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Divine Principle


Divine Principle

"Moonie" redirects here. For other uses, see Moonie (disambiguation).

Template:Infobox Christian denomination Template:Infobox Chinese/HeaderTemplate:Infobox Chinese/KoreanTemplate:Infobox Chinese/Footer Template:Infobox Chinese/HeaderTemplate:Infobox Chinese/KoreanTemplate:Infobox Chinese/Footer

The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, also known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification and commonly called the Unification Church or Unificationism,[1][2] is a new religious movement founded in South Korea in 1954 by Sun Myung Moon. Since its founding, the church has expanded throughout the world with most members living in East Asia.[3]

Unification Church beliefs are based on the Bible and are explained in the church's textbook, Divine Principle. It teaches that God is the creator, whose dual nature combines both masculinity and femininity. The Blessing ceremony of the Unification Church, a wedding or marriage rededication ceremony, is a church practice which has attracted wide public attention. The church has engaged in interfaith activities with other religions, including mainstream Christianity and Islam, despite theological differences.

The Unification Church has sponsored many organizations and projects over the years; including businesses, news media, projects in education and the arts, and political and social activism. The church was led by Moon until his death on September 3, 2012, at which time, it was reported that his widow Hak Ja Han would assume the leadership of the church.


Moonie is a colloquial term sometimes used to refer to members of the Unification Church. This is derived from the name of the church's founder Sun Myung Moon,[4] and was first used in 1974 by the American media.[5] Church members have used the word "Moonie", including: Moon himself,[6] President of the Unification Theological Seminary David Kim,[7] and Moon's aide and president of The Little Angels Children's Folk Ballet of Korea Bo Hi Pak.[8] In the 1980s and 1990s the Unification Church of the United States undertook an extensive public relations campaign against the use of the word by the news media, including hiring civil rights activist Ralph Abernathy to equate it with the word "nigger".[9] In commentary on the term and its usage, scholars have noted it is both a popular colloquial term,[4] and one that has negative connotations.[10] In his 2000 book Mystics and Messiahs, Philip Jenkins discussed the term's usage, and likened it to "smear words" associated with other religions; giving examples of Shaker, Methodist, and Mormon.[11] Journalistic authorities, including the New York Times and Reuters, now discourage its use in news reporting.[12]


Main article: Timeline of the Unification Church

Origins in Korea

Unification Church members believe that Jesus appeared to Mun Yong-myong (his birth name) when Moon was 15 on April 17, 1935, and asked him to accomplish the work left unfinished after his crucifixion. After a period of prayer and consideration, Moon accepted the mission, later changing his name to Mun Son-myong (Sun Myung Moon).[13]

The church's official teachings, the Divine Principle, was first published as Wolli Wonbon in 1946. A second, expanded version, Wolli Hesol, or Explanation of the Divine Principle, was published in 1957. Sun Myung Moon preached in northern Korea after the end of World War II and in 1946 was imprisoned by the communist regime in North Korea. He was released from prison by the advance of American and United Nations forces during the Korean War, and moved south along with many other North Koreans. He built his first church from mud and cardboard boxes as a refugee in Pusan.[14]

Moon formally founded the Unification Church in Seoul on May 1, 1954, calling it "The Holy Spirit(ual) Association for the Unification of World Christianity." The church expanded rapidly in South Korea and by the end of 1955 had 30 church centers throughout the nation.[14]

International expansion

In 1958, Moon sent missionaries to Japan, and in 1959, to America. Moon moved to the United States in 1971 (although he remained a citizen of the Republic of Korea). Missionary work took place in Washington, D.C., New York, and California. UC missionaries found success in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the church expanded in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco. By 1971, the Unification Church of the United States had about 500 members. By 1973, it had some presence in all 50 states and a few thousand members.[14]

The church also sent missionaries to Europe. The church entered Czechoslovakia in 1968 and remained underground until the 1990s.[15] In 1975, Moon sent out missionaries to 120 countries to spread the Unification Church around the world and also in part, he said, to act as "lightning rods" to receive "persecution." Unification Church activity in South America began in the 1970s with missionary work. Later, the church made large investments in civic organizations and business projects, including an international newspaper.[16]

In the 1970s, Moon gave a series of public speeches in the United States, including one in Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1974 and two in 1976: in Yankee Stadium in New York City, and on the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., where Moon spoke on "God's Hope for America" to 300,000 people. In 1975, the Unification Church held one of the largest peaceful gatherings in history, with 1.2 million people in Yoido, South Korea.[17]


In the 1980s Moon instructed church members to take part in a program called "Home Church" in which they reached out to neighbors and community members through public service.[18]

In 1982 the first large scale Blessing ceremony held outside of Korea took place in Madison Square Garden in New York City with 2075 couples. In 1988, Moon matched 2,500 Korean members with Japanese members for a Blessing ceremony held in Korea, partly in order to promote unity between the two nations.[19][20]

In 1984 British sociologist Eileen Barker published The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing?, based on her seven-year study of Unification Church members in the United Kingdom and the United States.[21] She rejected the then popular "brainwashing" theory as an explanation for conversion to the Unification Church.[22] The book was given the Distinguished Book Award for 1985 by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.[23]

In 1987, church member and documentary filmmaker Lee Shapiro was killed in Afghanistan during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.[24][25]

In 1987, scholars with American Psychological Association rejected the hypotheses of those who accused the Unification Church of brainwashing and coercive persuasion, stating that their "conclusions...cannot be said to be scientific in any meaningful sense".[26]


In 1991 Moon announced that church members should return to their hometowns and undertake apostolic work there. Massimo Introvigne, who studied the Unification Church and other new religious movements, said that this confirmed that full-time membership is no longer considered crucial to church members.[14]

Starting in the 1990s, the Unification Church expanded its operations into Russia and other formerly communist nations. Han made a radio broadcast to the nation from the Kremlin Palace of Congresses.[27] As of 1994, the church had about 5,000 members in Russia.[28] About 500 Russian students had been sent to USA to participate in 40-day workshops.[29] Starting in 1992 the church established business ties with communist North Korea and owned an automobile manufacturer (Pyeonghwa Motors), a hotel, and other properties there. In 1998, the Unification Movement launched its operations in North Korea with the approval of the Government of South Korea, which had prohibited business relationships between North and South before;[30] and built a church there.[31][32]

On May 1, 1994 (the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Unification Church), Moon declared that the era of the Unification Church had ended and inaugurated a new organization: the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) would include Unification Church members and members of other religious organizations working toward common goals, especially on issues of sexual morality and reconciliation between people of different religions, nations, and races. The FFWPU co-sponsored Blessing ceremonies in which thousands of non–Unification Church married couples were given the marriage blessing previously given only to Unification Church members.[33][34]

As of December 1994, Unification Church had invested $150 million in Uruguay. Members own the country's largest hotel, one of its leading banks, the second-largest newspaper and two of the largest printing plants.[35] In 1996, the Unification Church started the Tiempos Del Mundo, a newspaper in Spanish circulating in 16 countries of Latin America; "a newspaper for half a Hemisphere", The New York Times called it.[36]

21st century

In 2005 Moon appointed his son Kook Jin Moon chairman of Tongil Group, which represents church-owned businesses in South Korea and other nations.[37][38]

In 2007, the Unification Church completed the construction of a peace center in Pyongyang, North Korea.[39]

In April 2008, Moon, then 88 years old, appointed his youngest son, Hyung Jin Moon, to be the leader of the church and movement, saying, "I hope everyone helps him so that he may fulfil his duty as the successor of the True Parents."[40] At the same time he appointed his daughter In Jin Moon as the president of the Unification Church of the United States.[41]

In 2009, Moon's autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen (Korean: 평화를 사랑하는 세계인으로),[42] was published by Gimm-Young Publishers in South Korea. The book became a bestseller in Korea and Japan.[43][44][45][46]

In 2010, Forbes reported that Moon and Han were living in South Korea while their children took more responsibility for the day-to-day leadership of the Unification Church and its affiliated organizations.[38]

In December in Pyongyang, to mark the 20th anniversary of Sun Myung Moon's visit to the DPRK, de jure President Kim Yong-nam hosted the new President in the official residence.[47][48] The latter donated 600 tons of flour to North Korean children of Jeongju Province, the birthplace of Sun Myung Moon.[49][50] Also, after the 2011 earthquake in Japan, he donated $ 1.7 million to the Japanese Red Cross.[51][52]

On August 15, 2012, Moon was reported to be gravely ill and was put on a respirator at the intensive care unit of St. Mary’s Hospital at The Catholic University of Korea in Seoul.[53] He died there on September 3, 2012.[54]


Divine Principle

The Divine Principle or Exposition of the Divine Principle (Korean 원리강론/原理講論, translit. wonli ganglon) is the main theological textbook of the Unification Church. It was co-written by church founder Sun Myung Moon and early disciple Hyo Won Eu and first published in 1966. A translation entitled Divine Principle was published in English in 1973. The book lays out the core of Unification theology, and is held to have the status of scripture by believers. Following the format of systematic theology, it includes (1) God's purpose in creating human beings, (2) the fall of man, and (3) redemption – the process through history by which God is working to remove the ill effects of the fall and restore humanity back to the relationship and position that God originally intended.[55]

God is viewed as the creator,[56] whose nature combines both masculinity and femininity,[56] and is the source of all truth, beauty, and goodness. Human beings and the universe reflect God's personality, nature, and purpose.[56] "Give-and-take action" (reciprocal interaction) and "subject and object position" (initiator and responder) are "key interpretive concepts",[57] and the self is designed to be God's object.[57] The purpose of human existence is to return joy to God.[58] The "four-position foundation" is "another important and interpretive concept",[58] and explains in part the emphasis on the family.[58]

Eugene V. Gallagher commented: "The Divine Principle's analysis of the Fall sets the stage for the mission of Rev. Moon, who in the last days brings a revelation that offers humankind the chance to return to an Edenic state. The account in the Divine Principle offers Unificationists a comprehensive context for understanding human suffering."[59]


The Divine Principle upholds a belief in spiritualism, that is communication with the spirits of deceased persons. Moon and early church members associated with spiritualists, including the famous Arthur Ford.[31][60] The introduction to the Divine Principle says about Moon:

For several decades he wandered through the spirit world so vast as to be beyond imagining. He trod a bloody path of suffering in search of the truth, passing through tribulations that God alone remembers. Since he understood that no one can find the ultimate truth to save humanity without first passing through the bitterest of trials, he fought alone against millions of devils, both in the spiritual and physical worlds, and triumphed over them all. Through intimate spiritual communion with God and by meeting with Jesus and many saints in Paradise, he brought to light all the secrets of Heaven.[61]

Returning resurrection

Returning resurrection is a theological concept explained in the Divine Principle. It posits that departed souls can expiate their sins and achieve spiritual growth by "returning" to earth and cooperating with living people to good deeds.[62] The text cites a scripture justifying the concept: "Apart from us they may not be made perfect".[63]

Unification Church theologian Young Oon Kim explained that returning resurrection is not the same as reincarnation. She emphasized that failure to make the distinction has led many dead people to try to "reincarnate", but wound up only possessing other people - to their mutual detriment.[64]


Indemnity, in the context of Unification Church beliefs, is a part of the process by which human beings and the world are restored to God's ideal.[65][66][67][68] The concept of indemnity is explained at the start of the second half of the Divine Principle, "Introduction to Restoration":

What, then, is the meaning of restoration through indemnity? When someone has lost his original position or state, he must make some condition to be restored to it. The making of such conditions of restitution is called indemnity. For example, to recover lost reputation, position or health, one must make the necessary effort or pay the due price. Suppose two people who once loved each other come to be on bad terms; they must make some condition of reconciliation before the love they previously enjoyed can be revived. In like manner, it is necessary for human beings who have fallen from God's grace into corruption to fulfill some condition before they can be restored to their true standing. We call this process of restoring the original position and state through making conditions restoration through indemnity, and we call the condition made a condition of indemnity. God's work to restore people to their true, unfallen state by having them fulfill indemnity conditions is called the providence of restoration through indemnity.[69]

The Divine Principle goes on to explain three types of indemnity conditions. Equal conditions of indemnity pay back the full value of what was lost. The biblical verse "life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth" (Exod.21:23-24) is quoted as an example of an equal indemnity condition. Lesser conditions of indemnity provide a benefit greater than the price that is paid. Faith, baptism, and holy communion are mentioned as examples of lesser indemnity conditions. Greater conditions of indemnity come about when a person fails in a lesser condition. In that case a greater price must be paid to make up for the earlier failure. Abraham's attempted sacrifice of his son Isaac (Gen. 22:1-18) and the Israelite's 40 years of wandering in the wilderness under Moses (Num.14:34) are mentioned as examples of greater indemnity conditions.[69] The Divine Principle then explains that an indemnity condition must reverse the course by which the mistake or loss came about. Jesus' statement that God had forsaken him (Matt.27:46) and Christianity's history of martyrdom are mentioned as examples of this.[69] The Divine Principle then states that human beings, not God or the angels, are the ones responsible for making indemnity conditions.[69][70][71]

Christian commentators have criticized the concept of indemnity as being contrary to the Christian doctrine of salvation by faith. Radio and television evangelist Bob Larson said, "Moon's doctrine of sinless perfection by 'indemnity', which can apply even to deceased ancestors, is a denial of the salvation by grace offering through Jesus Christ." Christian historian Ruth Tucker said: "In simple language indemnity is salvation by works."[70][71] Donald Tingle and Richard Fordyce, ministers with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who debated two Unification Church theologians in 1977, wrote: "In short, indemnity is anything you want to make it, since you establish the conditions. The zeal and enthusiasm of the Unification Church members is not so much based on love for God as it is compulsion to indemnify one's own sins."[72] The Unification Church has also been criticized for saying that the First World War, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the Cold War served as indemnity conditions to prepare the world for the establishment of the Kingdom of God.[73]

The True Family

The True Family, in Unification Church terminology, is the family of church founder and leader Sun Myung Moon and his wife Hak Ja Han.[74] Church members regard Moon as the Second Coming of Christ,[75][76][77] and he and his wife as the "True Parents" of humankind, who have realized the ideal of true love as the incarnation of God's Word.[78][79] The members of the Unification Movement generally address or refer to Rev. and Mrs. Moon as "Father" and "Mother" or "True Father" and "True Mother."[80] Their children are known as the "True Children."[81]

Sun Myung and Hak Ja Han are regarded to have achieved the status of True Parents on January 1, 1968, at the end of their "7-year course" of marriage together, representing the perfection of God's masculine and feminine aspects. Unification theology teaches that Jesus achieved this perfection only on the individual level (a lesser accomplishment than that of Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han). The Unification Church teaches that had Jesus not died on the cross he would have married. It further teaches that, having married, he and his wife would have become "True Parents", created a "True Family", and would have saved humanity and perfected the world. Unfortunately Jesus was unable to complete his mission of perfecting the world and went the way of the cross, but his death was not a complete defeat because Jesus died for our sins giving us spiritual salvation).[82][83][84] The primary mission of True Parents is to engraft all people on earth and in the spirit world to the original sinless lineage of God, removing them from the satanic lineage established at the fall of humanity (the original sin in the Garden of Eden).[85][86]

Sex and marriage

The Unification Church is well known for its wedding or marriage rededication ceremony. It is given to married (or engaged) couples. Through it, members of the Unification Church believe, the couple is removed from the lineage of sinful humanity and engrafted into God's sinless lineage. The Blessing ceremony was first held in 1961 for 36 couples in Seoul, South Korea by the Moons shortly after their own marriage in 1960. All the couples were members of the church. Rev. Moon matched all of the couples except 12 who were already married to each other before joining the church.[87]

Later Blessing ceremonies were larger in scale but followed the same pattern. All participants were Unification Church members and Rev. Moon matched most of the couples. In 1982 the first large scale Blessing (of 2,000 couples) outside of Korea took place in Madison Square Garden, New York City.[88] In 1988, Moon matched 2,500 Korean members with Japanese members for a Blessing ceremony held in Korea, partly in order to promote unity between the two nations.[89] In 1992 Sun Myung Moon gave the wedding blessing for 30,000 couples at the Seoul Olympic Stadium[90] and for 13,000 at the Yankee Stadium.[91] In 2013, four months after the death of Sun Myung Moon, the church held a Blessing ceremony for 3,500 couples in South Korea, while another 24,000 followers took part in other countries via video link. This ceremony was presided over by Hak Ja Han.[92]

Several church-related groups are working to promote sexual abstinence until marriage and fidelity in marriage and to prevent child exploitation; they care for victims of Thailand's massive sex trade as well.[93][94][95] In 1996, Unification Church gathered 3,500 signatures during its anti-porn campaign. As a church official said, "pornography makes love seem temporal, pure love goes beyond the sexual relationship."[96]


The Family Pledge of the Unification Church is an eight-part promise of church members to focus on God and His kingdom. Eight verses of the Family Pledge include the phrase "by centering on true love." For the first 40 years of the church's existence, members recited the pledge on Sunday mornings at 5:00 a.m. Now they recite it every 8 days, on Ahn Shi Il: Day of Settlement and Attendance, which is the Unification Church's equivalent of a Sabbath. The first part says, "Our family, the owner of Cheon Il Guk, pledges to seek our original homeland and build the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven, the original ideal of creation, by centering on true love."[97][98]

The symbol

According to church sources, the symbol of Unification Church is created with significant meaning and numbers: Its gold color symbolizes an ideal world of peace; the circle in the center represents God and his True Love, True Life and True Lineage; the twelve lines represent 12 months of the year and twelve types of human personalities; the square represents four directions, North, South East & West, and the four position foundation centered on God; and the circle around represents give and receive action between the visible and invisible worlds.[99]



The Unification Church has been criticized for esotericism, that is making at least some of its beliefs secret from nonmembers.[100][101][102] In 1979 Tingle and Fordyce commented: "How different the openness of Christianity is to the attitude of Reverend Moon and his followers who are often reluctant to reveal to the public many of their basic doctrines."[103] Since the 1990s many Unification Church texts that were formerly regarded as esoteric have been posted on the church's official websites.[104]


In the 1970s the Unification Church was accused of "brainwashing" by some members of the anticult movement, which was repeated by some of the news media.[105] These accusations were based on theories that for the most part have not gained acceptance among scholars.[106] Eileen Barker, a sociologist of religion and the founder of INFORM (Information Network Focus on Religious Movements), argues that the Unification Church and other new religious movements of that time "demonstrably did not have access to the irresistible or irreversible techniques they were reputedly wielding".[107][108] In 1987, scholars with American Psychological Association also rejected the hypotheses of those who accused the Unification church of brainwashing and coercive persuasion, stating that their "conclusions...cannot be said to be scientific in any meaningful sense".[109] Since 1990, U.S. courts have consistently rejected testimonies about brainwashing (mind control) and manipulation, stating that such theories were not part of accepted mainline science according to the Frye Standard of 1923.[110]


Members of the Unification Church reported that they were forcibly "deprogrammed" by those who wanted to pull them out of the Unification Church.[111] In 1977, the Unification Church won a lawsuit in the United States against deprogrammers.[112]

Relations with Judaism

Main article: Unification Church and Judaism

The Divine Principle has been accused of containing antisemitic references.[113] Statements by Moon that Jewish victims of the Holocaust were paying indemnity for the crucifixion of Jesus have also been described as antisemitic.[108][114] In the 1980s church leaders Mose Durst, Peter Ross, and Andrew Wilson expressed regret over some members' misunderstanding of Judaism and urged better relations with the Jewish community.[115][116][117] Since 2003, the church sponsored Middle East Peace Initiative has been organizing group tours of Israel to promote understanding, respect, and reconciliation among Jews, Muslims, and Christians.[118][119]

Relations with mainstream Christianity

From its beginning, the Unification Church claimed to be Christian and promoted its teachings to mainstream Christian churches and organizations . The Unification Church in Korea was labeled as heretical by Protestant churches in South Korea, including Moon’s own Presbyterian Church. In the United States the church was rejected by ecumenical organizations as being non-Christian. The main objections were theological, especially because of the Unification Church’s addition of material to the Bible.[31]

Protestant Christian commentators have also criticized Unification Church teachings as contrary to the Protestant doctrine of salvation by faith alone.[120][121] In their influential book The Kingdom of the Cults (first published in 1965), Walter Ralston Martin and Ravi K. Zacharias disagreed with the Divine Principle on the issues of the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth of Jesus, the Unification Church's belief that Jesus should have married, the necessity of the crucifixion of Jesus, and a literal resurrection of Jesus as well as a literal second coming of Jesus.[122]

In 2001, the Unification Church came into conflict with the Roman Catholic Church when Catholic archbishop Emmanuel Milingo and Maria Sung, a 43-year-old Korean acupuncturist, married in a Unification Church Blessing ceremony, presided over by Rev. and Mrs. Moon. Following his marriage the Archbishop was called to the Vatican by Pope John Paul II, where he was asked not to see his wife anymore, and to move to a Capuchin monastery.[123] Sung went on a hunger strike to protest their separation. This attracted much media attention.[124] Milingo is now an advocate of the removal of the requirement for celibacy by priests in the Catholic Church. He is the founder of Married Priests Now!.[125]

U.S. Congressional investigation

In 1977 the Subcommittee on International Organizations of the Committee on International Relations, of the United States House of Representatives, found that the South Korean intelligence agency, the KCIA, had used the Unification Church to gain political influence within the United States and that some Unification Church members had worked as volunteers in Congressional offices. Together they founded the Korean Cultural Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit organization which undertook public diplomacy for the Republic of Korea.[126] The committee also investigated possible KCIA influence on the Unification Church's campaign in support of Nixon.[127]

United States v. Sun Myung Moon

In 1982, Moon was convicted in the United States of filing false federal income tax returns and conspiracy. His conviction was upheld on appeal in a split decision. Moon was given an 18-month sentence and a $15,000 fine. He served 13 months of the sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury before being released on good behavior to a halfway house.[128] The case was the center of national freedom of religion and free speech debates.[129] Prof. Laurence H. Tribe of the Harvard University Law School argued that the trial by jury had "doomed (Moon) to conviction based on religious prejudice."[130] The American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A, the National Council of Churches, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference filed briefs in support of Moon.[131] Many notable clergy, including Jerry Falwell and Joseph Lowery, signed petitions protesting the government's case and spoke out in defense of Moon.[132][133]

Interfaith activities

In 1974 Moon founded the Unification Theological Seminary, in Barrytown, New York, partly in order to improve relations of the Unification Church with other churches. Professors from other denominations, including a Methodist minister, a Presbyterian, and a Roman Catholic priest, as well as a rabbi, were hired to teach Unificationist students.[71][134][135][136][137]

The relationship between the Unification Church and Islam has often been noted, both by scholars and the news media. The Divine Principle lists the “Islamic cultural sphere” as one of the world’s four major divisions (the others are the East Asian, the Hindu, and the Christian spheres).[138] In 1997, Louis Farrakhan, the leader of The Nation of Islam, an African American Islamic organization, served as a "co-officiator" at a blessing ceremony presided over by Moon and Han.[139] In 2000 the Church and the Nation of Islam co-sponsored the Million Family March, a rally in Washington, D.C., to celebrate family unity and racial and religious harmony.[140][141]

In 2009 the Unification Church held an interfaith event in the Peruvian Congress.[142] The President of the Congress of Peru Marcial Ayaipoma[143] and other notable politicians are "Ambassadors for Peace" of the Unification Church.[144][145][146][147][148]

In 2010, the church built a large interfaith temple in Seoul.[149] Author Deepak Chopra was the keynote speaker at an interfaith event of the Unification Church co-hosted with the United Nations at the United Nations Headquarters.[150]

In 2011, an interfaith event was held in the National Assembly of Thailand, the President of the National Assembly of Thailand attended the event.[151]

In 2012, the Unification Church-affiliated Universal Peace Federation held an interfaith dialogue in Italy, which was cosponsored by United Nations.[152] That year, Unification Church affiliated Universal Peace Federation held an interfaith program for representatives of 12 various religions and confessions in the United Nations General Assembly Hall. President of the United Nations General Assembly,[153] Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations,[154][155] Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations[156] and other UN officials gave speeches there.[157]

Related organizations

The Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) is a collegiate organization founded by Moon and church members in 1955, which "promotes intercultural, interracial, and international cooperation through the Unification world view."[158][159] J. Isamu Yamamoto states in Unification Church: "At times CARP has been very subtle about its association with the Unification Church, however, the link between the two has always been strong, since the purpose of both is to spread Moon's teachings."[160]

The Little Angels Children’s Folk Ballet of Korea is a dance troupe founded in 1962 by Moon and other church members to project a positive image of South Korea to the world.[161][162] In 1973 they performed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.[163] The group’s dances are based on Korean legends and regional dances, and its costumes on traditional Korean styles.[164]

Tongil Group is a South Korean business group (chaebol “Tongil” is Korean for “unification,” the name of the Unification Church in Korean is “Tongilgyo.”), founded in 1963 by Moon as a nonprofit organization which would provide revenue for the church. Its core focus was manufacturing but in the 1970s and 1980s it expanded by founding or acquiring businesses in pharmaceuticals, tourism, and publishing. [37] Among Tongil Group’s chief holdings are: The Ilwha Company, which produces ginseng and related products; Ilshin Stone, building materials; and Tongil Heavy Industries, machine parts including hardware for the South Korean military.[38]

The Unification Theological Seminary (UTS), founded in 1975, is the main seminary of the international Unification Church. It is located in Barrytown, New York and with an Extension Center in midtown Manhattan. Its purpose has been described as training leaders and theologians within the Unification Church.[165] The seminary's professors come from a wide range of faiths, including a Rabbi, a Sheikh, a Methodist minister, a Presbyterian, and a Roman Catholic priest.[166][167][168]

News World Communications, is an international news media corporation[169] founded by Moon in 1976. It owns United Press International, The World and I, Tiempos del Mundo (Latin America), The Segye Ilbo (South Korea), The Sekai Nippo (Japan), the Zambezi Times (South Africa), The Middle East Times (Egypt).[170] Until 2008 it published the Washington D.C. based newsmagazine Insight on the News.[169] Until 2010, it owned the Washington Times. On November 2, 2010, Sun Myung Moon and a group of former Times editors purchased the Times from News World.[171]

The International Coalition for Religious Freedom is an activist organization based in Virginia, the United States. Founded by the Unification Church in the 1980s, it has been active in protesting what it considers to be threats to religious freedom by governmental agencies.[172][173][174]

The Universal Ballet, founded South Korea in 1984, is one of only four professional ballet companies in South Korea. The company performs a repertory that includes many full length classical story ballets, together with shorter contemporary works and original full-length Korean ballets created especially for the company. It is supported by church members with Moon's daughter-in-law Julia H. Moon, who was the company's prima ballerina until 2001, now serving as General Director.[175][176][177][178]

The Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP) is an organization whose stated purpose is to encourage women to work more actively in promoting peace in their communities and greater society.[179] It was founded in 1992 by Hak Ja Han]] and is supported by the church. It has members in 143 countries.[179][180][181]

Pyeonghwa Motors, founded in 2000, has invested more than $300 million in the automobile industry of the North Korea[182]

The Middle East Peace Initiative sponsors projects to promote peace and understanding including visits by international Christians to Israel and Palestine and dialogues between members of the Israeli Knesset and the Palestinian Parliament.[183]

The Sunmoon Peace Football Foundation founded by the church in 2003 sponsors the Peace Cup, an invitational pre-season friendly football tournament for club teams, currently held every two years.[184] It is contested by the eight clubs from several continents, though 12 teams participated in 2009. The first three competitions were held in South Korea, and the 2009 Peace Cup Andalucia was held in Madrid and Andalusia, Spain.[185][186] In 1989, Moon had founded Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma Korean football team.[187]

The Global Peace Foundation (GPF), originally called the Global Peace Festival and then the Global Peace Festival Foundation, is an international non-profit organization intended to promote world peace and cooperation under the motto “One Family under God.” Hyun Jin Moon, a son of Sun Myung Moon, is the founder of GPF, begun in 2007. In 2008 peace festivals sponsored by the GPF were held in North America, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.[188][189][190]

Political activities

The Unification Church has been noted for its political activities, especially its support for United States president Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal,[191] its support for anti-communism during the Cold War,[192][193] and its ownership of various news media outlets through News World Communications, an international news media conglomerate which publishes The Washington Times newspaper in Washington, D.C., and newspapers in South Korea, Japan, and South America, which tend to support conservatism.[194]

In 1980 Moon asked church members to found CAUSA International, an anti-communist educational organization based in New York.[195][196] In August 1985, seven years before the fall of Soviet Union, the Professors World Peace Academy, an organization founded by Moon, sponsored a conference in Geneva to debate the theme "The situation in the world after the fall of the communist empire." The conference was chaired by professors Morton Kaplan and Aleksandras Štromas.[197]

In 2003, Korean Unification Church members started a political party in South Korea. It was named "The Party for God, Peace, Unification, and Home." In an inauguration declaration, the new party said it would focus on preparing for Korean reunification by educating the public about God and peace. A church official said that similar political parties would be started in Japan and the United States.[198]

Moon was a member of the Honorary Committee of the Unification Ministry of the Republic of Korea.[199] Church member Jae-jung Lee had been once a Unification Minister of the Republic of Korea.[200] Another, Ek Nath Dhakal, is a member of the Nepalese Constituent Assembly,[201] and a first Minister for Co-operatives and Poverty Alleviation Ministry of the Government of Nepal.[202]

In 2012, December 19, the candidate Park Geun-hye, with the support of the Unification Church, became the first female President of South Korea.[203]

In 2013, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai stated: "I remain greatly inspired by people like Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon, whose work and life across continents continue to impact positively on the lives of millions of others in the world."[204]

See also

Christianity portal
Korea portal


  1. New York Times, January 27, 1992.
  2. New business models for news are not that new, Nikki Usher, Knight Digital Media Center, 2008-12-17, "And the Washington Times' conservative stance pursues its agenda from the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church."

Annotated bibliography

External links

  • Official website of the American Unification Church
  • Biography of Sun Myung Moon
  • Unification Church Profile of the UC at
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