The Day of Victory of Love (1984)
God as “Heavenly Parent” (2013)
First National Missionary Training Workshop (1959)
Establishment of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) (1966)
True Father proclaims the Completed Testament Age (1993)
Ascension of Mrs. Won Bok Choi (2006)
January 1, 1968
God’s Day Established
God’s Day was the last of the Unification Church’s original four Holy Days to be established after Parents Day (3.1.60 lunar), Children’s Day (10.1.60 lunar) and Day of All Things (5.1.63 lunar). It also was the only one of the original four Holy Days celebrated according to the Gregorian (solar) calendar, beginning January 1, 1968. True Father observed that if humankind’s original parents had not fallen and had achieved perfection, they would have received God’s blessing and that day would have been God’s Day. As it was, True Parents had to restore and install each of the original Holy Days, representative of God’s three blessings, over seven years following their Holy Wedding in 1960.
In 1996, True Father added the word “True” to God’s Day and the other original Holy Days. In 2010, True Father established the “Heavenly Calendar,” which displaced the Gregorian calendar in Unificationist observances and corresponded in most respects with the lunar calendar. As a result, from 2011, True God’s Day was no longer observed on January 1 but on the first day of the first month of the Heavenly Calendar (February 3 of that year). On January 7, 2013, True Mother announced that Unificationists should address God as “Heavenly Parent.” Thereafter, True God’s Day became “True Heavenly Parent Day.”
January 1, 1975
Sekai Nippo Established
Sekai Nippo, a Tokyo-based daily newspaper, began publication on January 1, 1975. Its name translates as “The World Daily,” and one of its main foci has been foreign news sent by overseas correspondents, many of whom also served as Unification movement missionaries. In 2004, Sekai Nippo, in cooperation with NewsStand Inc. of Austin, Texas, announced its availability as the first Japanese newspaper offered in a digital format that maintained the exact layout of the print edition. It continues as one of the Unification movement’s constellations of news outlets.
January 2, 1984
The Day of Victory of Love
The Day of Victory of Love, observed on January 2, commemorates the passing of Heung Jin Moon, True Parents’ second son. He was critically injured in a car accident north of Poughkeepsie, New York, on December 22, 1983, while returning with two companions to East Garden in Tarrytown, New York from the Unification Theological Seminary in Redhook, New York. Though seriously injured, his two friends survived because, according to their testimony, Heung Jin Moon swerved the car at the last moment to take the brunt of the impact himself and save them. He suffered massive head injuries and lingered in a coma for ten days before ascending at 1:15 a.m. on January 2, 1984. He was seventeen. By all accounts, he was an exemplary son. True Father described him as “the most exemplary, obedient son, with the greatest piety … the most comforting son to Mother and me.”
True Parents were out of the country at the time of the accident, conducting a series of Victory over Communism rallies in Korea. A number of spiritualists had communicated to them that December 1983 was a “very dangerous time” and that True Father “must absolutely be careful.” True Father later testified that at the last rally in Kwangju, a left-leaning city with a reputation for rebelliousness, 36 terrorists were prepared to attack but were prevented from doing so because “the auditorium was already completely packed by the time they arrived.” During True Father’s speech in Kwangju, Heung Jin Moon’s accident occurred. According to True Father, “Satan lost his condition to attack me and then turned his attention to the next best, my second son.”
Having laid down his life for his friends and standing as a substitute for his father, Heung Jin Moon occupied what True Father described as “the position of the living Jesus in the Unification Church.” While Heung Jin Moon lay in a coma, True Parents conducted a ceremony in the hospital chapel in which, on the foundation of Heung Jin Moon’s “precious sacrifice,” they called for the unity of Judaism, Christianity and the Unification Church; the unity of Korea, Japan and the United States; the unification of True Parents and their family and the members of the Unification Church, as well as all races of the world. After Heung Jin Moon’s ascension, True Parents established the Day of Victory of Love.
The Day of Victory of Love found a permanent liturgical expression in the church’s tradition of Seonghwa (“ascension and harmony”) ceremonies, which True Parents established after Heung Jin Moon’s own ascension. Unlike traditional funerals, these ceremonies were not to be gloomy or sad but “beautiful, enlightening and joyful,” using bright or light colors. True Father explained:
“In the secular world, death signifies the end of life. However, in our world, death is like a rebirth or a new birth into another world. Particularly those who give their life for the purpose of the Kingdom of Heaven and for the sake of the movement are special heroes.
For that reason, we must not make those occasions gloomy or sad or feel discouraged. … If we here on earth become very mournful and gloomy, it is like pulling the person who is going up to the heavens down to the ground. This is a birth from the second universal mother’s womb into another world, just like when a baby emerges from its first mother’s womb.
A Seonghwa ceremony is actually comparable to a wedding, when men and women get married. It’s not a sorrowful occasion at all. It’s like an insect coming out of its cocoon, getting rid of a shackle and becoming a new body and a new existence, a new entity. That’s exactly the same kind of process.
In our way of life and tradition, spirit world and physical world are one, and by our living up to that kind of ideal, we bring the two worlds together into one.”
January 4, 1959
Dr. Young Oon Kim begins the American mission
Dr. Young Oon Kim was the first Unification Church missionary to America. A former professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Miss Kim had done postgraduate work at the University of Toronto and attended international Christian conferences in Germany and Switzerland. She later wrote: “As soon as I discovered the universal value of the Divine Principles and the heavenly dispensation, I began to be concerned with the people of the Western world with whom I had established a cultural bond. Not only did I feel this, but in the rest of the membership there was no one else at that time who could undertake the job of bringing the Principle to the West.”
Miss Kim arrived in Eugene, Oregon, where she had been accepted as a student, in the midst of a raging snowstorm on January 4, 1959. She immediately began witnessing and took up residence in Oakhill, a rural settlement, with several of her most promising contacts. There she worked on an English translation of the Principle, raised members and established patterns of community life until late 1960, when she migrated, along with five Oakhill members, several hundred miles down the coast to San Francisco. In the Bay Area she completed her English translation of the Principle, incorporated the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC), and expanded her group, then known as the Unified Family. In 1965, she relocated to Washington, D.C., where she directed a fluctuating network of centers throughout the United States and Western Europe until 1972.
January 4, 1972
True Father Plans His Inaugural Speaking Tour
On January 4, 1972, at a joint meeting of East and West Coast Korean missionaries to the United States in Washington, D.C., True Father implemented plans to launch his first-ever speaking tour. The “Day of Hope” speaking tour became the major focus of True Parents’ third world tour. During True Father’s first world tour in 1965, he blessed Holy Grounds in 40 countries. During True Parents’ second world tour, they blessed 43 couples worldwide. During their third world tour in 1972, True Father began a new phase in his public ministry, as he had not spoken publicly in either Korea or Japan.
The first Day of Hope tour began on February 3, 1972, at Alice Tully Hall, a concert hall that is part of New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and included stops in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Berkeley, California.
January 6, 1976
Internal Revenue Service Begins Audit of the Unification Church
On January 6, 1976, Senator Bob Dole (R-Kansas) wrote a letter to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner stating that an audit of the Unification Church was needed.
Within days, the IRS began what Carleton Sherwood, in his book Inquisition, The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon (Regnery Gateway, 1991), termed “the most intensive and expensive criminal tax investigation of any religious figure in U.S. history.” A squad of IRS agents took up permanent offices in the Unification Church’s downtown New York headquarters, while a team of field agents began round-the-clock surveillance of selected church members and their telephones. In 1978, after two years of investigations, the IRS was unable to find anything that compromised the church’s tax exempt status but turned over to the New York District Attorney’s Office “certain anomalies” in Rev. Moon’s tax returns for the years 1973-75. This eventually led to the indictment of True Father.
January 7, 2013
God as “Heavenly Parent”
On January 7, 2013, True Mother announced that Unificationists should henceforth address God as “Heavenly Parent.” She made the announcement at a Leader’s Conference in Korea, stating that earlier ways of addressing God, such as “Yahweh” during the Old Testament period and “Heavenly Father” during the New Testament period, were now superseded as True Parents have completed providential history.
Unificationists have long understood the Holy Spirit to be the feminine aspect of God and Exposition of the Divine Principle, FFWPU’s core theological text, describes God as “the subject partner” with “the dual characteristics of yang and yin in perfect harmony.” The text also refers to God as “the harmonious union of masculinity and femininity.” The text’s doctrine of creation states that being created male and female is what it means to be created in God’s image and Unification Christology references True Parents as the horizontal manifestation of God as the “vertical True Parent.” “Heavenly Parent” has since become the most widely accepted way of addressing God within the Unification tradition.
January 8, 2012
True Father Begins Cosmic Assemblies for the Settlement of the True Parents
From January 8 to 15, 2012, True Father conducted rallies in eight Korean cities in which he proclaimed the conclusion and fulfillment of the providence of restoration during True Parents’ lifetime. He stated, “The path taken by the True Parents shall serve as a tradition and historic example” and asked that all “model your life course on this path, become families that pledge to inherit and fulfill the will of God that True Parents have already accomplished, and be true to this pledge.”
His speech included the topics the Three Stages of Life, the Seonghwa Ascension Ceremony, One Family under God, the Mission of the Korean People, the Path Humankind Should Take, his Final Words for Humankind, the Proclamation of the Era of the Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind, and the Advent of the Era of the New Substantial Image.
January 9, 2009
Kazakhstan Imprisons Unificationist Missionary
Elizaveta Drenicheva (28) was jailed in Almaty, the second capitol of Kazakhstan on January 9, 2009. She was sentenced to no less than two years behind bars in a District prison. Drenicheva, a Russian citizen, joined the Unification Church in 1995 and started her missionary work in Kazakhstan in 2006. On July 2nd, 2008 at 6 am KGB officers broke into the building of the Unification Peace Embassy to conduct a random search. They took away literature and computers. Drenicheva was arrested. Other members where asked not to leave the country.
After two days Elizaveta was released and made to sign a written pledge not to leave the country. On October 24 legal proceedings got underway. She was accused under article 164 part 2 of the Criminal Code for “having violated the peace and security of humanity!” Her offense was that she gathered four people for a seminar and over a course of four days she taught to her audience the Unification Principles. An agent of the KGB under authorization of the office of prosecutor, infiltrated the seminar. He reported, “The materials presented “contain a) propaganda demeaning persons for signs of their ethnic affinity; and b) propaganda demeaning persons for signs of their class affinity. Moreover it shows signs of harmful effects on individual, family, society, and likewise the moral integrity of the state.”
Kazakhstan was heavily rebuked by various human rights defenders and NGOs for restrictive measures on religious communities. As a consequence of international pressure, Drenicheva was freed March 10, 2009.
January 9, 2019
Ascension of Rev. Yo Han Lee
In 1952, after True Father had written the Wolli Wonbon, Christian minister Yo-han Lee was the first male member to join the church. He was appointed as the first pastor in the Unification Church and began pioneering the church in Daegu and Busan. He served as the director of the Central Training Center, President of the Tongil Theology Seminary, and as an international itinerant missionary for over 67 years on the frontline to raise the members. He was the author of Faith and Life (1977), an important text that provided guidance to Unificationists on their lives of faith and a memoir, A Life Guided through Heavenly Love (2012).
Rev. Yo Han Lee ascended to the spirit world on January 9, 2019 at 4 a.m. at the age of 102. True Mother bestowed the title of “The Loyal Son Who Helped Open the Era to Firmly Establish the Heavenly Unified Korea” to Rev. Lee and wished him well in his ascension by blessing him with a World-level Seonghwa Ceremony. True Mother summarized Rev. Yo-han Lee’s life like this: “He lived well. He ascended well. He served well.”
January 10, 1959
First National Missionary Training Workshop
The First National Missionary Training Workshop, a forty-day Divine Principle workshop to raise missionaries, was held January 10–February 20, 1959. The workshop occurred in the former headquarters church in the Cheongpa-dong district of Seoul. The training program to obtain skills needed to become missionaries attracted 207 persons. True Father offered Heaven a prayer, saying, “Please allow the participants here to feel God’s heart during this time.” Missionary Training Workshops continued until the 18th workshop. (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee)
January 10, 1966
Establishment of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP)
The Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles was established inside the main hall of the church headquarters in Cheongpa-dong, Seoul, on January 10, 1966. CARP members from 26 universities in various countries participated in this event. Here, Father said, “Our mission is to unify the democratic side and communistic side,” and that one member of CARP with a college degree or higher should be placed in each of the 2,400 villages in Korea. (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee)
January 10, 1993
True Father Proclaims the Completed Testament Age
On August 24, 1992, at the first World Culture and Sports Festival (WCSF) and on the foundation of the Cold War’s end, True Father declared that he and True Mother “are the True Parents of all humanity … the Savior, the Lord of the Second Advent, the Messiah.”
It was hard to imagine how True Father could proclaim anything more dramatic than that. However, he may have succeeded in doing so by proclaiming the beginning of a whole new historical epoch. In a speech, “The Reappearance of the Second Coming and the Completed Testament Era,” delivered at Belvedere International Training Center, Tarrytown, New York, on January 10, 1993, True Father announced “the transition today to the Completed Testament Era.” Details as to the precise nature of the new epoch were as yet sketchy, but it was understood to involve a fundamental shift in the order of salvation. As one church leader explained, “Previously, religious organizations have always been centered upon the salvation of the individual, but we have now progressed to the salvation of the family.”
The implications of this were momentous. Essentially it signaled a radical new beginning for Unificationism and rendered all previous religious expressions, including that of the Unification Church, obsolete. Within a few years, the church began to reconfigure itself as a “Family Federation,” developed theological concepts and terminology reflective of the shift, and launched efforts to realize a restored and purified Garden of Eden. The gateway to the Completed Testament Age (CTA) was the Blessing, which extended far beyond the Unificationist community during the 1990s.
The immediate concern was to proclaim the message of the new age. On April 10, 1993, the statement “True Parents and the Completed Testament Age” was published in the newspapers of 160 nations. Then, in May 1993, True Parents began a tour of thirty-three U.S. cities under the same theme. True Mother spoke on Capitol Hill and in the United Nations, which served as a springboard to proclaiming the CTA message worldwide.
January 11, 1989
Second Generation 72-Couple Holy Blessing
Seventy-two couples made up of Unificationist-born individuals received the Blessing in Holy Marriage in January 1989. In addition to the Blessing of the 36 Unificationist-born couples three years earlier, the victory of this Blessing, according to Father Moon, can be likened to the complete restoration of the 12 apostles and 72 disciples at the time of Jesus.
January 12, 1989
1,275 Couple Holy Blessing
True Parents blessed 1,275 couples from 87 nations in holy matrimony on January 12, 1989. The ceremony was conducted beginning at 2 p.m. in the Il Hwa Company compound in Yongin, Korea. It followed by one day True Parents’ Holy Marriage Blessing of 72 Unificationist-born couples at the Little Angels Performing Arts Center in Seoul. After the ceremony, representatives of the couples were mobilized into forty-three groups of ten each and spread out across Korea to support witnessing activities and, later, the distribution of the Segye Ilbo newspaper.
January 12, 2019
Ascension of Dr. Bo Hi Pak
Dr. Bo Hi Pak, who served as True Father’s special assistant and head of numerous providential organizations in America, ascended to the spirit world on January 12, 2019. Dr. Pak was one of the original Korean missionaries to the United States, arriving on March 14, 1961 to take up duties as Assistant Military Attaché at the Korean Embassy in Washington, D.C. During the 1960s, he founded the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation (KCFF) which sponsored the Little Angels’ performances in the United States and Radio of Free Asia (ROFA). Having been saved from certain death by U.S. led forces during the Korean War, Dr. Pak later said his motivation came from “an inner desire to serve God, humanity, and my two beloved countries of Korea and America.”
Dr. Pak was True Father’s chief translator, serving in that capacity at Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, Washington Monument, most public events and many sermons during True Father’s ministry in the U.S. In 1977-78. Dr. Pak testified before the Fraser Committee which was investigating the Unification Church, his dramatic testimony later documented in Truth Is My Sword. Dr. Pak played a major role as the founding President and/or Chair of CAUSA International, The Washington Times, the Summit Council for World Peace, the Association for the Unity of Latin America (AULA), the World Media Foundation and the Universal Ballet Foundation. He raised the leadership of “Top Guns” in the U.S. and was at True Father’s side when True Father met communist leaders Mikhail Gorbachev and Kim Il Sung.
After Dr. Pak’s ascension, True Mother bestowed on him the title, “The Loyal Son Who Helped Firmly Establish the Era of the Heavenly Unified Korea.” Ceremonies in Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Belvedere, Chicago, and Dallas, Texas occurred at the same time as Dr. Pak’s Seonghwa Ceremony in Korea.
January 13, 1968
Founding of the International Federation for Victory over Communism
The International Federation for Victory over Communism was founded in the former headquarters church in the Yongsan district of Seoul on January 13, 1968.
The Victory over Communism movement started in 1965, and many small anti-communist enlightenment groups were formed in Korea’s eight provinces. The International Federation for Victory over Communism registered with the Ministry of Culture and Public Information (number 164). Mr. Kim In-cheol was the first chairman. True Father said, “We need an ideological organization based on the results that we can show to the world,” when explaining the significance of the founding of the International Federation for Victory over Communism. (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee)
January 13, 2001
Coronation Ceremony for the Kingship of God
Rev. Sun Myung Moon—called and known by many as True Father—conducted the Coronation of God’s Kingship Ceremony on January 13, 2001 in Korea.
There is nothing more fundamental to Unification tradition and central to True Parents’ and members’ core motivation than the desire to liberate the suffering heart of God. According to True Father, the Coronation Ceremony for the Kingship of God, conducted on January 13, 2001, “liberated God’s heart for the first time.” He described it as “the greatest day of celebration in all human history.” As a result, God “could start His new history based on the might and power of true love.” The Coronation Ceremony for the Kingship of God was a crucial building block for True Parents’ declaration of Cheon Il Guk (“the Nation of Cosmic Peace and Unity”) on November 15, 2001, and subsequent church activities.
Some 6,000 Unificationists witnessed the ceremony in the main hall of the Cheonseong Wanglim (“Palace of Heavenly Presence”) at Cheongpyeong Heaven and Earth Training Center in Korea. At the top of a tiered stage area, two white thrones were prepared for the “Royal Parents of Heaven and Earth.” At 7:00 a.m. True Parents entered, flanked by 120 attendant couples. The procession stopped twice, at which time True Father offered prayers. True Parents then placed silver crowns, royal gowns and a scepter on the chairs reserved for God. True Parents lit holy candles and offered bows. A lengthy succession of representatives approached and offered bows. True Father then offered a third prayer. This was followed by congratulatory telegrams, plaques and gifts; a flower presentation; cutting of a celebration cake; cheers of Mansei (“ten thousand years”); and sharing of food from the offering table.
True Father’s Coronation Ceremony Address concluded the three-hour event. In it, he outlined the three “immutable laws” or “articles” of the “constitution of the Kingdom of Heaven”: first, not to “stain the blood lineage,” that is, to maintain sexual purity; second, “not to violate human rights” through discrimination and not to change subordinates’ positions (hiring, firing or transferring them) according to one’s own desire; and third, “not to steal public money” or utilize public property for oneself.
January 14, 1975
Global IOWC Team Departs for Japan
True Parents long considered the United States to be the gateway to the world. In early 1975, the Church launched activities worldwide based upon its successes in America. The initial step was the creation of a global International One World Crusade (IOWC) team. On January 14, the first global team, which included some 340 American and European members, boarded a chartered jumbo jet in Los Angeles for Tokyo. There they joined forces with an even larger contingent of Japanese members to evangelize and hold Day of Hope rallies in Tokyo, Sendai, Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Fukuoka.
After spending nearly 80 days in Japan, a 500 member-plus global team traveled by ferry to Pusan, South Korea, on March 27. There, from April 1 until May 17, they supported the massively attended Day of Hope festivals in Pusan, Taegu, Seoul, Inchon, Jeonju, Kwangju, Taejon, Cheongju and Chuncheon. These rallies culminated in the World Rally for Korean Freedom held at Yoido Island plaza in Seoul before an estimated crowd of more than a million on June 7, 1975.
January 15, 2006
Ascension of Mrs. Won Bok Choi
Mrs. Won Bok Choi, who fulfilled multiple providential responsibilities in the early history of the Unification Church, ascended at age 91 on January 15, 2006. Mrs. Choi was an associate professor and dean of students at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Ewha Womans University when she joined the church in 1954. She and four other professors were fired when they refused to leave the church.
Prior to True Parents’ Holy Wedding in 1960, Mrs. Choi was assigned to prepare True Mother, and she continued to serve in a mother’s role afterward. She accompanied True Parents on their first three world tours and had major responsibility for the first official translation of Divine Principle into English in 1973. Mrs. Choi was director of the World Mission Department from 1972 to 1977 during the period when the Unification Church sent missionaries worldwide, and she handled all correspondence from them as True Father’s secretary. She also often translated for True Father during that period. She served as the principal of the Little Angels School after 1977 and the first president of the Women’s Federation for World Peace. In 1998, she was blessed to Buddha at Madison Square Garden in New York. At her ascension, True Father bestowed upon her the honorific title Shin Ae Choongmo: “Mother of faith, love and devotion.”
On January 17, 1974, the San Francisco Day of Hope banquet attracted more than 500 guests to Benjamin Swig’s Fairmont Hotel. In Berkeley, where True Father spoke at Zellerbach Auditorium on the University of California campus, The Daily Californian reported, “Rev. Moon’s followers have waged one of the neatest and best-run publicity campaigns seen here in years.” In San Jose, January 17-24, 1974, was proclaimed “Hope and Unification Week,” while in Oakland, Mayor John H. Reading proclaimed the period from January 21-24, 1974, as “Day of Hope Days.” Single days of “Hope and Unification” were proclaimed in Berkeley and Hayward, and on January 21, 1974, Rev. Moon was awarded the key to the city of Berkeley by Mayor Warren Widener.
January 17, 1990
UTS Obtains Absolute Charter
Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) was granted its absolute charter by the New York State Board of Regents on January 17, 1990. This was the culmination of a fifteen-year struggle with the State of New York since the seminary’s first application. Because of the controversy surrounding the church, the application process was prolonged and UTS was denied in 1978.
UTS took the matter to court, claiming discrimination and unfair treatment, narrowly losing a 4-3 decision of the New York State Court of Appeals in 1981. Reapplication for the charter was made in April 1984. On November 21, 1986, the New York State Board of Regents approved by a 12-2 vote the seminary’s provisional charter. UTS petitioned for its absolute charter in May 1989, and this was granted eight months later by a 14-0 vote. Since 1986, UTS was able to grant degrees to its graduates so long as the state approved. From 1990, UTS was able to grant degrees unconditionally.
January 17, 1999
Global Expansion of True Families Speaking Tour
The Global Expansion of True Families speaking tour was held on January 17, 1999, in the Olympic Park Weight Lifting Stadium in Seoul. In his speech True Father emphasized, “True love is the beginning point of creation, and we must fulfill true families centered around true love.” The speaking tour, which covered eight cities around Korea, continued until January 25, and the tour was completed successfully with 80,000 participants in total. (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee)
January 18, 1951
“The Saddest Day”
There have been many “saddest days” in God’s providence. During morning devotions in 2012, True Father referred to one of his early sermons, “Hometown We Miss,” in which he spoke about his life in Heung Nam labor camp in North Korea and his journey to the South. He said then, “January 18 … is the saddest day for me.” He explained that he had offered great devotion to his followers in North Korea “in front of Heaven … but all of them betrayed me.” True Father recalled that he “wrote a long letter expressing heavenly love and tried to get in contact with them three times” following his release, “but they returned my third letter to me.” True Father left North Korea carrying that letter with him. He carried it until he crossed a bridge in Yeongcheon City in Gyeongsang Province in the southeast part of the Korean Peninsula. There he tore up the letter after having read it again and proceeded to Pusan where he restarted his mission in the South.
January 18, 2015
Rev. Reiner Vincenz’s Ascension
Rev. Reiner Vincenz, one of the Unification movement’s most respected and beloved elders, ascended to the spirit world on Sunday, January 18, 2015. Born in East Germany, Rev. Vincenz escaped to West Germany at age 17. He was the first person to join the Unification Church in Europe, joining under Peter Koch in 1963. He became the first missionary to France and served as its national leader until 1972, when True Father called him to the United States.
Rev. Vincenz led European and international members of the International One World Crusade (IOWC), which supported True Father’s Day of Hope campaigns in the United States, Japan and Korea. True Father selected Rev. Vincenz to lead the Yeouido rally campaign, which brought more than one million attendees to the rally at Seoul’s Yeouido Island Plaza in 1975.
After returning to the United States, he was put in charge of the New Yorker hotel’s restoration and was made one of the leaders responsible for the Washington Monument rally. Rev. Vincenz returned to Germany as national leader in 1978, helped lead Home Church activities in the United Kingdom, and served as True Parents’ ambassador to ten South American countries in 1988. In the latter years of his life he worked in business and fundraising efforts to support world missions.
His personal motto, “Marching On,” well described his public life. Rev. Vincenz was blessed to Barbara Koch as part of the 43 Couple Blessing in 1969. Their daughter, Leena, was blessed to Jario Gavin in 2007. Jario and Leena now share the surname “Vincenz-Gavin” to honor Rev. Vincenz’s appreciation for the value of lineage. True Mother directed that the movement conduct a National- and World-Level Seonghwa Ceremony after his passing.
January 19, 1995
Cheongpyeong Providence Begins
True Parents purchased the land which became the Cheongpyeong Heaven and Earth Training Center in the late 1960s. On July 12, 1971, Unificationists completed construction of the original service hall under True Father’s direction. True Father mapped out his plan for expansion to the West on mountainsides and other locales surrounding Cheongpyeong Lake. The land also served as a holy ground and workshop site. What is termed the “Cheongpyeong Providence” or “Cheongpyeong Works” commenced on January 19, 1995, centered on the Spirit World Ministry of Soon Ae Hong (known as Dae Mo Nim or “Great Mother”), True Mother’s mother, who ascended in 1989, and Mrs. Hyo Nam Kim, who served as her earthly embodiment.
On that day, Dae Mo Nim through Mrs. Hyo Nam Kim removed evil spirits from three Japanese members, marking the first of what would be hundreds of workshops that included not just “separation of spirits” but healing and the “liberation” of ancestors. Cheongpyeong today is the spiritual center of the Unification movement, residence of True Parents and capital of what Unificationists envision as Cheon Il Guk or the “Nation of Cosmic Peace and Unity.”
January 19, 2018
True Mother’s Visit to Goree Island
After launching the first Africa World Summit in Dakar, Senegal, True Mother visited Goree Island, the largest slave-trading center on the African coast between the 15th and 19th centuries, on December 19, 2018. Her intention was to perform a solemn ceremony of liberation and resolution of resentment for all those who suffered because to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In her speech at the summit the previous day, True Mother stated, “The continent that I believe has suffered the most is the African continent.”
Arriving on a presidential boat, True Mother was welcomed by the Mayor of Goree, Austin Senghor. She then proceeded to the House of Slaves and the “Door of No Return” that opens out onto the vast Atlantic Ocean. There, Rev. Lee Gi-seong from the Cheongpyeong Training Center read a Declaration of Heaven and True Mother offered a moving prayer. True Mother then mixed earth from True Father’s grave site at Cheon Jeong Gung, some earth from Gorée and holy water. She spread Holy Salt in the center of the House of Slaves and declared it a holy ground, eternally connected to Heaven and to the holy ground in Korea, as well as a starting point for world peace. True Mother then went inside some of the cells, especially the one used to hold children, in which she wept. She said at a victory celebration the next morning that her heart had felt like bursting in pain and agony.
At Monument Square, the Little Angels, who accompanied True Mother and other pilgrims, sang Senegal’s national anthem in the Wolof language (the native language of the majority people of Senegal). Mayor Senghor unveiled a golden plaque dedicated to her visit and presented True Mother with the Goree Pilgrim Award. The last stop was for the blessing of a boat, the Victoria, which True Mother donated to the island, so that it may be used to provide urgent care for its 1,700 people, bringing them quickly to the hospital on the mainland of Senegal.
January 21, 1970
First Victory over Communism (VOC) Asian Rally
The first Victory over Communism Asian Rally was held in the afternoon of January 21, 1970, at the Seoul Citizens Hall. Hosted by the International Federation for Victory over Communism, this rally was held with success through the participation of more than six thousand anti-communist leaders from five nations. The main address was delivered by Vietnam War veterans Shin Jo Kim and Ik Poong Kim. True Father emphasized the importance of gaining victory over communism, saying that this Asian rally was a ceremony to usher in the 1970s. (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee)
January 21, 1974
Barrytown Property Purchased
The Unification Church purchased the former St. Joseph’s Normal Institute, a novitiate and high school in Barrytown, New York, run by the Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic lay order, on January 21, 1974. The purchase included 250 wooded acres bordering the Hudson River 90 miles north of New York City and the historic Massena House, a Hudson River mansion originally constructed in 1796, where 10-year-old Theodore Roosevelt spent the summer in 1868.
True Father had been searching locations up and down the Hudson River suitable for educational purposes. The Barrytown site met one of his criteria with mountains, water and woods all visible. True Father reportedly visited the site seventeen times before deciding on the purchase. The “Founder’s Rock” marks the place where he decided.
The property initially served as a site for 3-, 7- and 21-day workshops. It later hosted 40-day and 120-day workshops for overseas missionaries and “Barrytown Pioneers.” The Unification Theological Seminary, which now offers fully accredited master’s and doctoral degree programs, opened its doors on September 20, 1975, and has graduated some 1,500 students. In recent years the Barrytown facility has hosted matching convocations, Blessing education workshops, and sports festivals.
Unification Church in Paris bombed
On January 22, 1976, the Villa Aublet, a Unification church center in Paris, was bombed, leaving a young woman from Norway seriously injured. Persecution and bomb threats toward Unificationists in France began in 1975 and were fueled by the French media. During an intense time when France had signed the Schengen treaty that blocked True Parents from entering Europe for over three decades, the French media portrayed True Father satirically, as a monster and Nazi. This finally led to the bombing of the church center by a communist group. Other events followed, such as kidnappings and an increasing amount of bomb threats all across France, and the government did little to protect the persecuted Unificationists.
True Father gave Henri Blanchard, the national leader for the Unification church in France, instruction to organize a manifestation to protest the violence against the church. With the headline: “Accepterons–Nous la Violence et le Mensonge?” (“Are We Going to Accept Violence and Lies?”), Unificationists in France stood up for justice. The Paris City Hall was reluctant to give them a permit to protest, but in the end had no choice. The message of the protest was that the French people should not tolerate violence, and—as France prides itself in the words “freedom, equality and brotherhood”—these key values apply to Unificationists just like anyone else.
January 22 ~ March 8, 1995
Japan/USA Sisterhood Ceremonies
Between January 22 and March 8, 1995, 4,000 Japanese women traveled to Washington, D.C. to be paired with an equal number of American women in eight separate sisterhood ceremonies sponsored by the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP). These were set to coincide with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. Each ceremony included a dramatic “bridge-crossing” during which a representative group of the Japanese delegates crossed over a special bridge, met their American counterparts in the middle where each bowed, embraced the other, and then walked down together, hand in hand.
Following the highly successful Washington, D.C. conferences, WFWP sponsored Japanese-American sisterhood ceremonies in eight U.S. cities during the remainder of 1995, with several thousand more women from both countries participating. In 1996, WFWP conducted a number of “African-American/Caucasian-American” ceremonies. Activities in America inspired Austrian-Croatian, Czech-German, Russian-German, Hungarian-Slovakian, and Italian-Slovakian sisterhood ceremonies conducted by WFWP chapters in Europe.
January 22, 2000
America Honors True Father on His 80th Birthday
More than 3,000 people from across the United States and more than 100 nations packed the ballroom of the Hilton Towers Hotel in Washington, D.C., for America’s celebration of True Father’s 80th birthday on January 22, 2000. Participants included former U.K. Prime Minister Edward Heath, Zambia’s founding President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, representatives from numerous U.S. universities, institutes and societies, state legislators, international scholars and government ministers as well as representatives from most of the world’s major faiths.
The program included birthday greetings from Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony A. Williams and a City Council resolution detailing True Father’s contributions to the District of Columbia, the United States and the world, proclaiming “Live for the Sake of Others Day” in his honor. True Parents received large bouquets and cut a huge, 8-tiered cake, representing his 80 years and the eight stages of cosmic victory. True Father delivered a message, “The Path for America and Humanity in the Last Days,” in which he explained the meaning of living for others, God’s love and purpose for the United States, and challenged America to fulfill God’s Will. Afterward Sir Edward Heath and Dr. Kenneth Kaunda were joined by U.S. state legislators and representatives of world peace organizations that True Father founded to present him with the “Peacemaker of the Millennium Award.” Founding American Unificationists, together with current and former Unification Church presidents, honored True Father’s investment in America with the “Forty Years Foundation Award.”
January 23, 1991
21-Day Seminar for Soviet Students Starts in Hungary
A 21-day Divine Principle workshop for 420 university students from the Soviet Union took place simultaneously in Budapest, Hungary, and Leningrad, USSR, from January 23 to February 10, 1991. This workshop was meant to impart a deeper understanding of Divine Principle to the students who had attended the 10-day introductory International Leadership Seminars in the United States during the summer of 1990.
After a fruitless search in the Soviet Union, Poland and Finland for workshop sites that would be free during the students’ winter break, finally a friend of the Unification movement found the Hotel Ezuspart on Lake Ballaton in the resort town of Siofok, Hungary, 108 kilometers (about 67 miles) outside Budapest. Because not all the workshop participants could travel out of the Soviet Union on such short notice, a second workshop site was prepared in Leningrad. The staff for the workshop comprised 21 European national FFWPU leaders, 10 American Constitution Committee leaders and 10 students of Unification Theological Seminary.
January 26 ~ February 9, 1992
CARP Holds Mass Workshops in the Former USSR
From January 26 to February 9, 1992, The Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) held 27 workshops at 18 different workshop sites in the Crimea south of the Ukraine for 3,160 students. In the spring, from March 20 to April 10, 1992, the first Divine Principle workshop for high school teachers and students from throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States shattered the previous workshop records with 7,229 participants. They filled 40 workshops at 23 workshop sites. That summer the largest series of Divine Principle workshops in Unification Church history educated 18,042 guests at 129 workshops held at 26 sites over a period of 8 weeks in 5 different regions of the country.
January 27, 1951
True Father and Won Pil Kim Arrive in Pusan
After his release from Heungnam Labor Camp on October 14, 1950, True Father walked some 300 kilometers across the Korean Peninsula, arriving in Pyongyang ten days later. He spent 40 days in Pyongyang, searching for former members of his congregation, and finally departed for the South on December 2, 1950, in advance of the Red Chinese army.
He was accompanied by his disciple Won Pil Kim and by Chong Hwa Pak, a follower from Heungnam Prison who was injured and had to be pushed on a bicycle. This began their nearly two-month trek to Pusan at the southernmost point of the peninsula. Abandoning refugee columns that were continually being bombed, they traveled alternate routes, sometimes were set upon by vigilantes and were subject to all manner of deprivations. Hearing that Pusan was overflowing with refugees, Chong Hwa Pak, who had mostly recovered, stayed behind at a carpenter’s house in the city of Gyeongju.
True Father and Won Pil Kim bought train tickets from there to Pusan, some 50 kilometers away. As there was no room in the passenger coaches, they rode up front, clinging to the front of the engine, the warmth of the steam engine on their backs and a biting winter wind freezing their faces during the final two hours of their journey. They arrived at Choryung Station in Pusan, cold and hungry, on January 27, 1951. From there, True Father restarted his ministry.
January 27, 2001
World Peace Marriage Blessing held at the United Nations
At Assembly 2000, True Father called not only for the establishment of a religious assembly or interreligious council at the United Nations but also for an official commemorative day to uphold the ideal of the family. The following year, on January 27, 2001, as part of the 7th World Culture and Sports Festival held jointly at the New York Hilton and UN Headquarters, True Father reinforced his proposal by conducting a “World Peace Marriage Blessing Ceremony” for 210 couples from 135 countries.
Each of them was dressed in traditional ethnic or national costumes in the UN assembly room. The couples took an oath to establish eternal families based on true love and pledged their commitment to world peace. Because the assembly room was totally filled, WCSF participants had to watch the event via closed-circuit TV in another room. At the Marriage Blessing’s conclusion, couples and conference participants received chocolate bars with the words “True Love” inscribed on them. Once the newly blessed couples left, the participants returned to the assembly room and the conference resumed.
Unfortunately, UN officials objected to the Marriage Blessing as a religious event and considered it a serious breach of the rules for the use of UN facilities. This, among other factors, led True Father to consider the necessity of inaugurating a complementary “Abel UN.”
January 28, 1965
True Father Begins First World Tour
By the mid-1960s, work in Korea had solidified to the point that the Unification Church was ready to give serious attention to the world mission. The clearest indication of this was True Father’s first world tour in 1965. The main purpose of the tour was to connect the foundation that had been established in Korea to the world. True Father commented:
In 1965, I embarked on my first trip around the world. My suitcase was filled with soil and stones from Korea. My plan was that, as I traveled around the world, I would plant Korea’s soil and stones in each country to signify Korea’s linkage to the world. For ten months, I toured forty countries, including Japan, the United States, and the nations of Europe. … When I returned to Seoul, my suitcase was full of soil and stones from 120 locations in forty countries. … I connected Korea to these forty countries in this way to prepare for the day in the future when the world of peace would be realized.
After spending two weeks in Japan, True Father stayed in the United States for nearly five months, from February 12 until July 1. He set up 55 Holy Grounds in all 48 continental United States. After a short trip to Canada and several South American countries, True Father began the European portion of his tour. He then traveled to the more ancient lands of Egypt and the Middle East. While in Iran, True Father learned of the war between Pakistan and India. Avoiding Pakistan entirely, it was only after difficulty that his party got out of India and traveled to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, which was full of American GIs. Then followed the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and finally Japan on September 29, where after 12 days, on October 10, True Father returned to Korea, 260 days after his departure.
January 30, 1976
Sunhwa Academy founded
Sunhwa Academy was founded at 25-Beonji Neung-dong, Seongdong Borough, Seoul, on January 30, 1976. Thanks to the establishment of the school corporation, Sunhwa Academy, the Little Angels Arts School was able to gain a stable foundation for management. On February 8 of the next year, the first class of the Little Angels Arts School graduated, and its name was changed to Sunhwa Arts School on the 16th of the same month. Sunhwa Arts High School was established the following March 4, and forty years later is a mecca of arts education. (Courtesy of the History Compilation Committee)
January 30, 2015
First UPF Asian Summit Is Held in the Philippines
Four hundred participants from 28 nations took part in the first ever Asian Summit organized by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). The summit, titled “Toward Peace, Security and Human Development in the Asia Pacific Region,” was held in the Manila Hotel in Manila, Philippines, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2015.
The 400 participants included 121 foreign delegates. Philippine dignitaries included His Excellency Joseph Ejercito Estrada, the former president of the Philippines, currently the Manila City mayor. His Excellency Madhav K. Nepal, former prime minister of Nepal, gave the Keynote Address and was awarded the prestigious Leadership and Good Governance Award by UPF. Another highlight of the summit was the first-ever PEACE Awards for the media in the Philippines. The concept of the PEACE (People’s Empowerment for the Advancement of Communities and Environment) Awards is to recognize media practitioners who have made exemplary contributions for the advancement of peace, community development and environmental protection. Awards were given to 16 winners in the four media categories of print, TV, radio and social media.
January 31, 1974
True Father Invited to the Presidential Prayer Breakfast
On January 31, 1974, True Father was invited to the Annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast. A post-breakfast rally at Lafayette Park brought out Edward and Tricia Nixon Cox, the son-in-law and daughter of 37th U.S. President Richard Nixon, who greeted well-wishers who rallied to “Forgive, Love and Unite” as an answer to the Watergate Crisis. On February 1, 1974, Rev. Moon had a twenty-minute audience with President Nixon, reportedly telling him, “Don’t knuckle under to pressure. Stand up for your convictions.”
January 31, 2009
True Father’s 90th Birthday
True Father demonstrated extraordinary dedication and endurance on the occasion of his 90th birthday (and True Mother’s 67th) on January 31, 2009 (lunar calendar), by conducting special Coronations for the Authority and Liberation of God, the King of Kings, both in Korea and the United States. Due to the time difference, True Father was able to deliver a birthday address, officiate at the Coronation ceremony, and be honored at a congratulatory banquet in Korea; then board a plane to New York to address world leaders at the 2009 World Summit on Peace, conduct the Coronation ceremony, and officiate at the Interreligious Cross Cultural Marriage Blessing Ceremony in New York, all on January 31. Congratulatory letters to True Father on his 90th birthday were sent by numerous former national leaders, including former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, and former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
January 31, 2009
Holy Blessing Ceremony on the Occasion of True Parents’ 90th Birthday
The Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony was held in the Hammerstein in the Manhattan Center in New York City on the occasion of True Parents’ 90th Birthday. This was the last Blessing officiated by Rev. Moon in the United States before his ascension in 2012.
Source: Sunhak Institute of History