This Week in History 7 to 13 November

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Top photo: Mr. Toru Goto . The Unification movement in Japan won a major victory on November 13, 2014, when Tokyo’s High Court ruled in favor of Mr. Toru Goto in his civil suit against family members and “deprogrammers” who had held him captive for 12 years and five months (September 11, 1995 to February 10, 2008) in order to force him to abandon the Unification faith.

November 7, 1966
Inter-Denominational Christian Association established

A ceremony marking the foundation of the Inter-Denominational Christian Association was held on November 7, 1966, at A-seo-won, in Jung district of Seoul. This was the result of the Christianity-based interdenominational activities that had been held since 1965. True Father said, “If a hundred members become people central to creating harmony, they can be remembered by Heaven. To bring about harmony, interdenominational activities must be carried out to a degree where one would even fall into debt for it.” When first established, it was launched under the name the Christian Inter-Denominational Movement Headquarters but was renamed the Inter-Denominational Christian Association eight years later in October 1974. (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)

 

November 7, 1999
Cheonseong Wanglim (Main Hall) dedicated

On March 10, 1997, there was a groundbreaking ceremony at Cheongpyeong Lake in Korea for what was to become a major sanctuary that could hold up to 10,000 workshop participants at a time. In design, it was understood to be a replica of a palace in heaven, a reality that was attested to in calligraphy provided for the occasion by True Father, which read, “The Heavenly Palace that came down from Heaven.” Essentially, a small mountain was leveled to construct a magnificent marble structure overlooking Cheongpyeong Lake. Named Cheonseong Wanglim Palace, the edifice was dedicated on November 7, 1999.

November 8, 1987
UTS “Soul of Russia” Holds Prayer Walk for Religious Freedom in the Soviet Union

The “Soul of Russia,” a Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) student-based prayer and educational group concerned with ending religious persecution in communist countries, held a prayer walk with more than 250 participants at UTS on November 8, 1987. Titled a “Restorational Prayer Walk for Religious Freedom in the Soviet Union,” the candlelight walk was timed to follow the 70th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. The turnout generated extensive media coverage, including front-page photos in local newspapers.


November 9, 1989
East Germany Opens Berlin Wall

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The Unification movement dedicated itself to “Victory over Communism” for many years. In 1985, True Father sponsored a major conference in Geneva, Switzerland, titled The Fall of the Soviet Empire. At that time, few thought this was a realistic possibility. However, four years later, on November 9, 1989, East Germany officially announced freedom of travel and border guards opened the gates which had restricted travel since 1961. This major symbol of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain subsequently was demolished and the Soviet Union itself collapsed less than two years later.

 

November 10, 1981
True Father Proposes International Highway

In “The Creation of a New World,” the Founder’s Address at the 10th International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS), held in Seoul, Korea, from November 9 to 13, 1981, True Father proposed the construction of a “Great Asian Highway” that eventually would link the world. This, he said, “would be a great international highway around which freedom is guaranteed.” He also envisioned the highway as a spur for economic development and cultural integration.

His call resulted in the establishment of the Japan-Korea Tunnel Research Institute and the International Highway Construction Corporation, which conducted extensive private research and public relations activities during the 1980s and 1990s. In 2005 at the Inaugural Convocation of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), True Father renewed his call for an International Highway System, focusing on “a passage for transit across the Bering Strait.”

November 10, 2011
David S.C. Kim’s Seonghwa Ceremony

David S.C. Kim working with the One World Crusade.
David S.C. Kim working with the One World Crusade.

David S.C. Kim, one of the five founding members of the Unification Church in 1954, the second missionary to the United States in 1959, and the founding president of Unification Theological Seminary (1975-1994), passed away on November 8, 2011, at age 96. On his passing, True Father stated that he had “entered the Garden of Heaven as a representative of filial piety and loyalty.”


November 11, 2007
True Mother Begins U.S. 12-City Speaking Tour

True Mother began a U.S. 12-city speaking tour titled Providential View of the Pacific Rim Era in Light of God’s Will on November 11, 2007. She began the tour in Los Angeles and concluded it in New York on November 21. Wherever she spoke, many people came. Throughout the tour, True Father offered conditions on Geomun Island, Yeosu, Korea, and encouraged True Mother by telephone. (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee.)


November 11, 2017
Global Rally for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula

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At a time when tensions between North Korea, South Korea, Japan and the United States were at the breaking point due to North Korea’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, True Mother conducted a Global Rally for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula at Seoul World Cup Stadium on November 11, 2017. The event drew 80,000 people, including international religious and political leaders from 70 countries. It culminated a series of “vision” and “marching forward” rallies the Family Federation held throughout Korea during 2017.

 

In her keynote address, “The Truth of History from the Viewpoint of Heaven’s Providence, and This Nation’s Mission,” True Mother stated that the rally was being conducted to “move Heaven at a time when this nation’s fate is at stake.” She noted, “We cannot find answers through human strength and effort alone” and that seventy-two years after the UN’s establishment, “we stand in a maze and are unable to unite.” She proceeded to boldly proclaim that God prepared the people of the Korean peninsula “so He could send the only daughter of God through them.” She declared, “In 1960, True Parents … came into being … to save the world’s 7.4 billion people.” She further declared that Christianity and all religions “must prepare to greet a new morning” which she defined as “the marriage Blessing through True Parents … the true family movement.” Heavenly Parent’s dream, she said, “begins from True Parents.” She concluded by calling on those present to “stand in God’s presence … receive the Blessing, resolve the past, unite in the present, and open the way to the future.”

 

The Global Rally for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula was reminiscent of the “World Rally for Korean Freedom” in which True Parents rallied more than 1 million Korean citizens and international participants at Yeouido Plaza on June 7, 1975. That rally was conducted after the fall of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, another time of national crisis when South Korea needed to stand united to ward off a potential invasion from the North. Less than four months after True Mother’s Global Rally for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula address, North Korea sent representatives to the South Korea Winter Olympic Games, North and South held an Inter-Korean Summit, and U.S. President accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean Premier Kim Jong Il. The rally was an important, if yet not widely recognized stepping stone toward the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula.

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November 12, 1965
Sang Ik “Papa-san” Choi Arrives in San Francisco

True Father with Mr. Sang Ik “Papa-san” Choi prior to his departure as a missionary
True Father with Mr. Sang Ik “Papa-san” Choi prior to his departure as a missionary

Mr. Sang Ik “Papa-san” Choi, the first successful Unification Church missionary to Japan, began his mission in the United States on November 12, 1965. He was the fourth Korean missionary to pioneer the United States, following Miss Young Oon Kim, Mr. David S.C. Kim and Col. Bo Hi Pak.

Mr. Choi was joined by Daikon Ohnuki and Soo Lim (later known as “Onni” Durst). They, along with Mrs. Choi, the Chois’ infant son and three members from the church in Japan, developed what later became the International Re-Education Foundation in San Francisco. Mr. Choi adapted “Principles of Education” and a social movement rather than church profile to reach the secular Bay Area audience and hippie youth. The original community of eight doubled itself with eight new American members by the end of 1967. A pattern of doubling membership annually continued until 1971.


November 12, 2004
Cheongshim Youth Center Dedicated

The Cheongshim Youth Center in Cheongpyeong, Gyeonggi Province, was dedicated on November 12, 2004. Around a thousand Cheongpyeong Heaven and Earth Training Center workshop participants came for the ceremonial dedication. True Parents planted a commemorative tree and cut a ribbon. True Father wrote a calligraphic message, “Cheon-ji Gae-byeok Cheon-jin-gyeok-dong Man-hwa-seong-chui.” The Cheongshim Youth Center began to play a key role in the education of Unificationist-born young people under the vision “Challenge to Achieve Dreams and Hopes.” (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee.)


November 12, 2018
Peace Starts with Me: Healing America Rally, Nassau Coliseum, New York

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Building on the “Peace Starts with Me” rally at Madison Square Garden in 2017, True Mother convened a major “Peace Starts with Me: Healing America” rally at Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, New York on November 12, 2018. Co-sponsored by the Family Federation and American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), the rally drew more than 15,000 people, including many clergy and their congregations. It included performances by Grammy Award winners Hezekiah Walker and Yolanda Adams, a 5,000-voice choir, 500 praise dancers and an introduction of True Mother by Bishop Noel Jones of the City of Refuge Church in Los Angeles. In honor of Veteran’s Day, True Mother donated more than $50,000 to four veteran’s groups.

 

True Mother’s speech focused on Christianity and America’s mission from the perspective of Heaven’s providence. She stated, “Jesus’ true essence remained unknown” and had not been put into practice. She described the slave trade as “inconceivable” and said, “The only answer to solving all today’s problems is through receiving the Marriage Blessing through the True Parents.” She described “a world of one human family centered on God” as “Heavenly Parent’s dream and humankind’s hope.” She called on those present to “become central messianic figures “capable of building a hopeful future.” In a banquet for religious leaders following the rally, True Mother said, “The center of this nation is not the president. It is the ministers.” She called on them to “receive the Blessing and as a Blessed Family” to “Bless their congregations.”

 

Damien Dunkley, Vice President of Family Federation USA and executive producer of the rally, explained that the Nassau Rally was different from the previous “Peace Starts with Me” Rally at Madison Square Garden in that it was initiated by the Family Federation USA as a Hyojeong (filial) offering and because the movement had broken through into “public” space. Building on the momentum from Madison Square Garden, he noted that the Family Federation was “expanding our network into both the Christian and entertainment communities.”

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November 13, 2014
Japan High Court Landmark Ruling against Kidnapping and “Deprogramming”

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The Unification movement in Japan won a major victory on November 13, 2014, when Tokyo’s High Court ruled in favor of Mr. Toru Goto in his civil suit against family members and “deprogrammers” who had held him captive for 12 years and five months (September 11, 1995 to February 10, 2008) in order to force him to abandon the Unification faith. The court ruled that this amounted to kidnapping and “an unlawful suppression of freedom of action.” It ordered three family members to pay compensation of 22 million yen (2.2 million US$). The lead deprogrammer was ordered to pay 11 million yen (1.1 million US$) in compensation.

Over the past 45 years, more than 4,300 persons, mostly Unificationists and 80 percent of them women, have been kidnapped for the purpose of breaking their faith. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the U.S. State Department previously filed reports critical of Japan for inaction on this human rights abuse. Mr. Goto’s initial effort to press criminal charges was denied in 2009 by the Tokyo Prosecutors Office, which cited “insufficient evidence.” He subsequently filed a civil lawsuit, which resulted in the 2014 decision. Japan’s Supreme Court dismissed appeals by the defendants in the case and upheld the verdict by the Tokyo High Court on September 29, 2015. This concluded Mr. Goto’s seven-year legal battle and put an end to kidnapping and deprogramming as a legal option in Japan.


Source: Sunhak Institute of History, accessed 7/11/21