Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon is the founder and spiritual leader of the Unification Church. The broader Unification Movement includes foundations and enterprises operating in the realms of religion, academia, the arts, media, sports, agriculture, technology, ocean enterprises, and more.
Born into a farming family in 1920 in what is now North Korea, Reverend Moon became a Christian at age 10 at a time when occupying Japanese forces brutally persecuted Christians. He received a calling from Jesus in 1935 and subsequently pursued a course of prayer and study of Christian and other scriptures. During this period of spiritual search, he continued his secondary education in Korea and later studied electrical engineering in Japan.
He began his public ministry in Communist-occupied North Korea by sharing new insights into God's Will and Jesus' mission. Communist authorities imprisoned the young preacher in the late 1940s, severely tortured him, and sentenced him to the infamous Hungnam labor camp, where he remained until 1950, when authorities released him due to the advance of UN forces.
Reverend Moon founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC), which later became generally known as the "Unification Church," in 1954 in Seoul, Korea. His teachings, known as the Divine Principle, draw upon biblical truths and Eastern wisdom to present a comprehensive view of God's ideal plan for humanity, the cause of sin, and the history of God's work to restore the lost ideal.
On January 6th 1920 by the traditional lunar calendar, Rev. Sun Myung Moon was born in Jeongju, North Pyeongyang Province, at a time when Korea was under Japanese rule. Despite the harsh environment, he was raised in a patriotic and Christian family. Rev. Moon was most influenced by his great uncle, Yoon Gook Moon’s teachings. His great uncle was a pastor and an independence activist. He participated in the March 1st Independence Movement and took the lead in establishing Osan school with activist Sung Hoon Lee. In addition, he donated the entire family fortune to the provisional government of Korea based in Shanghai, China for the independence movement. Even though the family faced financial troubles as a result, Rev. Moon spent his youth in continuous prayer in concern of the suffering of the Korean people and his destiny. On April 17th 1935, the Easter morning Rev. Moon turned 16, Jesus appeared to him in his prayers revealing to him his mission to save mankind. After this revelation, he spent his days in deep prayer and entered a world of truth to reveal the secrets of the creation of the universe and of the bible.
“On those days when my prayers and dedication connected to Heaven, Jesus appeared to me without fail and conveyed special messages. If I was earnest in my desire to know something, Jesus would appear with a gentle expression and give me answers of truth. (Omition) These were not mere words; they were revelations about the creation of the universe that opened the door to a new world.”
Aiming to go on a world-stage, Rev. Sun Myung Moon started his world-wide mission by sending missionaries to Japan in 1958 and then to the United States in 1959. Going at a time when no diplomatic ties existed between Korea and Japan, missionaries risked their lives to start the mission. Later on, the Unification Principle rapidly spread throughout Japan and it is presently one of the nations with the biggest number of believers.
In the 1970s, the mainstream society and christianity in the US opposed the Unification movement calling Rev. Moon and his believers ‘moonies’. Despite the opposition, Rev. Moon started becoming an ‘icon for the revolution of consciousness’ among many young Americans and worked towards obtaining a stable religious foundation. Later on, a historical rally that gathered around 300,000 people in front of Washington Monument sent the religious circles of America in shock. As a result, a newsweekly ‘News Week’ selected Rev. Moon as the ‘Person of the Year 1976′.
“Despite such opposition, the lecture series by the small-eyed man from the Orient gathered more and more interest. People began to listen to the teachings, which were completely different from what they had heard until then. The content of the lectures dealing with the fundamental principles of the universe and seeking to reawaken the founding spirit of America was a breath of fresh air for Americans who had fallen into the hell of immorality and sloth.
At a time when racial discrimination was still extreme in America, many became alerted with the fact that this religious man from Korea, a small oriental country, was having so much influence over its young people. The American government tried to find a way to deport Rev. Moon and succeeded in putting him in Danbury, a Federal Correctional Institution after indicting him on charges of tax evasion. This case incited around 3,500 religious leaders from America and the world to rally in front of the White House, protest against using the law to oppress religion and stand up for religious freedom, transcending the different denominations. On the day Rev. Moon was released, around 1,700 religious leaders from Judaism and Christian churches participated in the banquet celebrating Rev. Moon’s release.
Rev. Moon was well aware of the fact that religion alone could not open a new era and as a result, he put diverse effort into substantializing God’s ideal in all fields including politics, economics, education, mass media, culture, science, relief, environment, family, women, youths and others.
In particular, Rev. Moon carried out ‘Victory Over Communism’ with a firm belief that ‘Communism, which denies the existence of God, would fall down’. Just as he had hoped and predicted, communism collapsed and marked the end of the Cold War. On December 1991, Rev. Moon and Premier Kim Il Sung had a historical meeting and right in front of Premier Kim, he boldly emphasized that communism could only collapse because it denied God’s existence. A joint statement which initiated talks between the two Koreas, was issued during this meeting. Twenty years has passed ever since and he has played the bridging role during talks between the two countries from a civilian level; he has worked on building an economic cooperation model between the North and South, sponsored Inter-Korean Youths and Students Seminars and Little Angels performances in the North among many other activities.
In addition, Rev. Moon established the Inter-Denominational Association in 1966, carried out inter-faith activities such as the opening of World Religions Conference and others. After the 9. 11 terrorist attack, he also contributed to peace in the Middle East by hosting inter-faith seminars for peace in the Middle East, exchange programs, and the peace parade.
After victoriously completing the thorny path of suffering he had walked on ever since his calling, the ‘Coronation Ceremony of God’s Kingship’ announcing the start of Heaven’s sovereignty centered on God, could be proclaimed based on that foundation on Januarty 13th 2001. Later on, Rev. Moon suggested building an actual Cheon Il Guk with God as its King until 2013 and then he started working on the renewal of UN for the realization of world peace based on the peace movement carried out within different walks of life until then. Rev. Moon knew that talks and cooperation transcending short-sighted national interests were requisites for the realization of a true world of peace
“It is only when the knowledge and experience of political leaders are combined with the wisdom of interreligious leaders that the world will be bale to find the path to true peace. Again today I set out on my path with renewed determination to achieve that goal. My prayer is that every person on Earth will be reborn as a peace-loving global citizen transcending barriers of religion, ideology, and race.”
Dr. Morton A. Kaplan, a distinguished service professor in Political Science at the University of Chicago said “As the world falls into one crisis after another, that world requires the capability of an outstanding leader. In answer to our sorrowful history, God specially sent Rev. Sun Myung Moon as that leader.” Former President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize winner Hon. Lech Walesa said, “I sincerely respect Rev. Moon. I hope he can realize God’s will.”
Even though Rev. Sun Myung Moon is greatly respected throughout the world as the true king of peace and the king of kings, he was also a target of persecution and adversities to conservative Christian powers.
Rev. Moon’s life and accomplishments were never confined to that of a religion, but was a big run of true love to establish a world of peace and realize one big family on Earth. Rev. Moon revealed the secrets on the origin of the universe and human history by spending his youth in deep prayer and conditions. However, he also walked a thorny path with the lonely mission of a pioneer, going to prison six times though he was innocent. Rev. Moon’s life reflects the life of the Messiah, our true parents and true teacher who came to save mankind.
2018 FFWPU International Headquater