Sun Myung Moon’s Life In His Own Words

Part 18: A Global Mission's Humble Beginnings - May 1, 1954

I established our church in Seoul in 1954. With a few members, notably President Eu, we began by hanging the sign on a little house in Bukhak District. I was not trying to start another denomination. The name was the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, but I hadn't intended to create that. I wanted to create a movement that was beyond sectarianism, transcending religious denomination, but that was not going to work. That is why I had no choice but to found the Unification Church.

From the point of view of God's overall will, the fact that our church was established amidst trials and suffering is sad. However, if we look back at it from the point of view of historical tradition, the establishment of the church under such difficult circumstances is all the more impressive. Not everyone welcomed the church's existence. I declared it one day under lonely circumstances, a few people meeting together and shedding tears. We can pass by good things without knowing they are there; yet it is always our task to overcome difficulties in order to find something good. Therein lies the promise of a new day.

Sae Dae Man Jip (The House of Three Doors)

I put up the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity sign. I didn't put the sign up on some magnificent building like the Tower Hotel -- that would have been nice -- but on the House of Three Doors in Seoul's Bukhak District.

Because it has three doors, it has all that is required! [Laughter] When you go in, you can't help greeting people with a bow (because the door is so low) and when you go out, you bow to say thank you. [Laughter] What does this mean? Because humans are imperfect and God doesn't want to see us ruined, He makes us bow our heads. We should bow our heads in the formation stage, in the growth stage and in the perfection stage.

That was probably the smallest house in Seoul. You couldn't even think about lying down across the width of the room, you had to lie lengthwise, or your feet would touch the wall. Even then, you could barely stretch out. There were two rooms about the same size. How high was the ceiling? If somebody like me stood up straight, the ceiling would be pushed up. The paper ceiling would tear! Only six or seven people, certainly not more than ten, could fit in the room. If we held a meeting, people in the neighborhood would noisily scold us. The local people called us "Those crazy people." They looked at the sign and said, "Ha ha ha! The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity?" It was hard to believe, wasn't it?

Our church started from that small but [in Busan] and developed into a worldwide movement. In line with the principle of restoration, the representative needs to appear who can pray on the world level from the smallest house. That's my ideology. The representative then needs to pray on the world level from a slightly larger house. The history of the Unification Church shows such upward development through all the stages.

Since I could reach up and touch the eaves of the house with my hand, the sign was at a height where even children could touch it. We hung up this incredible sign on this incredible house. Who would take any notice of it? Have you any idea how contemptuously it was treated? The local children used to take it down and play on it. You have no idea how scratched it was. People who opposed the church used to come and say, "What? They're going to unify Christianity? What heretics!" They took the sign and smashed it. Things like that happened. Because it was a historic sign, we couldn't throw it away, so we nailed it back together.

The sign was treated with contempt and so the house was treated with contempt and therefore the founder, "Moon so-and-so," was also treated with contempt. That stands to reason, doesn't it?

The Early Days in Seoul

The Unification Church is also a church but I don't like the word "church." I had no choice but to put up a sign with "church" on it. When I established the church, I did not think, "Heavenly Father, I have made the Unification Church. I am so proud." I put up the sign, but I have always wondered when I will be able to take it down again. The sign was for the sake of the country. In order to recover the country I am also willing to remove the Unification Church sign. In order to enable the country to live, I can take the Unification Church sign down. Who would be against that? Who would be against exchanging it for something bigger and better?

At that time, I didn't have any money at all. If I lay down in the room, my feet touched the walls. That house was rented. At the time, I didn't even have barley rice to eat, which even in those days a beggar wouldn't receive thankfully. If you gave barley rice to a beggar, he would throw it in the garbage. Seen in this light, I endured all types of things, saying to myself, "The day will come when we must widen this path. According to the way of heavenly fortune, you will advance to higher dimensions, progressing from you as an individual to the family, society, nation and world. That day will surely come."

At that time, I was in a desolate state. I wore an old jacket and army work jeans with most of the color faded, and rubber shoes. Who could say who the leader was, or who was a follower in the Unification Church? Going in and out of the house, we all looked the same.

It wouldn't have been so bad if more people visited the church but this same situation went on month after month for a whole year with just the church sign hanging on the door of the house. Sometimes men with a topknot and a gal-3 visited the church. At that time who could believe that the Unification Church would develop into a global movement?

Be that as it may, it doesn't mean that I was a poor, unworthy leader. Day or night, I would go up into the mountains to pray. At that time I felt that if I were to strangle Satan, his head would come off in my hands; if I were to hold on to heaven, I would drag it down to where I was; if I were to hit the earth I would drive a hole through it. I felt so confident and courageous. I said to the world and heaven, "Wait and see!"

Chaos in the service of God's will

If Christianity had become one with me in 1945, I wouldn't have had to suffer so much in treading this path. However, when Christianity opposed me, I had to endure extreme suffering and overcome it all by myself. I had to set up the Unification Church in place of Christianity and establish the foundation to restore the world through indemnity... The Unification Church was established in the seventh year counting from 1948; that period had the significance of indemnifying the Old Testament Age. So, on the foundation of these seven years, humankind could enter the New Testament Age for the first time.

That's why I established the Unification Church on this new foundation, before 1960. The period until 1960 indemnified the failure of Christianity. You have to know that I had to go through courses representative of all the suffering courses in God's will in the Old and the New Testaments because of this. I had to lay the foundation, indemnifying not only everything the Israelites had failed to do and everything the Christians had failed to do but also everything that had Jesus failed to do.

So who stood up for God's will? It was not all the spiritual Christian organizations. It was I who stood in front of God. It was from that time that I began to receive opposition, and so I stood alone.

At that time, South Korea was torn asunder. The Korean government had been completely swept away. Those with money wanted to escape; Christian ministers sent all their children overseas for their studies. Within the country it was a time of great confusion.

It was from this point that I laid the foundation for the Unification Church. Following the foundation that was laid for the Unification Church, the form of the new [Korean] government became settled. That is the viewpoint of the providence.

Using the satanic side, Heaven prepared a chaotic society as an environment that enabled God's will to advance. So I established our church in 1954 and expanded upon this new foundation within the chaos of the time. The Unification Church developed in confrontation with the government and the established Christian churches. The Unification Church had to occupy the mainstream and be able to change the social and national environment.

The drive behind the establishment of the church

I didn't start the Unification Church based on human thinking. Heaven provided the motivation for starting it. If I had established the Unification Church only according to human will, I wouldn't be able to contribute to the flow of history or to building the coming new world. Therefore, I founded a new religion grounded in God's will.

I did not act on a whim, or do just as I pleased. The Unification movement has deeply spiritual origins. It was formed based on the God's instructions, and it appeared in this special age. I am constantly receiving God's guidance. Many people think I do things my own way, but that's not true. From its beginnings, the Unification Church has taken the path it has not for the sake of particular individuals but only for the sake of God's will. Because my original motivation was caught up with God, the church took the path it has for God's sake. If the Unification Church began on God's account, the church will not wander. From one starting point, it must follow one path. Its final destination, absolutely, without doubt, is God; because the starting point was God, we cannot take it in another direction based on our own ideas.

We can therefore say that Unificationism has the longest history of any religion. What does having the longest history mean? It means we have uncovered the history of God's love, the world that no one has known. The world of love transcends time and space.

The historical origins of Unificationism

Although the Unification faith began in 1954, we know it originally began immediately after Korea's liberation's and, going back beyond that, it originated soon after the Fall. Unificationism has its origin at the beginning of history. Its beginning coincides with God's launch of the providence of restoration. This is how I view it.

We are connected to the Creation, to God's heart as He witnessed the Fall, to the grieving God who had to deal with all the problems of restoration after the Fall from an abyss of deep sorrow. We cannot deny that the Unification Church has inherited the tradition God established through all the ages, while resolving all historical problems, as He worked to make a world in which He is liberated. The Unification Church is a product of history. Unificationism is connected to the countless religions in history, going back beyond Christianity to Adam, the beginning point. Because God could not just leave Adam, the seed of the human race, after he fell, He has conducted His providence of salvation throughout all of history. Providential history has a destination. It has to be brought to its conclusion by a special religion. Unificationism has the mission, as a representative, to bring to a conclusion the whole of God's providence.

The perfection stage religion

Four cultural spheres remain in the world today -- the Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Confucian-Buddhist cultural spheres. In what direction are these headed? Relative to God's will, which is that the world receives salvation, these four cultural spheres have to unite to fulfill the last remaining tasks. In other words, as one body they have to pay the final indemnity.

There are many different religions in the world; among these, the formation stage religions are all those other than Christianity. The growth stage religion is Christianity and the perfection stage religion is Unificationism. I am saying this from the historical point of view.

Judaism is the first Israel, Christianity the second and Unificationism the third. The Unification Church has the mission of paying indemnity for all of history and to offer the universe to God. Accordingly, the Unification Church has to take responsibility for Judaism and Christianity, and on the bases of the physical and spiritual worlds, expand the foundation for the kingdom of heaven to the world level.

Christianity is in the child position; The Unification faith is in the parental position, and the Old Testaments is in the position of all things. We have indemnified this horizontally now. Until now, having one master has been the norm in many religions. If a man were the leader, they served one man, but Unificationism advocates serving parents. This is a very special phenomenon in the history of religion...

With regard to the past and present, what is the name of the church that God formed from the fruit of countless other religions' sacrifices in order to pay overall, global indemnity so as to unite all their histories? The Unification Church!

Teaching a new truth

In Korean, "church" [gyohae] comprises "teaching" [gyo] and "meeting" [had Religion] in Korea [jonggyo] comprises "root" [long] and "teaching" [gyo]. That means that religious teaching is the central teaching, the foundational teaching. What I have been teaching to this day does not exist in any other scripture. I am the first to reveal these things.

The Unification faith teaches the history of God's providence. It explains in detail how God initiated the providence of Creation and how He has worked until today. Man is not the only force behind history. Even though we have been unaware of it, God has been guiding history. This is why the Last Days will unavoidably conclude in the world that God wants. We know this and have been preparing for it. This is why the views and principles that Unificationism advocates surpass those of any previous philosophy or religion.

The Unification Church started on the foundation of having God in our daily lives; our teachings have a scientific aspect and are in touch with modern reality. This is what makes Unificationism different from the other religions. The New Testament, on the base of the Old Testament, concludes with meeting the Messiah, but Unificationism introduces the Messiah and teaches the right way to live.


Unification [tongil] means two become one. The Chinese character "tong" means "to rule, govern," thereby expressing subject character. "Unification" does not mean [merely] a combination. What is the origin of that subjective character? It flows from the spring of the heart of the absolute God and remains for eternity. You cannot bring about unification with fists or by force. The truth and true love are the only ways to bring unification. Truth is necessary. So our teaching is not conveyed by force or by restricting people. It teaches the way for people to become one naturally.

In order to govern, the subject partner must have the substance of leadership within himself. The subject partner has to have all the necessary qualities and has to take responsibility for, protect and nourish others. He has to lead as if he were an absolute servant. If he doesn't have the standard of a servant how will you make unity?

The character for tong means to govern. Leading in this way promotes unity. You lead individuals, families, clans and tribes, peoples, nations and the world, and in this way, which is able to liberate heaven and earth, even hell, you cry out for the liberation of God and True Parents' for the sake of the liberation of truth.

Because it has such a purpose, it must start a movement of unity among the churches, a movement to bring the churches together. Christianity should unite first within itself, and then beyond Christianity, if Christianity is the mainstream religion, it should unite other religions around itself and organize a movement for the unity of all humankind. After that, humankind should become one with God.

The Unification Church is an excellent name. I searched heaven and earth and chose the name, because such an organization was essential to realizing God's will. A monk met Chung-hwan Kwak and said, "It would not be worth it for you to eliminate all the persecution you have ever had if it meant giving up the name 'Unification Church.' It is a wonderful name, the Unification Church! If it had only appeared sooner, the world would have become one by now. You cannot even compare all the opposition to the church with the value of its name." This is true.

The "Holy Spirit" Association

A holy spirit brings unity. Parent and child are united by a holy spirit. What is this "holy spirit"? Through true love, the divine spirit can bring about harmony between the spiritual and physical worlds. If this harmony comes to exist, even if it spreads only a little on earth, its ripple effect will be cosmic. You have to know that although the realm of the harmony of love may be small, its substance enables it to connect to the universe.

In order to unify the world, we should receive the cooperation of not only the Christian spirits who follow Jesus but of spirits from all religions. Of course, you receive the cooperation of your good ancestors and of all deserving heroines in Korean history, but you should receive the cooperation of all the world's saints. The Unification Church has to prepare a foundation in this way through the workings of divine spirits and establish the substantial truth.

When we say "The Holy Spirit Association for Unification..." it refers to the original, unfallen world. It is an association that can realize the unified original world. In the future, when we go toward a new world, it will not be for World Christianity but for family churches. Only the family-based churches will remain. Families focused on True Parents. God and True Parents are the center.

Families will focus on the True Parents' traditions and through a connection of love will form the ideal unified world, which is like a big family tree. The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity is an association that will unify the heavenly spiritual world and the Christian spiritual world and the unified realm of the Unification Church. "Association" means "organization." I did not use the word "church."

The church symbol

Our Unification Church symbol has four parts that jut out. It gives the impression that it is revolving around the whole universe. When it revolves it forms a four-position foundation under God. The whole universe was created to be engaging in giving and receiving relationships.

The symbol shows man living within the universe, just as the sun is the center of the solar system. It represents the cosmos being constructed centered on God. The central part of the symbol connotes our ideal, which connects all things.

From that center, twelve lines radiate outward; the four thick lines represent the four directions. In order for a being to stand upright, firmly on its center, the four directions have to be established. That is the four-position foundation.

Next, the twelve lines, centered on East, West, South, North, represent the months of the year. It all revolves in a giving -- receiving relationship.

Looked at as a whole, the symbol represents a ship's helm and indicates that we must steer the cosmos. In this way, everything of our ideal, from the principle of creation onward is included. Originally, a flag with a symbol represents a nation. At present this symbol represents our Unification Church, but our ideal is not only for our church; the symbol represents the hope of history, the unique realm that represents the hope for the present and the future, the realm connected to God's heart, the one world realizing God's purpose of creation and that glorious day.

Accordingly, always keep this symbol in your heart. It also connotes that the person who is living with God's heart has the strength to overcome all of Satan's trials and treacherous forces. Therefore, if you believe and go forward with courage, wherever you go together with this symbol, God will work to support you.

The way of the family members

Today, for those in the Unification Church, we use "family members," just as we do in our families. What are we focused on that leads us to call each other family members? Our focus on the love of God and on the ideal God has been seeking since the time of the Creation inspires us to describe one another as family members.

You have to be a family member to have a brother -- sister connection, and it is only through the phrase "family member" that the original base for the kingdom of heaven can be formed. What a holy phrase! Even if all of heaven and earth were to disappear, this phrase must not. This phrase and the substantial beings it refers to have to remain.

Jesus had a younger brother but he wasn't able to love him; he had parents but he wasn't able to love them; he had relatives but he wasn't able to love them. We have to relieve Jesus' sorrow. He had a church, a country and his people, so he couldn't give his love to his relatives.

We use the name Unification Church but it is not a church; it is a unified family. The Communist bloc also can be included in this unified family, and so can the Democratic countries, as can black people, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians. Everyone must be able to become one.

If we ask, "What is the Unification Church? What concepts does the Unification Church hold dear?" The first such concept is unity, the second is true love and the third is the philosophy of living for others. It is that simple. If you only live like this, you will receive a visa for the Kingdom of Heaven, which you can take with you when your earthly life ends. You don't need a ticket. If you live like this, you will have a nation and it will be one unified nation, with one sovereignty, one people, one set of parents and one bloodline. If you live like this, all things are possible.

The road of sacrifice through true love

What is a true religion? A religion that exists only for its own denomination is not true. A true religion must be willing to sacrifice itself to save the nation, willing to sacrifice the nation to save the world and willing to sacrifice the world to save all humankind. God has made this way possible. I know that clearly. (Applause) That is why I have remained silent even though I have a mouth. I have eyes, but I have closed them. I have ears but I have shut them off. I have come along this way thinking that the most important task left on the earth is how to approach the highest peak of God's will. The last remaining task on earth is discovering how to live one's life for the sake of others.

Where is the absolute principle of goodness, the ideal origin of all existence? In living for others you can realize the ideal. Living for oneself is closer to living in hell. That is the way to ruin. Whether the Unification Church will be destroyed or prosper depends on this. If the Unification Church lives only for the Unification Church, it will be destroyed; it will prosper if it lives for the country, for the world, for heaven and earth and for God. If it exists for something bigger than itself, it will prosper.

So what course should Unification Church members take? They have to seek the true love way. You have to understand that the Unification Church is saying, "Let's go the way of love the individual seeks. Let's go the way of love the family seeks. Let's go the way of love the race seeks for, the way of love the nation seeks for, the way of love the world seeks, the way of love the world seeks and the way of love that God seeks."

Let us work so that humankind, God and the Messiah can dance on the earth. Let us work so that finally even Satan can receive the blessing. This is the way of the Unification Church.

The way of overcoming persecution

When the Unification movement first started in Korea, everyone was skeptical about it. All churches and denomination were skeptical. But that didn't concern us. There was persecution and we just accepted it.

We were ostracized by individuals and families, by many different religions and by the government, but I never once tried to defend myself or make excuses. Why? Because I knew God, who sacrifices the one He loves most without asking for compensation and without making excuses. In order to become a person who can follow God, who exists for others, you have endure what has to be endured in silence. Because there are so many things to do along the way, you don't have any time to worry about the commotion that surrounds you. Even though you have to endure all types of insults and plots, you are just too busy: "I am too busy. I have no time to worry about such things."

Religion has to overcome things. It has to go beyond the family, beyond the society and beyond the nation. Because God wants to set up the path to the Kingdom of Heaven, all the forces in the satanic realm will be mobilized for an all out attack. The day we succumb to that attack, we will become the losers, and the day we overcome the attack, we will be the winners.

This is the path that religion is to take. Since the Unification Church is no exception to this, it is the path we have been walking until now. When all the people of Korea truly come to understand Rev. Moon of the Unification Church, there will be many scenes of people weeping. 

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