This week in history, June 20 to 26

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  • The National Council of Churches issues a study document on the Divine Principle (June 21, 1977)
  • UTS awards honorary doctorates to True Parents (June 21, 2001)
  • God’s Hope for America Holy Ground pilgrimage begins(June 22, 2014)
  • True Father is installed as the chairman of the Korean Root-Finding Association (June 23, 1989)
  • True Mother is awarded with the Grand Prix Peace Prize of UN IAEWP (June 23, 2000)
  • The Korean War breaks out with the invasion of North Korea into South Korea (June 25, 1950)
  • True Father speaks to President Dwight D. Eisenhower on morals and religion (June 25, 1965)
  • A hearing on religious freedom takes place, followed by a rally in Washington, D.C. (June 25, 1985)
  • The launching ceremony of Cheon Seung Ho is held (June 26, 1963)
  • A hearing on religious freedom is held (June 26, 1984)
  • US clergy rally for True Father (June 26, 1985)
  • Dr. Theodore Shimmyo is inaugurated as the second president of the Unification Theological Seminary (June 26, 1994)

National Council of Churches Issues Study Document on Divine Principle

June 21, 1977

On June 21, 1977, the Commission on Faith and Order of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. released to the press and other interested persons “A Critique of the Theology of the Unification Church as Set Forth in Divine Principle.” The eleven-page “official study document,” drafted by Sister Agnes Cunningham of Mundelein (Roman Catholic) Seminary, was issued “to clarify the claim to Christian identity made by the Unification Church.” The Commission acknowledged receiving Unification Church “statements of self-clarification” but disregarded them. It also admitted to “diversity in Christian belief and theology and, thus, internal disagreement.” Nonetheless, the Commission determined that the Unification Church “is not a Christian Church” and that its “claim…to Christian identity cannot be recognized.” In an important response, published in the Journal of Unification Studies, Dr. Jonathan Wells concluded that “the NCC Critique, though cloaked in theological language,” looked “suspiciously like a witch-hunt.”

UTS Awards Honorary Doctorates to True Parents

June 21, 2001

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Unification Theological Seminary awarded its first honorary doctorates in its history to True Parents who were present for Seminary’s 25th commencement exercises. Their citation read in part, “They have introduced the vision of a world based on true love. They have created a theology of heart that resolves the chaos of theology and philosophy. They are leading humankind centered on the living God and the love of family.” Drs. Lee Kyung-june, President of Sun Moon University and Neil Albert Salonen, President of the University of Bridgeport, placed True Parents doctoral hood upon them, representing the bonds of kinship between the three primary institutions of higher education built by True Parents.

True Father delivered the traditional “Founder’s Address,” speaking for nearly four hours, likely a record for graduation ceremonies anywhere. He issued a call for the Seminary to maintain its founding vision as an interreligious school. He also explained the importance of lineage, challenging the school to provide its students a grasp of the innermost core of God’s heart and truth which culminates in true love and life being incarnated and carried forth. Ten days prior to the awards ceremony, on June 11, a bolt of lightning destroyed the five-foot cross that had stood on the chapel for 70 years. Upon hearing of its demise, True Father said it is now time for all crosses to be removed.

God’s Hope for America Holy Ground Pilgrimage Begins

June 22, 2014

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The God’s Hope for America bus tour began in San Francisco at the Twin Peaks Holy Ground, the first of the 55 Holy Grounds in the United States consecrated by True Father in 1965. The pilgrimage was organized to spark a revival among Unificationists who joined the 43-day tour at various stops across the country. Some 300 Unificationists gathered on Twin Peaks for the send-off. The tour covered 48 states and concluded in Eugene, Oregon, on August 3.

True Father Installed as Chairman of the Korean Root-Finding Association

June 23, 1989

Father delivers his Chairman's address to the general audience at the Little Angels Performing Arts Center's main concert hall. (1)

True Father delivers his Chairman’s address to the general audience at the Little Angels Performing Arts Center’s main concert hall.

True Father was installed as the chairman of the Korean Root-Finding Association (KRFA), a national organization made up of the leaders of the 275 Korean traditional families, or clans. Also referred to as the Korean Family-Clan Chairmen’s Association, the KRFA was organized to promote traditional Korean values, culture and the unity of the Korean people. At the installation ceremony True Parents each were presented with an ornate Korean traditional crown. In his inaugural address True Father acknowledged Korea’s “matchless respect for Heaven, loyalty, filial piety and etiquette,” but stated, “Clan-level root consciousness should be sublimated for a higher root consciousness … of all humanity.” He called upon the association to “extend our love relationships to overcome the conflicts of this age, demolish barriers of age-long disharmony and realize a harmonious world.” He emphasized that “the unification of South and North Korea should be accomplished on the foundation of homogeneity as one people through activating the root-finding movement of true love.”

True Mother is Awarded with the Grand Prix Peace Prize of UN IAEWP

June 23, 2000

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On June 23, 2000, True Mother was presented with the Grand Prix Peace Prize of UN IAEWP (International Association of Educators for World Peace) at the Folk Museum of Lotte World in Seoul. The Grand Prix Peace Prize is called the Nobel Prize of educational circles and is an award of the highest authority that is presented to those who have contributed to the development of education and human rights. Acknowledged for her contributions to improving the rights of women, True Mother is the first Korean woman to receive this prize. (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)

The Korean War Begins

June 25, 1950

The Korean War broke out when the army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The conflict pulled in China and the United States. Eventually, sixteen UN member nations provided troops to the South. The war continued for more than three years until the Korean Armistice Agreement (not treaty) was signed on July 27, 1953. The hostilities resulted in a death toll of over 1.2 million. True Father was in Heungnam prison camp at the war’s outbreak. Following their landing at Incheon led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, UN and South Korean forces fought their way north, subjected Heungnam prison and factory complex to a massive aerial bombardment and liberated True Father after two years and eight months of confinement. According to Unification teaching, the division of the peninsula and the Korean War were deeply intertwined with providential history and True Father’s mission.

True Father Meets Dwight D. Eisenhower

June 25, 1965

True Father met for 45 minutes with former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower at his Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, office as part of his first world tour.  He was accompanied by Mrs. Won Bok Choi, Col. Bo Hi Pak, Kenji “Daikon” Ohnuki and Gordon Ross. True Father noted that the day marked the 15th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. In their discussion True Father focused attention on three points: the need for a strong anticommunist ideology and movement; the need to bring a halt to moral decay; the need for an active, dynamic religion. President Eisenhower agreed, saying: “Man is a spiritual being. We must bring to bear a greater moral strength based on moral law to stand against the communists. It will take the vigor of youth to do this.” True Father presented the former U.S. president with several gifts, and President Eisenhower wished him the “greatest success.” True Father and President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Rally for Religious Freedom

June 25, 1985

More than eleven hundred ministers from a broad range of denominations gathered from around the country in Washington, D.C., to affirm religious freedom and protest the unjust imprisonment of True Father at Danbury Federal Penitentiary. The rally was sponsored by the Coalition for Religious Freedom and the University Alliance for God and Freedom. Across from the White House, several ministers held handcuffed arms high in the air and a mock jail cell held a gagged woman dressed in white with an inscription that read, “Lady Justice Imprisoned by Blind Government Officials.” This was one of a series of rallies and conferences that led up to True Father’s release on August 20, 1985. The Rally for Justice and Religious Freedom took place on June 25, 1985.  The Rally for Justice and Religious Freedom took place on June 25, 1985.

Launching Ceremony of the Cheon Seung Ho Boat

June 26, 1963

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True Parents held the launching ceremony for the boat Cheon Seung Ho at a dockyard in the Manseok neighborhood of the city of Incheon, Gyeonggi Province, with around 200 key members in attendance. On this day True Father prayed in his benediction, “Cheon Seung Ho means that ‘Heaven has won,’ and this launching ceremony of Cheon Seung Ho is being held as it is the starting point of all victories in heaven and on earth.” True Parents had already begun preparing for the maritime providence by this time. (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)

Hearing on Religious Freedom

June 26, 1984

 After the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch and True Father shake hands.

After the Court of Appeals denied True Father’s appeal and upheld his eighteen-month sentence for tax evasion, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution convened a hearing on religious freedom. Chaired by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the hearing looked into whether the verdict in True Father’s case had been a violation of religious freedom. More than three hundred invited persons and observers as well as media crews were present. In his prepared remarks, True Father stated, “In 1971, God called me to come to America and … for the last 12 years I have given my heart and soul and every drop of sweat and tears for the sake of this nation.” He listed a number of the vast array of projects undertaken by the movement at the cost of “several hundred million dollars,” denied that he had defrauded the U.S. government of a few thousand dollars, and expressed gratitude that God was “using me as an instrument to lead the fight for religious freedom and to ignite the spiritual awakening of America.”

U.S. Clergy Rally for True Father

June 26, 1985

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On June 26, 1985, members of the clergy held a religious freedom rally in Washington, D.C., in protest against True Father’s incarceration in Danbury. Participants, who wore a white sash, marched in protest toward the White House, singing the gospel song “We Shall Not Be Moved” at Lafayette Square on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. The clerics raised their handcuffed hands above their heads and prayed for religious freedom. Around 1,000 clerics from different denominations participated in the rally, as did around 2,000 Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) members from fifty universities, including the University of California, Berkeley,  and Harvard University,. (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)

Dr. Theodore Shimmyo Inaugurated as Second UTS President

June 26, 1994

Dr. Theodore Shimmyo was inaugurated as the second president of the Unification Theological Seminary at the seminary’s 18th commencement exercises. He succeeded the seminary’s first president, Dr. David S.C. Kim, who had served for nineteen years since the seminary’s founding in 1975. Dr. Shimmyo, a graduate of the seminary’s first class, had been a professor of systematic theology and assistant academic dean. In his acceptance speech, “A Place Where Leaders Are Educated,” he pledged to “make sure that this seminary serves the rest of the Unification community, this nation and the world, with a desire to shoulder their burdens.”


This Week in History briefly lists significant events in the history of the Unification Church, the lives of the Founders, and world events that are momentous to Unificationists. Most items are marked according to the solar calendar. Items marked “H.C.” correspond to the Cheon-gi or Heavenly Calendar, which is based on the lunar calendar. This instalment covers the week of June 20 to 26.

Adapted from “The Beginning of God’s Hope: this week in history, June 18-24,” contributed by Dr. Michael Mickler, Professor of Church History at Unification Theological Seminary; and “A Rally for Religious Freedom: this week in history, June 25 – July 1 at familyfed.org.