- The Ceremony for the Total Liberation of Six Thousand Years of Providential History (April 4, 2002)
- True Father meets South Vietnam President (April 5, 1973)
- Holy Blessings are held at the World Mission Center (April 7, 1989)
- True Parents proclaim the Era of the FFWPU (April 8, 1997)
- Lady Margaret Thatcher ascends (April 8, 2013)
- Parents’ Day is established (April 10, 1960)
- The Interdenominational Conference for Clergy visits Korea for the first time (April 10, 1985)
- The Women’s Federation for World Peace is inaugurated (April 10, 1992)
- Muslim couples participate in the Marriage Blessing Ceremony (April 10, 1992)
- The Era of the Family Federation begins (April 10, 1997)
APRIL 4, 2002
Ceremony for the Total Liberation of 6,000 Years of Providential History
Photo credit FFWPU-USA
On April 4, 2002, the Ceremony for the Total Liberation of Six Thousand Years of Providential History took place at East Garden, New York. This was a special ceremony that liberated the evil spirits that had blocked central figures within the providence of restoration from completing their responsibilities and one through which the eight levels of liberation were attained. On 2.22 on the lunar calendar, at 0:22 minutes 22 seconds, in connection with the Cheongpyeong Heaven and Earth Training Center, True Parents carried out liberation in a prayer. In the prayer True Father said, “Now that we have welcomed an era in which we can newly pioneer and organize, we desire to dedicate this sacred liberation ceremony of all indemnity.” (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)
APRIL 5, 1973
True Father Meets South Vietnamese President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu
On April 5, 1973, True Father met with the visiting president of South Vietnam, Nguyễn Văn Thiệu. According to Freedom Leadership Foundation (FLF) Special Assistant Mike Leone, “The meetings were very, very successful.” In the late 1960s and early 1970s, one of True Father’s main goals was “to prepare for the fight against communism.” Since 1969, the FLF had spearheaded the Victory over Communism (VOC) efforts in the United States for the Unification movement. Through the organization, True Father met numerous U.S. senators and congressmen in the early months of 1973, as well as President Thiệu. The meetings were an important step in developing the campaign to fight communism, something that would become one of the defining characteristics and focal points of the movement in the years to come.
APRIL 7, 1989
Holy Weddings at the World Mission Center
Three special Holy Blessings were held in New York City in the Grand Ballroom of the World Mission Center on April 7, 1989. These Blessings were significant because there were three categories of Blessing candidates: matched couples, previously married couples, and individuals. The 42 Couples Blessing consisted of matched couples, connected to the 1,275 Couples Blessing in Korea. The 138 Couples Blessing and 57 Members Single Blessing comprised, respectively, previously married couples and individual members over 60 years old. There were 37 nations represented, and the oldest Single Blessing candidate was an 87-year-old sister from France.
APRIL 8, 1997
Proclamation of the Era of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification
True Parents proclaimed the Era of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification at a rally at the Central Training Center in Guri, Korea, on April 8, 1997. Approximately 1,000 national messiahs and leaders from Korea and Japan were in attendance as True Father announced that the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) would officially change its name to the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU). (Materials provided by the History Compilation Committee)
APRIL 8, 2013
The Passing of Lady Margaret Thatcher
Former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) was a friend of the Unification movement. In 2007, on the 25th anniversary of The Washington Times, she sent a warm video tribute. The following year she accepted the Universal Peace Federation’s Leadership and Good Governance Award, and in 2010, on the occasion of True Father’s 90th birthday, she sent a hand-written greeting expressing her hope that it would be a “splendid occasion.” Her appreciation stemmed from a common interest in combating global communism and promoting the values of “family, faith, and freedom.” She likely was unaware of True Parents’ pronouncements regarding an emerging era of women. Nonetheless, her career as a national and world leader provided a model that resonated with Unification values.
APRIL 10, 1960
Parents’ Day Established
True Father at the 47th True Parents’ Day celebration.
Parents’ Day was the first Holy Day established in the Unification tradition. True Father established it on April 10, 1960 (March 15, according to the lunar calendar). Unificationists observe Parents’ Day—now designated as True Parents’ Day—on the first day of the third month of the Heavenly Calendar. The establishment of Parents’ Day followed True Parents’ engagement on March 27, 1960. It signified that God had finally established His first son and daughter as the True Parents of humankind. True Father later stated, “Parents’ Day is the first time since God created all things and humankind that there is one balanced man, one balanced woman, balanced in love, to whom God can descend and with whom He can truly be.” Following Parents’ Day, True Father established Children’s Day (1960), Day of All Things (1963) and God’s Day (1968) as Holy Days. They were set up to celebrate the emergence of the True Family, or True Parents’ family, and the foundation upon which a new world can take shape and a new history begin.
APRIL 10, 1985
First Interdenominational Conference for Clergy Visit to Korea
ICC participants pray at the Rock of Tears in Pusan.
Prior to his release from the Danbury Federal Correctional Institute, True Father asked American members to focus on educating 70,000 ministers, and on that foundation to send 7,000 ministers to Korea. This request led to the creation of the CAUSA Ministerial Alliance, the 300,000-videotape project, and, beginning in April 1985, the Interdenominational Conference for Clergy (ICC) seminars. Under the theme “Rev. Moon and Korea in the Providence of God,” 64 ministers from 21 denominations attended the first “advanced seminar on Unificationism” from April 10 to 19, 1985. From 1985 to 1988, the U.S. Unification Church sponsored 38 ICC seminars for 7,069 American clergy and religious leaders who traveled to Korea and usually Japan. The “meaning of the 7,000” was connected to the time of Elijah, when throughout Israel God prepared 7,000 people who had never bowed down to Baal (I Kings 19:18). The visits preceded significant breakthroughs in Korean society, including the 1988 Seoul Olympics and eventually True Parents’ meeting with North Korean President Kim Il Sung in 1991.
APRIL 10, 1992
Women’s Federation for World Peace Inaugurated
The Women’s Federation for World Peace, chaired by True Mother, sponsored “Sisterhood Ceremonies” during the 1990s.
On April 10, 1992, True Mother delivered the keynote address before a filled Seoul Olympic Stadium at the inauguration of the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP). In her speech, True Mother testified to “the reappearance of the True Parents … the conclusion and final fruit of human history.” She stated that “women have the mission to give proper guidance to men who lead lives of moral decadence and disorder” and noted, “the Women’s Federation for World Peace must someday develop into a federation of families for world peace.” Established on the foundation of the Women’s Federation for Peace in Asia, WFWP has become a women’s organization of international scope with members in 143 countries. In 1994, more than 200,000 Korean and Japanese women “came together to create sisterly ties” on thirty-eight occasions under the auspices of WFWP. In 1995, WFWP sponsored “sisterhood ceremonies” between some 8,000 Japanese and American women, culminating in dramatic “bridge crossings” which were moving to many participants, including former first lady Barbara Bush. She and her husband, former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, subsequently accompanied True Mother and spoke in support of WFWP on a six-city speaking tour of Japan. In 1997, WFWP received general consultative status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This was a signal achievement.
APRIL 10, 1992
Muslim Couples Participate in the Holy Blessing
On April 10, 1992, forty-two Muslim couples took part in the 1,265 Previously Married Couples’ Holy Blessing in Seoul, South Korea. Their Blessing was the culmination of an Interreligious Leadership Seminar. True Father termed the participation of Muslims in the wedding “a miracle.” In fact, it was extremely significant, as it broke the religious barrier and opened the door for True Father to extend the Blessing to people of a faith other than Unificationism. This was a key stepping-stone toward expanding the providence of the Blessing and instilling interreligious harmony as one of the Unification Church’s key pillars. In the years since, the Holy Marriage Blessing has been given to thousands of people of all races, nationalities, and religions.
APRIL 10, 1997
The Era of the Family Federation Begins
On April 8, 1997, True Father proclaimed: “We have entered the era not just for the unity of Christianity but for the unity of the world. Therefore, as of April 10, we should put aside the name ‘Unification Church’ and instead work under the name of the ‘Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.’” He further stated: “With the completion of the mission of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, the mission of religion has been brought to a conclusion. For the first time in human history, we have entered a new era that does not require salvation through religion. The objective of the Family Federation lies in transforming families into ideal families, thereby restoring and perfecting God’s ideal of creation and establishing the ideal heavenly world.” True Father noted that until now, religion has focused on the individual. “All religions without exception,” he said, “preached salvation for the individual and never once mentioned salvation for the family, tribe or nation.” The Unification tradition, on the other hand, “is preaching the salvation of the nation and the world based on the family.”
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 installment covers the week of April 4-10.
Adapted from “Women’s Federation Founded 28 Years Ago” (April 6-12, 2020), contributed by Dr. Michael Mickler, professor of church history at Unification Theological Seminary; and Spring Ushers in New Hope (March 30 to April 5) at familyfed.org.