This week in history May 23 to 29

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Universal Ballet Company Established

May 24, 1984


The Universal Ballet was established by True Parents in May 1984 as the first private ballet company of Korea. It began in a practice room in the back of the Sunhwa (Little Angels) Arts School. At that time, male ballet dancers in Korea were so rare that the company had employees from the print shop dancing on stage. However, under the direction of Adrienne Dellas, Kirov Ballet Director Oleg Vinogradov and prima ballerina Julia (Hoon Sook) Moon, the company developed a national and international reputation. Julia Moon noted: “We pioneered ballet in Korea when it was very primitive. … We were the first to bring choreographers, teachers, costume and set designers and dancers from the West to Korea. We have been and still are a leader in the field of ballet in Korea.” True Father gave the motto Ye Cheon Mi Ji (Heavenly Art Creating a World of Beauty). He said, “Ballet is truly a heavenly art form. The dancers stretch themselves upward to the ultimate degree to reach God in heaven. Ballet uses the entire body as an instrument to express humans’ aspiration toward God. In this sense, it is the ultimate expression of artistic beauty.”

More events this week in history May 23-29:

  • Women of Peace Rally takes place in Jerusalem (May 24, 2004)
  • Interfaith clergy attend the Marriage Blessing Ceremony (May 27, 2001)

Women of Peace Rally in Jerusalem

May 24, 2004


The Middle East Peace Initiative by woman leaders took place in Jerusalem, Israel, over four days beginning on May 24, 2004. The Women’s Federation for World Peace International and the Interreligious and International Peace Council co-hosted the programs, which included a seminar on religious harmony, followed by a ceremony to bring harmony and peace in the Middle East and a peace march. The participating women have maintained connections with one another through continuous meetings. (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)

Interfaith Clergy Attend Marriage Blessing Ceremony

May 27, 2001


The American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) was established in May 2000 when 120 clergy from 17 denominations traveled to Korea for the inaugural meeting. With ACLC support, True Father undertook a 50-state “We Will Stand in Oneness” revival tour in early 2001. During that tour, which emphasized the sanctity of marriage, individual clergy began to seek True Parents’ blessing on their marriages. This snowballed and, in the end, more than 60 “ministers, imams, and clerics: Pentecostals and Baptists, Lutherans and Muslims, Native Americans, Sufis, and more” participated in an Interfaith Clergy Marriage Blessing Ceremony in the Cotillion Room of the Hilton Hotel in New York City on May 27, 2001. The Blessing included a “providential participant,” Zambian Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, 71, who wed Maria Sung, 43, a Korean acupuncturist. While acknowledging that “the priestly vow of celibacy has a profound meaning in the providence of God,” he stated, “the sacrifice of celibate life has fulfilled its purpose.” He insisted he had not changed his faith but affirmed True Parents’ “special ministry to build loving, God-centered families amongst people of all faiths, in the capacity of True Parents.” This sparked worldwide publicity, surfacing the issue of clerical celibacy at the highest levels of the Vatican hierarchy.

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  May 23-29.

Adapted from “International Strides for Peace“, at, contributed by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee and Dr. Michael Mickler, Professor of Church History at the Unification Theological Seminary.