Unification Church (Moonies)
Founder: Sun Myung Moon
The Holy Spirit Association for the
Unification of World Christianity was organized in 1954 in Seoul, South
Korea by Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Its followers are often called Moonies by
persons outside of the Association. However, this term is considered derogatory
by its members, who refer to themselves as Unificationists. Moon was
born in what is now North Korea in 1920 and was raised in the Presbyterian
Church. When he was 15 years old, at Easter, Jesus Christ supposedly appeared to him in a
vision, charging him with the responsibility of completing the work in the world
that He (Jesus) had started. During his adult life he has had trouble with legal
authorities, having been arrested for practicing capitalism (a crime in North
Korea), charged (but not convicted) in South Korea of other activities, and
convicted of tax evasion in the United States. The Presbyterian Church of Korea,
in 1948, felt that his views were incompatible with traditional Christianity;
they excommunicated him.
In 1957, Moon published Divine
Principle which is a collection of his beliefs, as written by a member of
the Church. Two years later, Young Oon Kim moved to North America as a
Unification missionary to establish a church presence there. Many of the members
in the U.S. expected a type of apocalyptic event in 1967. When nothing of that
nature occurred, some members became disillusioned and left the organization. In
1972, Moon moved to the United States and started a major recruitment
drive. A decade later, he performed the first of many mass wedding ceremonies in
which more than 2000 couples were married. In 1984, he was convicted of tax
evasion in the U.S. and sent to prison for 13 months.
In May 1994, the Unification Church celebrated their 40th anniversary
in Seoul, Korea. It was a type of watershed for the movement. Reverend Moon
announced the merger of all of his religious, political, cultural and business
organizations, -- including the CAUSA, Free Press International,
International Cultural Foundation, International Religious Foundation, Korean
Folk Ballet, Washington Times -- into a new group: the Family Federation
for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU). Moon initiated a National
Messiahship program in 1995. This involves the selection of four families to
lead the movement in each country. One family will be from Korea, one from
Japan, one from America, France, or Great Britain, and one from Austria, Germany
or Italy. On 1999-FEB-6, the Inter-religious and International Federation for
World Peace was formed. Its mission is "to implement a system
through which the highest expressions of religious wisdom are brought to the
table at which the world's most serious and urgent problems are being addressed
... by creating a council of religious leaders within the framework of the
Moon is the ultimate authority within the
Church. The administration of Unification organizations is by a board of elders.
The Unification Church's main religious text is the Bible. It is seen as
teaching truth, but is not viewed as truth in itself. It is only a partial
revelation. Moon's interpretations of Christian beliefs and additional
revelations from God are contained in the book Divine Principle, which
was written in Korean in 1959 and translated by Young Oon Kim in 1959. The
Church publishes the Unification News, Today's World and a secular
newspaper, the Washington Times.
They believe God is a single being with "perfect
intellect, emotion and will". They reject the traditional Christian
concept of the Godhead. They think God contains within himself positive
(male) and negative (female) aspects, which are in perfect harmony with each
They believe the Holy Spirit is the feminine counterpart
to God. She is not a person, but is a form of energy that is derived from
They believe before Adam and Eve were married in Eden,
Eve had an affair with the Archangel Lucifer. This caused the spiritual fall
of mankind. She later engaged in an pre-marital sexual relationship with
Adam. This caused the physical fall of mankind. Together, these illicit
sexuality caused them to form an imperfect family. Their sin led to Satan
taking control of the world.
The church links Communism (the expression
of Satan) with Cain and Democracy (the expression of God) with Abel.
They believe Jesus Christ was a unique human
being who was born without original sin. After his crucifixion, he was
spiritually resurrected, although Satan took his body away.
They believe God's original intent was for Jesus Christ
to form a perfect marriage in order to redeem humanity, and undo the harm
perpetrated by Adam and Eve. Since Jesus was executed before accomplishing
his mission, it will be up to a third Adam to form this perfect marriage and
complete Jesus' task.
They believe that by his spiritual resurrection, Jesus has
made possible spiritual salvation for persons who accept him as savior and
believe in his message. They will, after death, live with Jesus in Paradise.
However, because Jesus did not complete his original task, physical
salvation is not possible on earth during one's lifetime. Complete salvation
(spiritual and physical) awaits the arrival of the third Adam and his
subsequent perfect marriage.
They believe the apostle Paul was the
originator of Christianity. Through his expertise, he converted the
teachings of Jesus concerning the kingdom of God into a formal religion
They believe Hell exists on earth. Over time, Hell will
be transformed into the kingdom of heaven on earth. Hell exists in the
spiritual world as well, as an extension of life for those of us who live in
Hell on earth.
They believe one of the main purposes of the Unification
Church is to unite all of the fragments of Christianity into a single body.
They believe the third Adam was born in Korea between
1917 and 1930. (The first Adam was the individual described in Genesis; the
second Adam is Jesus). He will be recognized as second coming of Christ, the
perfect man. He will marry the perfect woman, and will become the "true
spiritual parents of humankind". Some members of the Unification
Church regard Moon and his second (and current) wife Hak Ja Han as
these parents, although the Church itself has never made this claim.