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Peace and Glory to the Champion of Peace, Sun Myung Moon!


Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Universal Peace Federation and countless organizations and enterprises around the world, ascended to the spirit world on September 3, 2012 at 1:54 a.m. Korean time, at the age of 92 at the Cheongshim International Medical Center, the Unification Movement's health complex by Cheongpyeong Lake, where he had been moved from St. Mary's Hospital in Seoul on August 31 when his health declined irreversibly and the continuation of his life hung on a miracle.

His health began to deteriorate after returning from the United States on July 16 with a persistent cough. Against all recommendations and impelled by a sense of urgency that there was never enough time, he did not reduce his schedule of activities but continued pushing his physical body beyond all limits. Finally he was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital on August 3. During the following days it was determined that he was suffering from pneumonia and he was placed in intensive care.

Just days earlier, as if anticipating his departure, he had revisited every corner of the Cheon Jeong Gung, the Peace Palace on Cheongpyeong Lake near Gapyeong, east of Seoul. "I have finished everything," he said at least four times during that day, as he touched everything as if to say goodbye. As he went from place to place, he continued expressing his gratitude to Hak Ja Han, his wife from whom he has been inseparable for more than 50 years and with whom he had 14 children, as he held her hand. She was at his side every instant during this critical time, along with Hyung Jin Moon, head of the international Unification Movement, and other children and leaders of key organizations.

Upon receiving word of his hospitalization, the Unification community worldwide offered acts of devotion, including prayers, fasts, and vigils. Innumerable messages of support and affection were directed to this "Champion of Peace" and "True Father," paying tribute to his living example and teachings that have transformed the course of their existence. On August 18, Hak Ja Han expressed words of comfort to the Unification community and affirmed that "We will never stop." She encouraged people to remain determined to carry forward the work that Father Moon had been developing for more than 70 years.

A memorial service will take place in Korea September 15, with similar celebrations to be held in each nation. For that occasion, messages of condolences are being received in recognition of his tireless work for peace in every field of human endeavor.

He was born on January 6, 1920 (lunar calendar) in Jeongju-gun, Pyongan in what is now North Korea, which was then under Japanese domination. His mission began at age 15 when he had a spiritual experience that made him aware of the cause of evil and suffering in humanity and the world. His life is reflected in his autobiography, As a Peace-loving Global Citizen, published in 2009. It covers the founding of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (1954), his marriage to Hak Ja Han (1960), his first world tour (1965), large mobilizations such as intercultural and interreligious marriage blessings, historic meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev (1990) and Kim Il Sung (1991), innumerable international leadership conferences, efforts to reconcile the Abrahamic faiths in the Middle East, founding and expanding the Universal Peace Federation, and world peace tours.

His legacy will remain for the present and future generations: his love for God and humanity, his efforts to promote marriage and family as a sacred and eternal bond, his tireless investment to bring together different spiritual traditions and dissolve all types of barriers, and his investment of energy to promote a global community based on universal principles and values transcending race, culture, and religion. Only history will permit the appreciation of the depth of his teachings, his contributions to the fields of human activity, and the greatness of his work for the cause of universal brotherhood centered on the one God, Father and Mother of love.

Peace and glory to the champion of peace Sun Myung Moon!

Infinite thanks for his legacy and exemplary life!