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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 United Nations."

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.

Cult Beliefs:

  • 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 other.

  • 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 God.

  • 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 about Jesus.

  • 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.


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