held in Seoul in February. The “International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace” is evaluated to be firmly established with more than 4,000 related news reported in Korea.
In connection with the expansion of the Family Federation, Dr. Han held a “Vision 2020 Special Strategic Country Selection Conference” at the Cheon Jeong Gung Museum next to Cheongpyeong Lake, Gapyeong-gun Gyeonggi-do, and has selected 13 countries including Taiwan, Philippines, Brazil, Kenya and Albania, as special strategic countries to focus on expanding the cross.
“The sea is the lowest point”
Dr. Han was born into a devout Presbyterian family in Anju, North Pyongan Province. During the Korean War her family had defected to South Korea where she later entered a nursing school founded by Catholics. The reason is explain in this way.
“At the time of entering high school, the war broke out, and every street was flooded with injured people. Children suffered from illness. They were not able to be treated on time. I felt so sorry for them and wanted to heal their pain.”
Dr. Han who lived a typical life, experienced a turning point in her life when she married Rev. Sun Myung Moon in 1960. Dr. Han, who became the “Mother of the Unification Church,” was often told by her husband, Rev. Moon, “You must sacrifice a lot.” Dr. Han compared her life to “the sea.”
The sea has plenty of bosom that can bear the sky, and it is one with the sky and resembles the deep blue. Accept all the water of the world from the lowest place. The sea possesses everything and conceives all life.
The calm sea is tranquil on the outside, but in the deep places, a huge stream of water moves through the sea evenly. Once a raging wave occurs, it swallows everything. People cannot see the deep sea whirlpools.
“My life has developed in this way. In the center of providence, which has been driven like a typhoon, there are many stories that I cannot tell. I was able to stand with my husband in winning the victory over the swirls of the whirlpool and achieving in efforts to build world peace.” The Family Federation official said of Dr. Han, “She has lived by the creed of absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience, while she has worked as a mother of the Unification Church. She sleeps only two to three hours a day while supporting Rev. Moon, and has never had enough sleep. It was common to give away her clothes, rice and possessions to others. She has a kind and loving heart,” he said.
“Trusted and beloved religion”
I heard more about the story of Dr. Hak Ja Han from the Korean President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.
- How did the congregation of the Family Federation accept the Seonghwa of Rev. Sun Myung Moon?
“Rev. Moon has been preparing for the Seonghwa a few years ago. But when it became a reality, our members worldwide had no choice but to be heartbroken and devastated. It seems like it took us three years to accept that this was part of God’s providence.”
- Dr. Hak Ja Han, wife of Rev. Moon, has been carrying out his unfinished work.
“Dr. Han spent about six months deeply pondering about how to lead this expansive religious organization. She is also a spiritual leader and shared sympathy with Rev. Moon, so I can see that she is leading the victory. After Rev. Moon’s Seonghwa settled down, Dr. Han spoke about “Advance without Ceasing.” On January 13, 2013, she declared a ‘seven year course.’ Until the year 2020, she has asked for the Family Federation to meet the new era of change around the world. Dr. Han said we should try to make the realization of world peace the most important priority. We have been involved in NGO activities, but she asked to expand this activity more.”
- What is the difference between the leadership of Rev. Moon and Dr. Han?
“Like Rev. Moon, Dr. Han is inspirational and revelatory. However, on the other hand, she leads the organization with harmony and balance. As you know, there were some problems inside our church. Dr. Han grasped these problems early on and led with balance, harmony and unity. Upon realizing this, our members from all over the world united into one. Dr. Han said that ‘The Family Federation must be a trusted, respected and loved religion for the citizens of every country in our mission dispensations.’”
- Dr. Han’s word saying, “To be a trusted and loved religion for the people of that country,” I think this is a good way to put it. How does she practice this?
“In our country, our Family Federation needs to dig deeper into our society and community. Theologically speaking, there must be an incarnated life. She has changed a lot of activities we’ve been working on. Like the Catholics in the past, if we had been managed by a centralized system, we would have been reorganized into a field-based organization. We have 24 regions and about 250 churches nationwide in our country. We started reforming these churches. Although we could have had difficulties in our own endeavors, there are many new emerging religions that actually divide further into internal factions, but we overcame them. It is because we were able to have a greater sense of self-esteem and greater confidence within ourselves, as well as receiving trust from our community.”
- How did the Family Federation congregation change after Rev. Moon’s Seonghwa?
“We are growing on solid trust both in Korea and abroad.”
“The downfall of the mind”
- There is a spreading tendency among Korean youth to do away with marriage and giving birth. Also, Korea is moving toward “free love” relationships. Regarding these points, it seems that the message of the Unification Church that values the family is attracting attention.
“It’s a serious situation. It is not only because of external problems, such as youth unemployment, but also because there are words like ‘Generation jobless’ and ‘Hell Chosun.’ Now the spirit of our young people is falling. We are losing the beautiful old virtues of ‘personality,’ ‘purity,’ ‘filial piety’ or ‘community spirit.’ These virtues are replaced by selfishness, hedonism and materialism. We are even forgetting that our existence comes from our parents. If we do not get married and do not give birth, I think that in 10 years, the era of population decline will become serious. We must restore the values of the desolated young people. We need to show them how important it is to create a ‘happy family community’ in life. The Family Federation talks about the recovery of the family, which is the fundamental unit of society. That way, the nation can be sustainable and can become a righteous society.”
- What is the response of the Family Federation in Japan and elsewhere?
“I wonder if this year will see more expansion than last year within our congregation.
Japan is one of the hardest countries in the world for foreign religion to settle. It will probably be the next in Islamic countries. Christianity cannot settle in. The only religion in Japan that emerges as a religion is the Family Federation. It is encouraging that the Family Federation is one of the most active religions in Japan as an emerging religion, and has been recognized by the Japanese government. So it is better for Japanese young people to evangelize.”
“Appealing to young people all over the world”
- All religions value young evangelism. Is the Family Federation attractive to young people?
“We appeal to young people because we have a global organization. We have mission activities and run NGOs in more than 120 countries. Our members (congregations), even young children living in the rural areas, also travel around the world through our homepage. Nowadays, young Koreans are also going abroad often to expand their knowledge, which makes it easy for them to go to developed such as the United States, Britain and Germany, as well as to developing countries, to do activities locally. We give opportunities to young people who love Rev. Moon’s ideology and give them a chance to make their dreams come true in any country they want. In fact, there are many young people who have come to our Family Federation to study, work or live abroad. On the contrary, there are many foreign students who are fluent in Korean at Sun Moon University.”
- The marriage blessing ceremony of the Family Federation is an international attraction. Are they living in harmony and happiness after marriage?
“Many people ask this question. It is hard to imagine black and white, Asian and Caucasian, Asian and black people, men and women of different nationalities married and living together. In fact, we’ve had some trial and error. There was pain. Because we are people who exist with emotions, we go through ups and downs in our marriage. Now we are all overcoming these areas. There is a system that connects the ideal images. Now, this marriage is more reliable than any other group, and also, according to statistics, the divorce rate has decreased, couples are living happier and raising children well. I think marriage is getting better because they share the same religious beliefs.”
- Do men and women exchange their information and accept before getting married to each other?
“Yes. They do.”
Rev. Sun Myung has pursued missionary and business activities together throughout his lifetime. Regarding the recent management of the Tongil Group related to the Family Federation-Korea, President Kyeung-Seuk Ryu said, “About 18 companies are growing.” Also, he said, “Sun Moon University received level A in the Chungcheong region. It is located in a prominent comprehensive area with strengths in convergence and industry-academia cooperation.” Then “Recently, Korean people easily ignore the spiritual desolation and extreme violence. However, the peace activities of Dr. Han and the Family Federation help alleviate those problems.”
Rev. Yong Cheon Song, Chairman of National Blessed Families Federation
“Ten Thousand Korean-Japanese Families Make Efforts to Establish Friendship Between the Two Countries”
Rev. Yong Cheon Song, the Chairman of the National Blessed Families Federation of Japan, talked about the recent activities of the Family Federation in Japan saying, “The interest of Pure True Family Movement within Japanese youth has grown since the Seonghwa of Rev. Sun Myung Moon.” Below is the word from Rev. Song. On May 14, the “2017 Hyo-Jeong Cultural Festival in Tokyo” event was held in the Ariaki Coliseum, which is known as the planned location for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Tennis Court. Approximately twelve-thousand Japanese youths have welcomed Dr. Hak Ja Han.
The Family Federation says that ‘Hyo (filial)’ leads to the acceptance of God as my parents beyond the filial piety of the parents. With the identity of ‘human being is the child of God,’ all humanity is the child of God, and all are brothers and sisters under one God. The Pure True Family movement has been actively developing centered on God in Japan.
“The Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel is Needed”
For the peaceful future of both Korea and Japan, the Korean and Japanese families, whom Rev. Moon and Dr. Han 1had matched and blessed, have 7,000 couples living in Korea and 3,000 couples living in Japan. With these families, the Family Federation in Japan is making continuous efforts to promote friendship between Korea and Japan. Among them, the Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel project is very important.
In order to establish a peaceful future through exchanges between Korea and Japan, a Korea-Japan Undersea Tunnel must be opened. During the last five years since the Seonghwa of Rev. Moon, the Family Federation in Japan has experienced remarkable development through the leadership of Dr. Han. Dr. Han visited Japan and led the revival movement; and through the development of the Family Federation, she resolved to achieve Rev. Moon’s goal. The number of the Family Federation congregation in Japan reached 600,000. In the past six months, its membership has increased by 7,000. Among the religions that came from abroad, the only religion that succeeded in Japan is the Family Federation. There are Family Federation churches and video centers throughout Japan. People visit every week and learn about the Divine Principle. The congregation is increasing more rapidly than ever before.
There have been positive responses from Japan about the establishment of the International Association for Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), which was created by Dr. Han. Many politicians and ordinary citizens of Japan agree on this point. The world can actually change if lawmakers from various countries with legislative rights move forward. Japan held a support event in November of last year. More than 100 active parliament members participated.
Dr. Han also focuses on the education of young students. Few Japanese young people these days believe in religion. The activities of Dr. Han and the Family Federation focus on this point. The number of Japanese young people seeking the Family Federation is increasing. Japanese religious leaders of other religions were envious when they saw that over ten-thousand Japanese youth had gathered to attend the Family Federation event in Tokyo. Young members of the Family Federation give speeches on their own in the streets. The Family Federation is raising young people to become the future leaders of Japan.
Rev. Moon has also sent Japanese young people to South America and Africa. The intention is for the Japanese to work for world peace. Even now, young Japanese members of the Family Federation are active in peace movements in every country.
Continental Chairman of Family Federation of World Peace and Unification North America, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim
“Trump administration also sympathizes with peace movements”
Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chairman of Family Federation of World Peace and Unification-North America, said, “The Trump administration also sympathizes with the idea of the Family Federation Peace Movement.” It was also in this context that Pastor Paula White, the head of the administration’s evangelical advisory board, participated in the New York event. President Trump has continually experienced controversy with the US media these days, but he likes the “Washington Times,” affiliated with the Family Federation. Below is the message sent by Mr. Kim.
Rev. Moon arrived in the United States in 1965 for the first time, and traveled to 48 states over 43 days to select 55 holy grounds by car. Rev. Moon and Dr. Han emphasized on the recovery of family values in the United States.
He pointed out that there is no hope unless the ethical breakdown and threat of the Communist Party are stopped. “I have come to America as a doctor and a firefighter,” he said. This gave a fresh perspective to the Americans.
On September 18, 1974, Rev. Moon and Dr. Han held an event called ‘God Bless America’ at Madison Square Garden in New York, USA. In 1975, Rev. Moon received an invitation from the United States Congress and delivered his speech. On June 1, 1976, more than 50,000 people gathered at the New York Yankee Stadium event. On September 18 of the same year, he delivered a message to 300,000 people at the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Newsweek’s weekly magazine featured Rev. Moon on its cover on June 14, 1976.
“10 billion won in scholarships annually”
From November 28 to December 1, 2016, after the Seonghwa of Rev. Moon, the inauguration ceremony of the International Association for Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) was attended by about 80 current US congressmen, as well as religious leaders, women leaders, journalists and civil society leaders, at the US Congress building and the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hak Ja Han in her keynote address said, “We must develop a movement that takes God, the master of the universe, into the family and the world. Because the United States is suffering from individualism, selfishness, family breakdown, youth issues and drug problems, Rev. Moon made great efforts to wake up America, and to build a nation that will invite God,” and was received with great applause.
On July 15, Dr. Han spoke in front of 20,000 people, including young students born in the marriage blessing ceremony at the Madison Square Garden in New York. The American youths who participated in the Family Federation event enjoyed meeting Dr. Han. They understood what their role was. Dr. Han is strengthening education and supporting students from different races endowing them with 10 billion won worth of scholarships. The Americans are taking this very seriously. The Madison Square Garden event was the fourth peace rally with more than ten-thousand participants following the events held in Korea, Japan and Thailand.