This week in history 21-27 November

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November 21, 1946
True Father Released from Pyongyang Jail

True Father undertook mission work in North Korea beginning in June 1946. Some two months later, on August 11, 1946, he was arrested by police in Taedong, a district of Pyongyang. In jail, he met members of the “Inside-Belly” Church whose leader also had been arrested. That church had been preparing clothes and food for the Lord’s Second Coming. On September 18, 1946, True Father passed a message to its leader, Mrs. Hyo Bin Heo, which stated. “The writer of this note has a mission from heaven. Pray to find out who he is. … ” The note was discovered and True Father was subjected to severe torture which included sleep deprivation and savage beatings.

On November 21, a Soviet interrogator determined that True Father was not a spy from the South, and authorities notified followers that they should come and get him. According to one account, True Father was thrown out into the yard, half dead from the beatings, his clothes stuck to his body by clotted blood. He vomited blood, and those helping him thought he might die. However, after three weeks he began to improve. True Father wrote in his autobiography, “Once I recovered, I resumed my evangelical work.” Mrs. Hyo Bin Heo perished in prison.

November 21, 1960
Young Oon Kim Relocates to San Francisco

Young Oon Kim with early members gathered at Oak Hill.
Young Oon Kim with early members gathered at Oak Hill.

Young Oon Kim, “Miss Kim” to early American members, was the first Unification Church missionary to the United States. A former professor at Ehwa University in Seoul, she came to Eugene, Oregon, as an exchange student at the University of Oregon in January 1959. There she witnessed and gathered a small community who resided in Oakhill, a rural settlement outside Eugene. The group dedicated themselves to outreach and production of Miss Kim’s English translation of the Divine Principle text.

In September 1960, two female members fled Oakhill due to persecution from their husbands. They went first to Fresno, California, then to San Francisco. In part, because their husbands continued to harass the group, mainly by target shooting in the field across from where Miss Kim lived, she and three of her core members decided to relocate. Miss Kim wrote:

Eugene was a small, conservative city, where I went not by choice, but to follow my scholarship. Next I went to Oakhill, which was only a small settlement in the countryside. There I spent time raising those who had accepted and deepening their understanding of the Principle, as well as teaching the Principle in Lebanon, Salem, Albany, and Portland. … I found Oregon quite provincial on the whole, though, and was not reluctant to leave. I yearned to launch my work in a cosmopolitan city. I now had a textbook for wider work. … It seemed like this was where Father was leading me.

Miss Kim’s group severed ties irrevocably with the Northwest and began a new chapter of Unification Church history in the San Francisco Bay Area.
 

November 21, 1986
UTS Granted “Provisional Charter” by the State of New York

An aerial view of UTS.
An aerial view of UTS.

Unification Theological Seminary obtained a “provisional charter” to grant academic degrees on November 21, 1986. By a 12-2 vote, the New York State Board of Regents approved the Seminary’s provisional charter and master plan. UTS graduates would now receive master’s degrees in either Religious Education (M.R.E.) or Divinity (M.Div.).

This action marked the end of a 10-year battle to attain recognition. A previous attempt to gain a provisional charter, submitted in 1976, 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. Some 450 students who had attended UTS prior to 1986 graduated with “certificates” rather than degrees. It would be another four years before the State of New York granted UTS its “Absolute Charter,” some 15 years after its initial application.

November 21, 2018
National-Level Peace and Family Festival, Harare, Zimbabwe

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The first national level Peace and Family Festival was convened at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe on November 21, 2018. Building on the foundation of African Summit and Leadership Conferences in Dakar, Senegal and Johannesburg, South Africa, True Mother was welcomed by the President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, at his home palace. The Peace and Family Festival was unique because it included a national-level Hyo Jeong Cosmic Blessing.

 

Prior to the event, the pre-blessing reached 61,723 couples. Archbishop Johannes Ndanga, chairman of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ), who conducted several pre-Blessing events, introduced True Mother. In her speech, “To New Citizens of Cheon Il Guk,” True Mother stated, “The Blessing event today becomes the path to a united world. Humanity must discard all customs practiced up to the present time and find the path heading to a unified world centered on God.” She likened this to rivers converging to form a waterfall which leads to the ocean. She said, “The ones who can guide all religions to that great ocean are the True Parents.”

November 22, 1989
Han Sook Kim Lee’s Ascension

On November 22, 1989, in Seoul, Han Sook Kim, the wife of President Sang Hun Lee of the Unification Thought Institute of Korea and America, passed on to the spirit world. In 1956 Mrs. Lee, together with her husband, joined the Unification Church. Mrs. Lee was a pioneer missionary and in 1970 took part in the mobilization campaign for blessed wives, going out on a three-year witnessing mission.

After her passing, Mrs. Lee communicated to her husband thorough Mrs. Young Soon Kim. This was the beginning of Dr. Lee’s efforts to explain the reality of the spirit world. He wrote: “While I give Unification Thought lectures, the audience asks many kinds of questions to me. About the earthly things I gave all the answers with True Father’s teachings, but about spiritual things I couldn’t give an answer, so I was very frustrated.” After his passing in 1997, Dr. Lee authored a number of works about the spirit world, notably Life in the Spirit World and on Earth.

November 22, 2010
Era of Universal Peace Assembly held

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A special World Assembly, “The Era of Universal Peace: God’s Providence and the ‘Abel UN,’” was held on November 22, 2010, at the Manhattan Center in the heart of New York City. According to unofficial notes taken at the time, True Father said that the assembly was providentially important because it took place on November 22 (10.17 H.C.), the day after the three-day period (10.14, 10.15, 10.16 H.C.) centered on 10.14 H.C. in 2010, which was the 60th anniversary of True Father’s liberation from the Heungnam labor camp in North Korea.

True Father said that especially through these three assemblies, the proclamation of True Parents must reach perfection, conclusion, and completion. He said that it is proclaimed that Korea, which is where True Parents were born, became God’s homeland. True Father said that the internal meaning of these assemblies was that all the leaders of the Group of Twenty major economies and other countries should join the assemblies and attend the victorious True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind.

November 22-24, 2018
African Summit and Blessing, Honoring Nelson Mandela, Capetown, South Africa

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On November 22-24, 2018, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and the Royal House of Mandela jointly sponsored an African Summit on “Peace and Human Development in Africa: Honoring the Legacy of Nelson Mandela.” On the centennial celebration year of former South African President Nelson Mandele (1918-2018), Chief Zwelivelile Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela and a member of the South African Parliament, extended a “warm welcome to Mother Moon to the mother city.” The Summit included 700 participants from throughout Africa, former heads of state, government ministers, speakers and deputy speakers of parliaments, members of parliament, well-known religious leaders and prominent traditional rulers.

In her keynote address, True Mother described the long historical process to restore the original ideal for humankind and concluded, “We must transcend race; we must transcend religion, and we must know that God, our Creator, the Heavenly Parent is our parent…. The True Family Movement is the only shortcut to a world of peace.” She expressed hope that those present will “create an Africa that is the light and the lamp in front of the world as a nation and a continent that has received the blessing and has been reborn through True Parents.”

Representatives from 20 nations, including the 13 countries that had signed agreements for the “Heavenly Africa project,” accompanied True Mother in launching the African portion of the International Peace Highway intended to start from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. After the summit concluded, an Interfaith Peace Blessing Ceremony was held for 3,000 interreligious couples. Dr. Prophet Samuel Radebe, founder and leader of the Revelation Church of God, one of the largest traditional churches in South Africa, offered testimony to True Mother, saying, “This is the work of True Mother, putting all religions together. This day will be remembered. It will not be erased.”

November 23, 1972
First ICUS Conference begins

A session from the first ICUS conference.
A session from the first ICUS conference.

The First International Conference on Unified Science (later renamed the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, or ICUS) was held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City from November 23-26, 1972. It convened twenty scientists from seven nations to discuss “Moral Orientation of the Sciences.” The previous January, True Father had suggested the idea to Edward Haskell, a lecturer at Southern Connecticut State College who dedicated his life’s work to the unification of human knowledge into a single discipline. Haskell, who had been contacted by the New Haven center, was enthusiastic about the proposal and helped draw up plans for the conference.

The conference itself included an opening banquet and three working days of lectures, responses, panels and open discussions. In his closing address, True Father called for “a unified system of thought” and “a new standard of value” that will establish “the unified world of prosperity, happiness and goodness.” The conference was successful both in the quality of participants, presentations and as a building block for future conferences. The movement published the proceedings and held the Second International Conference on Unified Science the following November in Tokyo. Expanded guest lists and formats would characterize annual ICUS meetings.

November 23, 1986
Tiempos Del Mundo launched

President Bush holding a copy of Tiempos Del Mundo at its inauguration.
President Bush holding a copy of Tiempos Del Mundo at its inauguration.

True Parents unveiled Tiempos del Mundo, the first inter-American Spanish-language newspaper at the Buenos Aires Sheraton on November 23, 1996. With publication beginning as a weekly in Buenos Aires, plans called for the newspaper to come out on Sundays at first, but go daily very quickly via satellite transmission to editorial centers in 17 countries (10 in South America, five in Central America and one in the Caribbean and the United States).

At the gala evening inauguration attended by 300 leaders from 33 Latin American nations plus more than 600 local VIPs, former U.S. President George Bush stated,

“I want to salute Rev. Moon, who is the founder of The Washington Times and also of Tiempos del Mundo. … A lot of my friends in South America don’t know about The Washington Times, but it is an independent voice. The editors of The Washington Times tell me that never once has the man with the vision interfered with the running of the paper, a paper that in my view brings sanity to Washington, D.C. I am convinced that Tiempos del Mundo is going to do the same thing.”

In a preamble to his speech, “In Search of the Origin of the Universe,” True Father said that the “guideline” for the newspaper will be to provide “edifying reports,” to offer “constructive information, promoting harmony” and to reverse “the tendency toward disbelief.”  He stated that he was “especially interested in emphasizing family ethics and in guiding youth in the right direction.”

November 23 ~ 30, 1997
3rd World Culture and Sports Festival Held in Washington, D.C.

From November 23 to 30, 1997, the third World Culture and Sports Festival (WCSF) was held in Washington, D.C., taking place for the first time in the United States. True Parents envisioned the WCSF as an event that would gather thousands of participants from many fields for the purpose of establishing a foundation for world peace. Each gathering brought together many of the projects which represented True Parents’ lifelong efforts around the world. The Unification movement organized the first World Culture and Sports Festival in 1992 and the second in 1995, both of which took place at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul, Korea.

November 24, 1996
New Victoria Plaza Hotel and tower inaugurated

True Parents inaugurated a new annex tower and a newly remodeled Victoria Plaza Hotel in Montevideo, Uruguay, on November 24, 1996. A modern five-star hotel with state-of-the-art conference facilities, the Victoria Plaza prominently stood out as a premier landmark for Uruguay and the Southern Cone region of South America.


November 26, 1992
True Parents First Visit to Oceania

True Parents visited Australia and New Zealand for the first time on the occasion of True Mother’s Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) 1992 world speaking tour. They had visited Hawaii on several occasions and True Father had established a Holy Ground in the Philippines during his first World Tour in 1965. However, this was their first visit to the South Pacific.

Following their arrival at Cairns in northeastern Australia on November 26, True Father tested the black marlin fishing grounds for three days. True Mother then delivered her address, “Women’s Role in World Peace,” before an audience of 500 in Sydney on November 29. The next day, True Father spoke to Unificationists on “The Liberation of Women” for seven hours and wrote a calligraphy, “Unification World is from Oceania.” True Mother spoke before 400 people in Auckland, New Zealand on December 2. Afterwards, they visited the South Island deer farm which had won first prize in a 1991 nationwide deer velvet competition.

Observing the countryside and beautiful clear running water, True Mother was heard to say, “I have always dreamed there was a country like this.”


Source: Sunhak Institute of History, accessed 21/11/21