I n n e r m o s t B e a u t y
m o v e s o u r h e a r t s
t o h a r m o n i z e
The Little Angels
of Korean culture
moves the world
beyond race, nationality,
culture and religion
to cooperate for peace
'As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen'
LAUNCHING OUR GLOBAL MISSION
Following God's Path
with No Thought for My Life
As soon as I was released form Seodaemun Prison, I went to the Gabsa Buddhist Temple on Mount Gyeryoung in Choongcheong Province. I needed to heal the wounds from my torture in Seodaemun Prison. Also, I needed a forest where I could pray and think about the future of our church. This was not long after the end of the Korean War, and just finding enough food to survive was often a difficult task. Despite such short-term difficulties, however, it was important that I make plans for the longer term. We still did not have a church large enough to hold all our members for service, but I felt it was important to spend some time looking out into the distant future.
Following the collapse of Japanese colonial rule and the liberation of Korea in 1945, the two countries had not established diplomatic relations. Japan had not recognized the government in Seoul, and Korea considered Japan an enemy country. My belief was that, when the situation of the world was considered, it was important for the two countries to resume contacts. A number of attempts were made to send a missionary to Japan, but these were unsuccessful. In the end, it was Bong Choon Choi who accomplished this task.
In 1958, I called Bong Choon Choi to meet me on the mountain behind the Gabsa temple. "You need to go immediately to Japan," I said. "You will not be able to return to Korea until you have succeeded."
"Yes!" he replied, without hesitation.
We then sang the Korean Christian hymn whose words begin:
Called of God, we honor the call;
Lord, we'll go wherever you say.
We came down the mountain together in high spirits. He never asked how he was supposed to support himself in Japan or how he was supposed to begin his activities there. Bong Choon Choi was that kind of audacious man. Travel to Japan was not allowed for most Koreans. His only option was to try to enter Japan even without a visa. He would need to endure many things.
Bong Choon Choi did not even know if he could enter Japan, but he was prepared, if necessary, to lay down his life. Until I could hear that he had safely crossed the straight to Japan, I put aside all other work and sat praying in a small room in the church. I didn't eat or sleep. We even had to take out a loan of 1.5 million won to send him. We had many members who had nothing to eat, but evangelizing Japan was so important that everything else had to be put aside.
Unfortunately, Bong Choon Choi was arrested as soon as he arrived in Japan. He was placed in prison, first in Hiroshima and later in Yamaguchi, until he could be deported back to Korea. While in prison he decided he would rather die than be sent back, and so he began to fast, he developed a fever. The Japanese authorities decided to place him in a hospital and delay his deportation until his health could be restored. While in the hospital he managed to escape from custody.
After such efforts made at the risk of his life over a year and a half, Bong Choon Choi established the church in Japan in October 1959, Korea and Japan would not establish diplomatic relations for another six years. In fact Korea, because the painful memory of suffering under Japan's colonial rule was still quite fresh, was rebuffing any suggestion that it open contacts with Japan.
I had our missionary smuggle himself into this enemy country for the sake of Korea's future. Instead of refusing all contact, Korea needed to evangelize Japan so that it would be in the position to be the senior partner in the bilateral relationship. Korea was impoverished materially, so it needed to open a channel to the Japanese leadership, get Japan on its side, and then link itself to the United States. That was how Korea could survive.
As a result of the successful effort to send a missionary to Japan, owing to Bong Choon Choi's sacrifice, an exceptional youth leader named Osami Kuboki joined the church, together with a group of young people who followed him. The Japanese church became securely established as a result of their work.
We sent missionaries to America in the following year. There was no visa trouble this time. They were able to receive passports and visas before leaving. In securing the passports, we were aided by some cabinet members of the Liberal Party who had played a part in having me imprisoned in the Seodaemun Prison. Previously, they had opposed us, but now they were helping us.
The United States in those days seemed like a very far off country. Some of our church members opposed the idea of sending missionaries there, saying it was more important to grow our foundation in Korea first. I convinced the members of its importance, however, saying that unless America's crisis could be resolved, Korea would be destroyed, too. In January, 1959, we sent Young Oon Kim, one of the professors who had been fired by Ewha Womans University. Then in September of that year we sent David S.C. Kim. The work they began in America was aimed at the entire world.
LAUNCHING OUR GLOBAL MISSION
Money Earned Honorably, Used Prayerfully
Funds accumulated through business operations are sacred. For business profits to be sacred, however, it is important not to lie or to take excessive profit. When conducting business, we must always be honest, and we should never take profit of more than thirty percent. Money earned in this honorable manner must ,of course, be spent prayerfully. It must be spent with a clear purpose and intent. This the principle of business management that I have promoted throughout my life. I believe the purpose of business is not simply to make money. It is also to support the missionary work, which is the work of God.
One reason I worked to create funds for missionary work through business was that I did not want to take money from our members for this purpose. No matter how lofty the purpose might be, sending missionaries overseas could not be accomplished just by wishing it. It required funds. These funds should be earned in the name of the church. Funds for missionary work had to be earned in an honorable way. Only then could we be proud of everything we did.
As I looked at various options for making money, postage stamps caught my eye. In those days, I was suggesting to members that they write to each other at least three times a month. Mailing a letter cost forty won, but I suggested that they not simply place one forty-won stamp on their letters. Instead, I suggested they use forty one-won stamps. We took the canceled postage stamps from these letters, sold them, and managed to make one million won in the first year. Seeing that used postage stamps, which seemed insignificant, could bring in big money from collectors, the members continued this work for seven years. We also sold black and white photographs of famous places or popular entertainment personalities that we had hand-colored with paint. This business also contributed significantly to the operation of our church activities.
As the church grew, postage stamps and painted photographs were no longer enough to generate the funds we needed for our missionary work. We needed to take our business to a higher level if we were to send missionaries all over the world.
In 1962, before the Korean government re-denominated the currency, a lathe that the Japanese had been using but then abandoned in 1945 was purchased for 720,000 won. Following re-denomination, it was worth 72,000 won. Korean currency was pegged to the U.S. dollar, then at 125 won per dollar, so the official value of the investment was $576. We placed this lathe in the coal briquette storage room of the "enemy property" house we were using as our church and called it Tongil Industries.
"To you, this lathe may seem insignificant," I explained. "You may wonder what kind of business we are going to do by installing one piece of old and used machinery. This machine that you see here, however, will be multiplied before long to become seven thousand--and even seventy thousand--lathes, and the company will develop along with Korea's defense and automobile industries. This machine that we installed today will surely be a cornerstone for building our country's automobile industry. Have faith. Have the conviction that this will surely happen."
This was what I said to those then gathered in front of the coal briquette storage room. It was a humble beginning, but our purpose was lofty and great. They responded to my call and worked with dedication. As a result, in 1963 we were able to start another business on a somewhat larger scale. This involved building a fishing boat. The boat was launched at a pier in the Manseok-Dong section of Incheon and christened Cheon Seung Ho, meaning "Victory of Heaven" boat. Some two hundred people attended the ceremony where this fishing boat was sent out onto the ocean.
Water is the source of life. We were all born from our mothers' wombs. Inside those wombs is water, so we were born from water. I launched the boat with the belief that, in a similar way to how we receive life from water, we need to go out onto the ocean and pass through a series of trials there in order to become capable of surviving the trials we will face on land.
Cheon Seung Ho was an exceptional boat. It sailed throughout the Yellow Sea and caught many fish. The reaction of many, though, was that we had enough to do on land and that there was no need for us to be going out onto the ocean and catching fish. I sensed, however, that the world was about to enter an oceanic era. The launching of Cheon Seung Ho was a small, but precious, first step in opening that era. I was already picturing in my mind the vast ocean with boats larger and faster than Cheon Seung Ho.
LAUNCHING OUR GLOBAL MISSION
Power fo Dance Moves the World
We were not a rich church. We were a poor church started by people who couldn't afford enough food to keep themselves well fed. We didn't have the fancy church buidings that other churches had, but we ate barley when others ate rice and saved our money a little at a time. We then shared that money with people who were poorer than we. Our missionaries slept in unheated rooms by laying their sleeping quilts on the bare cement floors. When meal time came, it was common for them to stave off their hunger by eating a few cooked potatoes. In every case, we did our best not to spend money on ourselves.
In 1963, we used the money we had saved this way to select seventeen children and form a children's dance troupe called the Little Angels. Korea in those days had very little in the way of cultural performances. We had nothing that we ourselves could watch and enjoy, let alone something to show people in other countries. Everyone was too busy trying to survive to remember what Korean dance was like or even the fact that we had a cultural heritage extending back five thousand years.
My plan was to have seventeen children learn how to dance and then send them out into the world. Many foreigners knew about Korea only as a poor country that had fought a terrible war. I wanted to show them the beautiful dances of Korea so that they would realize that the Korean people are a people of culture. We could insist all we wanted that we were a people of culture with a five-thousand-year tradition, but no one would believe us if we had nothing to show them.
Our dances---with dancers dressed in beautiful, full-length hanboks, gently twirling around--are a wonderful cultural heritage that can give a new experience to Westerners who are accustomed to watching dancers jump around with bare legs. (Hanboks are beautiful, Korean traditional dresses for women.) Our dances are imbued with the sorrowful history of the Korean people. The movements of Korean dance--in which dancers keep their heads slightly bowed and move carefully so as not be draw undue attention to themselves--were created by the Korean people, whose five-thousand-year history has been filled with grief.
As the dancer raised one foot wrapped in white beoseon, the traditional Korean leggings, and puts it forward to take a single step, she turns her head gently and raises her hand. As I watch, the gentle subtlety of her movements seem to melt away all the worries and frustrations in my heart. There is no attempt to move the audience with a lot of words spoken in a booming voice. Instead, each dance move, performed with great gentleness and subtlety, moves the heart of the audience. This is the power of art. It allows people who don't understand each other's language to communicate. It lets people who don't know about each other's history understand each other's heart.
In particular, the innocent facial expressions and bright smiles of the chidlren would be certain to completely wipe away the dark image of a country that had only recently been at war. I created this dance troupe to introduce the dances from our country's five-thousand-year history to people in the United States, which was the most advanced country in the world at that time.
The society around us, however, heaped criticism on us. Before even seeing the Little Angels dance, they began to criticize. "The women of the Unification Church dance day and night," went their outrageous criticism, "and now it looks like they've given birth to children who also dance."
No such rumors could shake my resolve, however, I was confident of showing the world what Korean dance was like. I wanted to let the people who accused us of having danced naked see the beautiful, gentle movements of dancers stepping lightly in their beoseon leggings. These were not wild dances with twisting and turning without rhythm. They were gentle dances by innocent dancers clothed in the traditional dress of our country.
LAUNCHING OUR GLOBAL MISSION
Angels Open a Path through a Dark Forest
There are two things we must leave our descendants when we die. One is tradition, and the other is education. A people without tradition will fail. Tradition is the soul that allows a people to continue; a people without a soul cannot survive. The second thing of importance is education. A people will also fail if it does not educate its descendants. Education gives us the power to live with new knowledge and objectives. Through education, people acquire wisdom for living. Anyone who cannot read will be ignorant, but once educated, a person will know how to use his wisdom in the world to manage his own life.
Education helps us understand the principles by which the world operates. To open up a new future, we need, on the one hand, to pass on to our descendants the tradition that has been handed down to us over thousands of years and, on the other, to also supply them with education concerning new things. When tradition and new knowledge are appropriately integrated in our lives, they give birth to an original culture. Tradition and education are both important, and it is impossible to say which takes priority over the other. The wisdom to integrate the two also comes to us through education.
At the same time that I founded the dance troupe, I also founded the Little Angels School of the Arts (later renamed Sunhwa Arts School). The purpose in founding ths school was to spread our ideals to the world through the arts. The issue of whether we had the ability to manage a school was of secondary importance. I first put my plan into action. If the purpose is clear and good, then it should be put into action quickly. I wanted to educate children to love heaven, love their country, and love humanity.
I wrote my motto for the schoold as a piece of calligraphy that said in Chinese characters. "Love Heaven, Love Humanity, Love Country." Someone asked me then, "Why do you put 'Love Country' at the end, when you say your purpose is to show Korea's unique culture to the world?"
I answered him, saying, "If a person loves heaven and loves humanity, he has already loved his country. Loving the country has already been accomplished in the process."
If a Korean can cause the world to respect him, then he has already accomplished the purpose of letting the world know about Korea. The Little Angel went to many countries and demonstrated the excellence of Korean culture, but they never made any naitonalistic claims about their country. The image of Korea as a country of great culture and tradition was planted deeply in the minds of people who saw their performances and gave them their applause. In that sense, the Little Angels did more than anyone to publicize Korea to the world and practice love for their country. It gives me great satisfaction every time I see the performances by Su Mi Jo and Young Ok Shin, graduates of Sunhwa Arts School who have gone on to become world-renowned vocalists, and by Julia Moon and Sue Jin Kang, who are among the best ballerinas in the world.
Since 1965,when they held their first overseas performance in the United States, the Little Angels have been introducing Korea's beautiful tradition all over the world. They were invited by the British royal family to perform in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II. They were invited to take part in the bicentennial celebration in the United States, where they performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. They gave a special performance for U.S. President Richard Nixon, and they took part in the cultural and performing arts festival that was part of the Seoul Olympic Games. The Little Angels are known around the world as cultural ambassadors for peace.
The following is something that happened in 1990, when I visited Moscow. The Little Angels gave a performance on the night before I was to leave the Soviet Union, after having met President Mikhail Gorbachev. Korea's little girls stood in the center of Moscow, the center of communism. After performing Korean dances dressed in their hanboks, the Little Angels sang Russian folk songs with their beautiful voices. Shouts of "Encore!" from the audience made it impossible for them to come off the stage. In the end, they completely exhausted their repertoire of songs.
First Lady Raisa Gorbachev was seated in the audience. South Korea and the Soviet Union had not yet established diplomatic relations, and it was very unusual for the first lady to attend a cultural performance from such a country. However, Mrs. Gorbachev sat in the front row and applauded enthusiastically throughout the program. After the performance, she came backstage and handed the troupe flowers. She repeatedly praised the greatness of Korean culture, saying, "The little Angels are truly angels of peace. I did not know that South Korea had such beautiful traditional culture. During the entire performance, it was as if I were dreaming a dream about my own childhood." Mrs. Gorbachev embraced each member of the troupe and kisssed them on the cheek, saying, "My Little Angels!"
In 1998, the Little Angels visited Pyongyang as the first purely private, nongovernmental cultural exchange program and gave three performances there. They danced the cute "Little Groom Dance" and the colorful "Fan Dance." The eyes of the North Koreans watching the performance were filled with tears. The image of a woman sobbing uncontrollably was captured in the lens of a newspaper photographer. Yong Soon Kim, chairman of North Korea's Asia-Pacific Peace Commission, praised the Little Angels after their performance, saying, "They have opened a narrow path through the dark forest."
That was exactly what the Little Angels had done. They demonstrated for the first time that Koreans from North and South, who had turned their backs on each other for such a long time, were capable of coming together in one place and watching each other's performances. People often think that politics moves the world, but that is not the case. It is culture and art that move the world. It is emotion, not reason, that strikes people in the innermost part of their hearts. When hearts change and are able to receive new things, ideologies and social regimes change as a result. The Little Angels did more than just advertise our traditional culture to the world. They created narrow paths between worlds completely different from each other.
Each time I meet the Little Angels, I tell them, "You must have beautiful hearts to perform beautiful dances. You must have beautiful hearts to have beautiful faces." True beauty is a beauty that wells up from within us. The Little Angels have been able to move the hearts of people throughout the world, because the beauty of Korea's tradition and spiritual culture that are imbued in their dances are beautiful. So the applause for the Little Angels is actually applause for Korea's traditional culture.
LAUNCHING OUR GLOBAL MISSION
From childhood, my mind has always yearned for faraway places. In my hometown, I would climb a mountain and long for the sea. When I arrived in Seoul, I wanted to go to Japan. I have always dreamed of going to places larger than where I was.
In 1965, I enbarked on my first trip around the world. My suitcase was filled with soil and stones from Korea. My plan was that, as I traveled around the world, I would plant Korea's soil and stones in each country to signify Korea's linkage to the world. For ten months, I toured forty countries, including Japan, the United States, and the nations of Europe. On the day I left Seoul, hundreds of our members came in buses to see me off, and they filled the departure lounge at Gimpo Airport. In those days, going overseas was a significant event. Our members thronged to the airport on that January day with a cold strong wind blowing out of the northwest. No one had told them to do this. They did as their hearts told them. I received their hearts with deep gratitude.
At that time, we were carrying out mission work in ten countries, and it was my plan to increase that to forty countries within two years. It was to lay the foundation for this that I decided to visit forty countries on my trip. My first stop was Japan. I received a tremendous welcome there, where Bong Choon Choi had risked his life to start our mission.
I put the following question to the Japanese members: "Are you 'of Japan,' or have you transcended the state of being 'of Japan'?"
I continued: "God doesn't want that which is 'of Japan.' He doesn't need that which is 'of Japan.' He needs people who transcend Japan. You need to go beyond the limitations of Japan to become Japanese people who love the world, if you are to be people who can be used by God." It may not have been easy for them to hear this, but I made myself very clear.
My second destination was the United States. I entered the country through the airport in San Francisco, where I was met by our misionaries. America, I felt strongly, "This is the country that leads the whole world. The new culture that will be created in the future must rise up with America as its foundation." I set a plan then to purchase a facility for workshops in the United States that would hold five hundred people. Of course, this would not be only for Koreans. It would be an international facility that would receive people from over one hundred countries.
Fortunately, this hope was soon realized. Many countries sent people to this workshop facility, where they would study and debate about world peace for several months at a time. Race, nationality, and religion made no difference.
I believe that the world will develop better societies when people who have transcended race, nationality, and religion and hold a wide variety of opinions come together and candidly discuss world peace.
During my tour of the United States, I visited every state except Alaska and Hawaii. We rented a station wagon and drove day and night. At times, the driver would be so tired. "Listen here," I would say, "We didn't come here for sightseeing. We're here to do important work. We need to go care fully."
We didn't waste time sitting down to eat. If we had two slices of bread, a piece of sausage and some pickles, then that was plenty of food for a meal. We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner like this. We also slept in the car. The car was our lodging; it was our bed and our restaurant. We ate, slept and prayed in that small car. There was nothing we couldn't do there. I had a particular purpose to accomplish, so it was easy for me to endure minor inconveniences to the physical body.
After the United States and Canada, I went to Central and South America, and then on to Europe. To my eyes, Europe was in the cultural shpere of the Vatican. It seemed to me that we could not succeed in Europe without understanding the Vatican. Even the Alps, which were supposed to be so difficult to climb, seemed of little significance in comparison to the Vatican.
I went to the Vatican, where European Catholics gather to pray, and prayed with such fervor that beads of sweat ran down my face. I prayed that Christianity, which had become divided among so many denominations and groups, could be unified quickly. God created one world, but people have divided it in ways convenient to themelves. I became more convinced than ever that these divisions must be erased and the world unified as one. From Europe, I went on the Egypt and the Middle East and completed my tour after ten months.
When I returned to Seoul, my suitcase was full of soil and stones from one hundred twenty locations in forty countries. When I planted the soil and stones I had taken from Korea, I took soil and stones from each location and brought them back to Korea. I connected Korea to these forty countries in this way to prepare for the day in the future when the world of peace would be realized centering on Korea. I began preparations to send missionaries to those forty countries.
(PHOTOS OF HISTORICAL EVENTS AND RELATIONS WITH WORLD LEADERSHIP)
LAUNCHING OUR GLOBAL MISSION
Last Plane to America
Near the end of 1971, I went to the United States again. I had certain tasks that absolutely needed to be accomplished there, but getting there was not so easy. It was not my first time to go to the United States, yet I had to wait an unusually long time to receive my visa. Some members suggested that I delay my departure, but I could not do that. It was difficult for me to explain to the members, but it was important that I leave Korea on the designated date. So I decided to go first to Japan and apply for a U.S. visa while in Japan. I was in a hurry to leave Korea.
The day of my departure was quite cold, but so many members came to see me off that they could not all get into the terminal. When it came time for me to go through the passport control desk, however, it was discovered that my passport was missing the stamp of the section chief of the Foreign Ministry's passport section. This stamp was required as proof that the government had cleared me to leave the
country. Because of this, I missed the flight I had been scheduled to board.
The members who had prepared for my departure apologized profusely and suggested that I return home and wait while they tracked down the section chief and got him to place his stamp on my passport.
"No," I told them. "I will wait here at the airport. Go quickly and get the stamp."
My heart was filled with urgency. It happened to be a Sunday, so the section chief would not be at his desk. But I could not afford to let myself be concerned by such matters. In the end, our members went to the home of the section chief and had him place his stamp in my passport. So I was able to board the final flight of the day out of Korea. That night, the government declared a national state of emergency and imposed heavy restrictions on foreign travel by private citizens. I had boarded the last flight that would allow me to go to America.
I applied for a U.S. visa in Japan, but again it was refused. I discovered later what the problem was. The Korean government still had a record of my being detained by the Japanese colonial police just prior to liberation on charges of being a communist. The early 1970s was a time when communism was spreading with ferocity. By 1975, we sent missionaries to 127 countries, but those in four communist countries were expelled. Evangelizing in communist countries in that era could result in death. I never gave up, however, and continued to send missionaries to the Soviet Union and other communist countries. Our first missionary to Czechoslovakia arrived in 1968.
Around 1980, we began to refer to our mission work in the communist countries of Eastern Europe as "Mission Butterfly." A larva must go through a long period of suffering before it can grow wings and become a butterfly, and we felt that this was similar to the suffering of our underground missionaries working in communist countries. It is a difficult process for a butterfly to come out of its cocoon, but once it has its wings, the butterfly can fly anywhere it wants. In the same way, we knew that once communism came to its demise, our missionaries would grow wings and begin to fly.
Missionary Young Oon Kim, who had gone to the United States in early 1959, toured the major universities in that country to convey God's word. In the process, she met Peter Koch, a German student at the University of California at Berkeley, and this young man decided to suspend his studies and travel by ship to Rotterdam and then start his missionary work in Germany. Missionarie to the communist countries of Asia were sent out from Japan. These missionaries had to be sent to places where their lives could be in danger without so much as a special worship service to mark their departure.
This pained me as much as having to push Bong Choon Choi to try again to smuggle himself into Japan during our final meeting in the pine forest behind the Gabsa temple. A parent who has to watch a child being punished would much rather be allowed to take the punishment himself.
I would have preferred to go out as a missionary myself. My heart was full of tears as I sent those members to places where they would be watched and possibly executed for their religious activities. Once the missionaries had left, I spent most of my time in prayer. Ernest prayers were the best thing that I could do to help protect their lives. Missionary work in communist countries was dangerous work. A missionary never knew when the Communist Party might take him.
People who went as missionaries to communist countries could not even tell their parents where they were going. The parents knew well the dangers of going to such countries and would never give permission for their children to go. Gunther Werzer was discovered by the KGB and deported. In Romania, where the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu was at its height of power, the secret police were constantly following and intercepting the telephone calls of our missionaries.
It was as if the missionaries had gone into the lion's den. The number of missionaries going to communists countries, however, kept growing.
Then in 1973, there was a terrible incident in Czechoslovakia where thirty of our members were taken into custody. One member, Marie Zivna, lost her life while in prison at the young age of twenty-four. She was the first martyr who died while conducting missionary work in a communist country. In the following year, another person lost his life in prison.
Each time I heard that one of our members had died in jail, my entire body froze. I could not speak or eat. I couldn't even pray. I just sat motionless for a while, unable to do anything. It was as if my body had turned to stone. If those people had never met me, or never heard what I taught, they never would have found themselves in a cold and lonely jail cell, and they never would have died the way they did. When they died, they suffered in my place. I asked myself, "Is my life worth so much that it could be exchanged for theirs? How am I going to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of the communist bloc that they were bearing in my place?" I could not speak. I fell into a sorrow that seemed to have no end, as if I had been thrown into deep water.
Then I saw Marie Zivna before me in the form of a yellow butterfly. The yellow butterfly that had escaped Czechoslovakia's prison fluttered its wings as if to tell me to be strong and to stand up. By carrying on her missionary activities at the risk of her life, Marie truly had been transformed from being a caterpillar to being a beautiful butterfly.
Missionaries working in such extreme circumstances often received revelations through dreams and visions. They were isolated and could not communicate freely with others, so God gave them revelations to let them know the path they must follow. It would often happen that a missionary who had lain down to sleep for a short while would have a dream in which he was told, "Get up quickly and go someplace else." He did as he was told in the dream, only to discover later that the secret police had raided the place where he had been resting. In another instance, a member had a dream in which a person he had never seen before came to him and told him how to carry out his missionary work. Later, when he met me for the first time, he exclaimed, "You're the person I saw in my dream."
This was how I had risked my life and the lives of our members to overthrow communism and build God's Kingdom. Yet, the United States would not give me a visa, because it suspected me of being a communist. Finally, in Canada, after submitting materials illustrating my claim to be anticommunist, I was able to receive a visa to the United States.
The reason I went to all this trouble to go to America was to fight against the dark forces that had caused America's moral degradation. I left Korea to wage war on the forces of evil. At the time, all the major problems of the world--communism, drugs, moral decadence, and immorality--were mixed together in a hellish stew. I declared, "I have come to America as a fireman and a doctor. If a house catches fire, a fireman needs to come, and if someone is sick, a doctor pays a visit." I was like a fireman who had gone to America to extinguish the fires of immorality, and like a doctor who had gone to cure America of the illness that made it lose sight of God and go to the brink of decadence.
America in the early 1970s was embroiled in the Vietnam War, and activists were protesting. It was a country seriously divided. Young people searching for meaning experimented with alcohol, drugs and free sex and in the process were neglecting their eternal souls. Mainstream religion, which should have provided guidance to such young people, was not performing its role. It could not help them end their aimless wandering and return to proper ways of living. The hedonistic, materialistic culture dragged many young people down, because they had no place to rest their hearts.
Soon after I arrived in the United States, I toured the country, speaking on the topics "The Future of Christianity" and "God's Hope for America." In front of large audiences, I spoke out about the weakneses of America in a way that no one else would.
I proclaimed that America was founded on the Puritan spirit and had grown to be the strongest country in the world in just two hundred years because it received God's boundless love and blessing. I reminded the audience that America's freedom came from God, but that America had cast God aside. "America has a great tradition," I said. "All you have to do is revive it." I went to the United States to awaken America's spirit, to save America from destruction, and to urge the American people to repent and return to God.
LAUNCHING OUR GLOBAL MISSION
Our Future Lies with the Ocean
As I toured the world, no one knew that plans were being made to develop economic foundations on a worldwide scale. As the church grew and the number of missions increased, the amount of funds we needed to support these activities increased dramatically. We needed income. As I toured forty-eight states in the United States, I gave much thought to the kinds of businesses that could support the activities we had planned.
What came to my mind then was that Americans eat meat every day. I checked the price of a cow. I saw that a cow that cost a small amount in Texas could cost several hundred dollars in New York. but when I checked the price of tuna, I discovered that one blue fin tuna cost more than four thousand dollars. Tuna lay more than a million eggs at a time, whereas a cow will have only one calf at a time. It was clear that catching tuna would be a much better business endeavor than raising cattle.
One problem was that Americans did not eat much fish. The Japanese, however, were extremely fond of tuna. There were many Japanese living in the United States then, and expensive restaurants operated by Japanese sold raw tuna at a high price. Gradually some Americans were learning to enjoy raw fish, and started to like eating tuna.
The earth where we live is covered by more ocean than land. The United States has two oceans and therefore plenty of fish. Also, beyond the three-hundred-twenty-two-kilometers (two-hundred-mile) limit, no country has territorial claims on the ocean. Anyone can go out to catch fish. In order to start a farm or raise cattle, we would need to buy land, but there is no need for that in the ocean. All we needed was one boat, and we could go as far as necessary in order to catch fish. The ocean is filled with things to eat. Also, on the ocean surface, there is an active shipping industry. Ships carry things made in countries all over the world to be sold elsewhere. The ocean is a treasure trove that guarantees humankind a bright future. That is why I teach that those who are concerned with the future of humanity must be concerned with the oceans. When we can love and inherit the oceans, we inherit the future.
We purchased several boats in the United States. These were not the large ships that might be seen in a travel brochure but working boats about thirty-four feet to thirty-eight feet in length. They were fishing boats about the size of a yacht that would not have major accidents. These boats were placed in Washington, San Francisco, Tampa, and Alaska. We also purchased a ship repair facility.
We did a lot of our own research. We placed one boat in each region and measured the water temperature. We checked to see how many tuna were caught each day and placed the data on a chart. We didn't just take data that experts had created previously; our members went into the water themselves to gather the information. The results of studies done by university-based researchers in the area were used as reference. In addition, I went to those areas, lived there myself, and checked them out. No data was more accurate than what we gathered. We went to a lot of trouble to conduct this research, but we did not keep it to ourselves. Instead, we shared it with the fishing industry. We also developed new fishing grounds. If too many fish are caught in one area, it depletes the fish population. It is important to go to new areas. Within a short time, we had made a major impact on the U.S. fishing industry.
We entered the business of catching fish on the open sea. Our idea was that one ship would go out to sea and catch fish for at least six months without returning to port. When the ship had all the fish it could carry, a transport ship went into out to it, took its fish, and resupplied it with food and fuel. The ship had refrigeration facilities where it could store fish for a long time. The name of our ship was New Hope, and it was well known for being able to catch many fish.
I took that boat out myself and caught tuna. People were often afraid of getting on boats. When I suggested to young people that they get on a boat, their first reaction was often one of fear. "I get seasick," I often heard them say. "All I have to do is get on a boat, and I start getting whoozy and feel like I'm going to die." So I got on the boat first myself.
From that day, I went out on the boat almost every day for seven years. Even now, when I am ninety years old, I like to go out on the ocean whenever I have the time. Now, there are more and more young people who say they want to go out on the boats. More women also say they want to do this. With any task, if the leader does it first, the people follow. As a result, I have become well known as a tuna fisherman.
It would have been of little use, however, if we had only caught the tuna. We also needed to be able to sell it at the right price. We created a tuna-processing facility and even sold the tuna ourselves. We put the tuna in refrigerated trucks and went out and sold them. If selling was difficult, we started our own seafood restaurants and sold the tuna directly to consumers. Once we had our own restaurants, people could not ignore us.
The United States has three of the world's four largest fishing grounds. Three-quarters of the world's fish population live in waters near the United States. Yet, the United States has relatively few people to catch fish, and its fishing industry is extremely underdeveloped. The government has taken many measures designed to support the fishing industry, but they have not had a major effect. The government offered to sell boats at a big discount on the condition that buyers use them for three years, but few people took advantage of the opportunity. How frustrating this is!
When we started to put money into the fishing industry, it caused a stir in each port where we went. This was not surprising, since communities prospered wherever we invested. Our work, ultimatley, was to pioneer new worlds. We were not simply catching fish. We were taking paths not taken by others. How exciting it is to be a pioneer!
The ocean changes constantly. They say people's minds change morning and night, but the ocean changes moment to moment. That is why the ocean is both mysterious and beautiful. The ocean embraces everything in heaven and earth. Water vapor can come together at a particular spot and form clouds or become rain and fall back down.
I am very fond of nature, because it never deceives. If it is high, it becomes lower; if it is low, it becomes higher. In every instance, it adjusts its height to become level. If I am sitting holding a fishing pole, it seems as though I have all the time in the world. What is there on the ocean to stand in our way? Who is there to make us hurry? We have a lot of time for ourselves. All we need to do is watch the ocean and talk with it. The longer a person spends on the ocean, the greater the spiritual aspect of his life will become. The ocean, however, can be calm one minute but then quickly change its face and send us strong waves. Waves several times the height of a person will rise up above the boat, as if to devour it. A strong wind will tear at the sail and make a fearful sound.
Think of this, though. Even when the waves have risen and a fearful wind is blowing, the fish in the water have no trouble sleeping. They give themselves over to the waves and don't resist them. This is what I learned from the fish. I decided not to be afraid, no matter how strong the waves were. I let the waves carry me. I made myself one with the boat, and we rose with the waves. Once I started doing that, my heart was never shaken, no matter what kind of waves I came up against. The ocean has been such a wonderful teacher for me in my life that I created the Ocean Challenge program to give young people the leadership training the ocean provides.
LAUNCHING OUR GLOBAL MISSION
My Hope for a New American Revolution
The initial warm hospitality shown to me by Americans began to grow cold, even hostile. They questioned how a religious leader from Korea, an insignificant country that had barely survived hunger and war, could dare call on Americans to repent.
It was not just American who opposed me. The reaction from the Japanese Red Army, a communist group in league with international communists, was particularly strong. They were even caught by the FBI trying to sneak into the workshop center in Boston where I often stayed. There were so many attempts to harm me that my children could not attend school without the presence of bodyguards. Because of the continued threats on my life, I spoke from behindd bulletproof glass for a period.
Despite such opposition, the lecture series by the small-eyed man from the Orient gathered more and more interest. People began to listen to the teachings, which were completely different from what they had heard until then. The content of the lectures dealing with the fundamental principles of the universe and seeking to reawaken the founding spirit of America was a breath of fresh air for Americans who had fallen into the hell of immorality and sloth.
Americans experienced a revolution of consciousness through my lectures. Young people began to follow me, calling me "Father Moon" or "Reverend Moon" and cutting their shoulder-length hair and their scruffy beards. When appearances change, minds also change. So God began to enter into the hearts of young people who had been immersed in alcohol and drugs.
The lectures were attended by a variety of young people, transcending denominations. When I would interrupt my sermons to ask, "Are there any Presbyterians here?" many young people would wave their hands, saying, "Here." If I asked, "Are there any Catholics?" hands would go up again. When I asked, "How about Southern Baptists?" many people would again answer, "Me."
"Why do you come to hear me instead of going to hear a sermon in your own religious group?" I asked. "Go home and go to your own church to hear God's Word."
When I said this, the audience responded, "We want to hear Reverend Moon!"
More and more people began gathering, and even some ministers of Presbyterian and Baptist churches came, bringing with them the young people of their churches. As time went on, Reverend Moon became an icon representing a revolution of consciousness in American society.
I taught American young people how to endure difficulty. I thoroughly taught them the principle that a person must be able to rule himself before he can rule the universe. My teachings provided a new inspiration to American young people living in an age of confusion. They shouted in agreement with my message of sexual purity and true families. The reception was so enthusiastic that it made me sweat with excitement as well.
Do you want to bear the cross of pain?" I asked them. "No one wants to go the way of the cross. Your heart may want to go that way, but your body says 'No!' Just because something is pleasing to the eye doesn't mean it is good for the heart. There are many things that look good, but an examination of their inner aspect shows them to be evil.
"If you catch yourself seeking after only things pleasing to the eye and try following that path, you must immediately stop yourself and say, 'You rascal!' Also, if you feel the desire to eat only things pleasing to the mouth, you must scold your body, saying, 'You rascal,' and block yourself. You young people are attracted to the opposite sex, aren't you? In this case, too, you must make a strong stand against such urges. If a person cannot control himself, he cannot do anything in this world. Consider that if you break down, the universe will break down."
I was teaching them the motto that I had followed as a young man, which was "Before seeking to rule the universe, first perfect your ability to rule yourself." America had great wealth and had become obsessed with material goods. I stood in the midst of this materialistic culture and talked about matters of the mind and heart. The mind cannot be seen with the eye or held in the hand. Yet, we clearly are ruled by our minds. Without our mind, we are nothing. Then I talked about true love, God-centered love, which should guide the mind. I said that true freedom can be enjoyed only when we have a clear understanding of ourselves based on a foundation of true love and are able to exercise self control.
I taught them the value of hard work. Hard work is not suffering but creation. The reason a person can work all his life and be happy is that labor is connected to God's world. The labor that people perform is nothing more than taking things that God created and shaping them in different ways. If you think that you are making something to give to God as a memento, then labor is not something to think of in a negative way. Many American young people were so steeped in the affluent life provided to them by their materialistic culture that they didn't know the joy of working. So I taught them to work with joy.
I also awoke in them the joy of loving nature. The young people were caught up in the immoral culture of the cities and enslaved in selfish lives, so I talked to them about the preciousness of nature. Nature is given to us by God. God speaks to us through nature. It is a sin to destroy nature for the sake of a moment of enjoyment or an insignificant amount of money. The nature that we destroy eventually will make its way back to us in the form of pollutants and make life difficult for our descendants. We need to go back to nature and listen to what nature tells us. I told the young people of America that when we open our hearts and listen to what nature is saying, we can hear the Word of God.
In September 1975, we founded the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown, New York, which is located north of New York City. The faculty was hired on an interreligious basis, and we had professors representing Judaism, Protestantism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Oriental philosophy. When they lectured about their own religions, our students asked them very difficult questions. The classes always became forums for intense debate.
When all the religions were put together and debated, they began to break through the incurrect concepts that they had about each other and to better understand each other. Gifted young people finished their master's level education at our seminary and entered the doctoral programs at Harvard, Yale, and other leading Universities. Today they have become people capable of leading the religious world on a global scale.
LAUNCHING OUR GLOBAL MISSION
Washington Monument, 1976
In 1974 and 1975, I was invited to speak on Capitol Hill. I spoke in front of members of the House of Representatives on the topic "One Nation Under God."
I addressed the congressmen in the same manner as I had the young people on the street, saying, "America was born through God's blessing. This blessing, however, was not for Americans alone. This was God's blessing for the world, given through America. America must understand the principle of this blessing and sacrifice itself in order to save the world. To do this, there needs to be a reawakening that lets America return to its founding spirit. Christianity, which has been divided into dozens of denominations, must be united, absorb all religions, and open a new future for world civilization."
I was the first foreign religious leader to be invited to speak by members of the U.S. Congress. After I was invited for a second time, many more people became interested in finding out about this Reverend Moon from Korea.
The next year, on June 1, 1976, we held a celebration at Yankee Stadium in New York City to commemorate the bicentennial of the nation's independence. At the time, the United States could not celebrate its anniversary peacefully. It was feeling the threat of communism, and its young people were living lives far distant from the desire of God, engaging in such things a drugs and free sex. I felt that America was seriously ill. I went to the celebration feeling as though I were like a surgeon cutting open the heart of a New York that lay sick.
On the day of the celebration, torrential rains came down, and a strong wind blew the decorations all around the field, but no one tried to get out of the rain. The band started playing "You Are My Sunshine," and everyone in the stadium began to sing together. They were singing a song about sunshine, even as they were being soaked by the rain. Their mouths were singing about sunshine, but their eyes were crying. It was a moment when rain and tears were mixed together. Then, incredibly, as I went to the stage to speak, the sunshine broke through the rain clouds. It was as if God had heard their singing.
I did some boxing when I was in school. You can hit a good boxer with many jabs and still find that he is not affected. If you can land a solid upper cut, however, even the strongest boxer will be shaken up. I was counting on landing a solid upper cut on America. I felt that there needed to be a much larger rally than what had been held up to that point so that the name "Sun Myung Moon" would be indelibly carved into America's mind.
Washington Monument stands on the National Mall in the very center of the capital of the United States. The monument, which looks like a tall sharp pencil, stands over a hundred eighty-three meters (five hundred and fifty feet) high. A large grassy field extends from the monument to the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I set a plan to hold a large rally in this place, the symbolic heart of America.
To even hold a rally there, however, we needed permission from both the U.S. government and the U.S. National Park Police. By this time, many U.S. officials did not like me very much. I had previously put ads in newspapers calling on the people of America to forgive former President Richard Nixon, who had been pushed into a crisis because of the Watergate incident. This position was very unpopular. So now the U.S. government kept turning us down, and it was not until forty days prior to the event that we were finally able to receive permisson.
Our members, too, suggested to me that this was too ambitious a plan and that we should not go forward. The National Mall surrounding the Washington Monument was an open park in the middle of an urban area. There were not many trees--just a wide expanse of grass. If the crowd were small, it would be obvious for everyone to see. To fill such a large area, there would have to be hundreds of thousands of people. Our members wanted to know how this could be possible. Prior to this, only two people had held large events on the National Mall. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had held a rally for civil rights on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and Rev. Billy Graham had held a large gathering there. So it was a place with a lot of symbolism. This was the place that I was challenging.
I prayed without ceasing for this rally. Four times I wrote the speech that I was to deliver. A week before the event, I still had mixed feelings about what I should say in my speech. Finally, three days before the event, I completed the text. Generally, I don't speak from prepared texts. I made an exception in this case, because of my concern that the event go well. I knew this was going to be a particularly important event, though I wasn't quite certain in what way.
I will never forget what happened on that day, September 18, 1976. People started coming to the Washington Monument from early in the morning. Some three hundred thousand people gathered. It was impossible to tell where all these people had come from. They had all different colors of hair and skin. All the races that God sent to earth gathered on that day. It was a rally on a global scale that does not require any additional description.
I stood in front of the gathering and declared, "God prepared America for two hundred years. This is the time for awakening. American must accept her global responsibility. Armed with Godism, she must free the communist world and at last build the Kingdom of God here on earth." The speech was interrupted many times by shouts and applause.
Newsweek, in a year-end pictorial review of the major events of 1976, carried my photograph and referred to me as part of the revivalism of the 1970s. On the other hand, an increasing number of people were beginning to look at me with caution and fear. To them, I was nothing more than a strange magician who had come from the East. I was not a white man they could place their faith in and follow. The fact that I was saying things that were somewhat different from what they had heard in their churches made them feel very insecure. In particular, they could not allow a situation in which young white people were showing respect to and following an Aian with slender eyes shaped like a fish.
They began speading rumors that I had been brainwashing innocent young white people. This group that opposed me gathered in the background, behind those who were shouting their support. I knew that another crisis was about to befall me. I was not afraid, however, because I was clearly doing what was right.
The United States is widely known as a country of freedom and equality, where people of all races come to realize the American dream. In fact, however, there is a great deal of struggle stemming from racial and religious discrimination. These are chronic illneses that are embedded deep within America's history, and they are therefore much more difficult to cure than the social diseases such as immorality and materialism that arose aout of the affluence of the 1970s.
About this time, I was visiting African-American churches in an effort to foster ecumenical harmony. Among black leaders there were some who, inthe footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., were working to do away with racial discrimination and bring about God's world of peace.
Some of these ministers had images hanging in their basements of the slave markets that had eisted for hundreds of years prior to being outlawed. One frequent image was of a black man being burned alive while hanging fro a tree. Another was of black men and women stripped of their clothes being looked over like merchandise by potential slave buyers. And yet another was of a black baby crying as it was being taken away from its mother. One could hardly beliee that human beings were capable of the babic acts depicted so clearly in those images.
"Wat and see," I told a gathering in Chicago on October 24, 1975, "Within the next thirty years, there will be a president of the United States who wa born into an interracial black and white family."
The prophecy I made that day has now come true in America with the inauguration of President Barack Obama, who spent much of his adult life in Chicago. This prophecy did not come true on tis own. Many people shed their blood andsweat to do away with the struggles between the races, and those efforts have now finally blossomed.
Surprisingly, a number of ministers of established churches in America came and brought their congregations to the Washington Moument rally. They decided that my message transcended denominations and that I was inspiring young people. I called on people to transcend differences ofdenomination andreligion, and those words were realized at this rally. The Washington Monument Rally was a miracle. The hundreds of thousands of people who attended made this among the larget gatherings ever held on the National Mall.
LAUNCHING OUR GLOBAL MISSION
"Shed Tears for the World, Not for Me"
Good is often followed by the bad. Some people drew mustaches on posters and advertisements carrying my picture, trying to associate me with Hitler. They called me "anti-Semetic" and claimed that I taught against Jews. Trouble also happened with Christians. As the number of young people following me and the number of ministers who wanted to learn the Principle increased, America's established churches also began to persecute me. Lastly, leftists in America reacted against my position that it was America's responsibility to stop the spread of communism in the world. They, too, began to look for ways to stop my activities.
As our popularity grew, all kinds of misgivings and doubts began to be raised about me. Young people, inspired to spread my teachngs, had left college or quit their jobs to travel around the country to teach and raise funds for our work. Their parents understandably became concerned about their well-being.
When the United States became embroiled in the Watergate crisis, I met with President Richard Nixon to urge him to seek God's will in leading the nation. I issued an appeal to the American people to "forgive, love, and unite" around the position of the president. This sparked opposition from the leftist news media. Things that previously had not been an issue suddenly came pressing down upon me. At the same time, conservatives said I was too liberal and that my teachings would break down traditional values.
Many Christians were also unhappy about the new understanding of the cross that I was teaching: Jeuss came as the Messiah, and it was not God's predestined will that He be crucified. With the crucifixion of Jesus, God's plan for the kingdom of peace went awry. If Israel had received Jesus as the Messiah, he could have brought about a world of peace, uniting cultures and religions of the East and West. Jesus, however, died on the cross, and God's work of complete salvation was delayed until the Second Coming.
This understanding of the cross brought a great deal of opposition. As a result, established churches and the Jewish community both came to regard me as their enemy. They tried any number of ways to have me removed from America, each for their own different reasons.
Ultimately, I was imprisoned once again. All my work had one purpose: to reestablish the morality of America and restore it to be a country in line with God's Will, but I was accused of not paying my taxes. I was well past my sixtieth birthday by this time.
During the first three years I was in America, donations received from around the world were placed in a bank account in New York in my name, held in trust for the church, a practice common in some denominations. The money in this account produced interest income, and I was indicted on the central allegation of failing to report that interest as income on my personal tax return for the years 1973 to 1975. The estimated tax on that income was about $7,500. Normally a fine would have been charged, but I was put on trial and convicted in 1982, and finally imprisoned in the federal correctional institution at Danbury, Connecticut, on July 20, 1984.
On the day before reporting to the Danbury prison, I met with members gathered at the Belvedere training center in Tarrytown, New York. It was an emotional gathering. Thousands of people who had followed me gathered at Belvedere that day, shed tears as they prayed for me. I raised my voice and told them not to lose heart.
"I am innocent," I said. "I have done nothing wrong."
"I can see the bright light of hope rising from beyond Danbury," I told them. "Don't cry for me, but cry for America. Love America, and pray for America." I stood before these young people immersed in sadness and held up my hands as a sign of hope.
The statement I made prior to entering the prison caused a great stir among religious people. A "Common Suffering Fellowship" was intiated ,and there was a wave of prayers to support me. The Common Suffering Fellowship was a groundswell of support of clergy from all denominations and from other religions concerned about the attack on religious freedom in America.
On the day that I went to prison, I knew I had nothing to fear. I know life n jail. This was not the case with the people around me, however. They were concerned that some people strongly opposed to me would do something to end my life. I headed to prison with my head held high.
LAUNCHING OUR GLOBAL MISSION
"Why Does My Father Have to Go to Jail?"
Even in Danbury prison, I followed my principle of living for the sake of others. I would wake up early in the morning and clean places that were dirty. In the cafeteria, others would lean over their food and either take a nap or chat among themselves, but I kept my back straight and sat with dignity. When I was given work to do, I worked harder at it than others did, and I kept an eye out to see how others were doing.
In my spare time, I read the Bible. One prisoner, seeing how I read the Bible day and night said to me, "Is that your Bible? Here's my Bible. Take a look!" He threw a magazine to me. It was the pornographic magazine Hustler.
In prison I was known as a person who worked without talking. I read books and meditated. After going three months this way, I became friends with the prisoners and the guards. I became friends with a person who was on drugs and with the prisoner who had said the pornographic magazine was his Bible. After a month or two, the prisoners began to share with me the items they received from outside. Once we could share our hearts, it was as if spring had come to the inside of the prison.
Actually, the United States government did not really want to send me to prison. They chose to indict me while I was out of the country on a trip to Germany, and they probably would have been satisfied if I had chosen not to return. They weren't trying to put me in jail. They were trying to remove me from the country. I was becomng well known in America, and the number of people following me was increasing. So they wanted to put a roadblock in my way. Just as in Korea, I was a thorn in the side of the established churches. Because I knew this was their purpose, I chose to return to America and go to jail. I still had things that needed to be done in America.
I think that going to jail is not a completely bad thing. If I am to get people who are in the valley of tears to repent, then I must first shed tears. Unless I first experience such a wretched heart, I cannot get others to submit themselves to God. Heaven really works in mysterious ways. After I was imprisoned, seven thousand ministers and other religious leaders accused the U.S. government of violating religious freedom and began an effort to save me.
Among them were the conservative Rev. Jerry Falwell of the Southern Baptist Convention and the liberal Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, who gave the benediction during the inauguration of President Obama. They stood at the forefront of the effort to save me. Also, my daughter InJin, a young girl still in her teens, marched with them. She stood before several thousand relgious leaders and read in tears a letter that she had written in appeal to the judge who had handed down my sentence:
"My father's life has been dotted with tears and suffering, as he sought to carry out God's Will. He is now 64 years old. His only crime was that he loved America. Yet, at this moment, he is either washing dishes in the prison cafeteria or mopping its floors.
"Last week, I visited my father and saw him for the first time in his prison uniform. I cried and cried. My father told me not to cry for him but to pray for America. He told me to take my anger and sorrow and transform these into a powerful force that will make this a truly free country.
"He said that while he was in prison he would endure any hardship, bear any injustice, and carry any cross. Freedom of religion is the basis of all freedoms. I am truly grateful to everyone who has stood up to support religious freedom."
My sentence was reduced by six months for good behavior, and I was released after serving thirteen months. The day I left prison, a banquet to celebrate my release was held in Washington, D.C. Seventeen hundred Christian ministers and Jewish rabbis were gathered and waiting for me. In my remarks to the gathering, I repeated my position in favor of transcending religions and denominations. I spoke in a loud voice to the world at large, feeling no need for concern for the reacton from those opposed to me.
"God is not a denominationalist. He is not bound by secondary arguments over doctrine. There are no distinctions over nationality or race in God's great parental heart. Neither are there any walls between nations or cultures there. Even today, God continues to do everything He can to embrace all the world's people as His children. America today suffers from racial issues, issues resulting from the confusion of values and moral degradation, issues of spiritual drought and the decline of Christian faith, and the issue of aitheistic communism. These are the reasons I answered the call of God and came to this country. Christianity today must have a great awakening and come together as one. Clergy, too, must reexamine the roles that you have been playing until now and repent. The situation that played out two thousand years ago, when Jesus came and called on people to repent, is being repeated today. We must fulfill the important mission that God has given to America. The situation cannot continue as it is now. There needs to be a new reformation."
Once I had been released from prison, there was nothing to hold me back. I spoke with an even louder voice than before to give a message of warning to a fallen America. I repeatedly spoke in strong words that returning to God's love and morality is the only way to revitalize America.
I was imprisoned without my having done anything wrong, but God's will was there as well. Afer my release, the people who worked for my release took turns coming to Korea to learn more about my work. They came to find out what it was about Reverend Moon's spirit that had attracted so many young people in America. On their return to the United States, one hundred twenty of these ministers organized the American Clergy Leadership Conference.
('As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen'
end of Chapter Four:
Launching Our Global Mission