I wanted to share this research paper by Melissa Hall. It’s on the Unification Church. Perhaps it will help enlighten someone who is interested in learning more about cults.
The Unification Church
The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification was founded and referred to as The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity and is commonly called the Unification Church. The cult is considered a religious movement founded in South Korea in 1954 by Sun Myung Moon. Since it was founded, the church movement has spread throughout the world with most of the members living in East Asia. (http://en.wikipedia.org) The followers are referred to as “Moonies.” Today the church has a presence in more than 100 countries. The church claims it has 3 million members but other sources estimate the membership from 250,000 to just over 1 million.
The founder Sun Myung Moon entered America in 1959 and established his international headquarters. Moon was born in 1936 and claimed that when he was 16 years of age, Jesus Christ appeared to him on Easter morning on a mountainside in Northwestern Korea and told him that God had chosen him for the mission of establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, a mission that Christ had only begun. Moon claimed that Christ told him that he would be “the completer of man’s salvation by being the Second Coming of Christ.” (Bjornstad)
Moon and his Church followers not only join together in promoting the Unification Church, but they have launched numerous business ventures. With the help of followers and their free labor, Moon built a multi-million dollar empire that includes pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing, banking, publishing and other industries. A few of the published articles include The Unification News a monthly newspaper owned by the Church and a monthly magazine called Insight. While not an official publication of the Unification Church, the Church does own and operate the Washington Times which is located in Washington, D.C. and it also produces Today’s Times a monthly magazine.
In 1945, after World War II, before becoming a permanent resident in the United States, Moon returned to Pyongyang, the capital of communist North Korea, where he set up his first church. According to reports, Moon involved his congregation in rituals known as “blood separation,” during which female members of the church were required to have sex with him to cleanse themselves of Satan’s influence. In 1948, North Korean authorities arrested him on the charge of bigotry and adultery. Moon was jailed and he spent two years in a labor camp. In 1973, he became a permanent resident of the United States and the group now believes that the U.S. will be the future base of operations for the “Lord of the Second Advent” a title in which the founder personally claimed. It has also been documented that Moon communicated with familiar spirits by means of séances. (Ministries) In 2004 Moon was crowned King of Peace, complete with kingly robes and golden crowns, in a building of the U.S. Senate. At the same event, Moon made statements referring to himself as the Messiah.
Moonies believe that the Bible is just a textbook teaching the truth rather than the truth itself. The Divine Principle which was written and published by Moon in 1957 is considered to be the scriptures and is accepted as the third testament of the Bible and superior to the Bible. The Bible is interpreted allegorically. For example, the cross represents democracy. The thief on the left represents Communism and the man on the right side of Jesus represents democracy.
The Moonies hold to a long list of wild beliefs and practices. In regards to the fall of man, Moonies believe that everything in existence has a dual aspect, including God. They claim that God originally intended for Adam and Eve to have a brother/sister relationship until they reached perfection and that both of them were supposed to establish God’s kingdom on earth through marriage and childbearing. Therefore, the Fall was the result of sexual sin as Eve had sexual relations with Satan resulting in the spiritual fall and then with Adam resulting in the physical fall.
In regards to sin, the Moonies believe that sin is a matter of genetics (physical children of Lucifer) and it is not a moral choice. Moonies believe that Christ was just a man but he was not God. In regards to salvation, Moonies teach the “Law of Indemnity” which is teaching that God’s children must pay for at least part of their debt of sin before God will forgive them. A person’s salvation is earned through fasting, fund-raising, recruitment and other such works. The Holy Spirit is referred to as a “female spirit” which is claimed to be the “True Mother” and spiritual wife of Jesus. She is able to cleanse the sins of the people in order to restore them, thus indemnifying the sin committed by eve. One of the most widely practices and beliefs held by the Moonies is the Blessing Ceremony popularly known as “mass weddings” a religious ceremony and not actual weddings.
The Unification Church was led by Moon until his death on September 3, 2012. His wife Hak Ja Han assumed the leadership role of the church and is very active and widely accepted on Capitol Hill. She is referred to the as the “True Mother” and is regarded as the “perfect woman” by church members. (http://en.wikipedia.org)
Bjornstad, J. (n.d.). Sun Myung Moon and The Unification Church.
http://en.wikipedia.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia.
Ministries, B. D. (n.d.). http://www.rapidnet.com. Retrieved from Unification Church.