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T. Hendricks: Address to Summit 2022, Session VIIIa

Address to Summit 2022 and Leadership Conference,
Seoul, Korea, August 11-15, 2022


On May 8, 2020, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, our True Mother, declared the inception of Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community. It was the 60th anniversary of True Parents Holy Wedding, and she stated,

Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community will be the new umbrella housing all Unificationist subsidiaries, including Universal Peace Federation (UPF), Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), and Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP). …Christianity is now facing its twilight; that is why I am trying to bring everyone under Heavenly Parent’s standard. Churches did not fulfill their responsibilities. This community will become the great umbrella of Heavenly Parent that will encompass all of the activities that we have done, including all of the NGOs like UPF, FFWPU and WFWP. Just as a mother embraces all of her children, this is a great umbrella that will embrace the entire world.[1]

Six days later, an official Family Federation memo shared more on the name, Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community:

It is not only Heavenly Father that dwells within Heavenly Parent. Heavenly Mother also does. What the name signifies is that the Heavenly Mother will assume a central role to embrace and give birth to all people in the world. That is how great an umbrella it is.[2]

In the words of Dr. Yun Young-ho, FFWPU-International general director, “Mother proclaimed the ‘Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community’ where all people can gather under one banner.”[3]

Dr. Jin Sung-bae, chair of the International Association of Academics for Peace (IAAP), casts the Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community as a gathering of all human endeavors as one community. “Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon proclaimed Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community on May 8, 2020 with the vision of one family under God. It means that all mankind should come together under the large umbrella of the Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community. Under this auspicious umbrella, many faith groups congregate. It also brings together politicians, scholars, journalists, clergy, businessmen and artists to realize the ideal world.” 

Thus, True Mother is weaving all the threads of the Unification movement over the decades into one cloth. The purpose of this paper is to shine a little light on one of those threads, True Parents’ work with the world’s religions.

I begin by pointing to the spiritual formation of Sun Myung Moon, our True Father, in a multi-religious environment, mixing Confucianism, Buddhism and Christianity in a milieu of Korean shamanism. His family converted to Christianity when he was a youth, and on Easter Sunday morning, 1935, Jesus called him to inherit his mission. It was a mission, he later stated, that embraces all religions:

We should seek for the one religion which presents the teaching to realize one world. …That teaching should not fight with other religions and ideologies, but must have the capacity to encompass them as the subject partner. It must have the ability to embrace not only people from one cultural background, but also people of other cultures, even those who believe opposite teachings. It should embrace not only those people who are in agreement; its contents should win the hearts even of its enemies, and advocate concern for them. God wants this kind of living religion. Jesus Christ came with such a teaching.[4]

True Father began his mission within the Christian environment, but met with rejection. After a decade of struggle, he with his followers established a movement to unite Christianity, the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. Within fifteen years it grew into a denomination across South Korea called the Unification Church, and opened doors of dialogue with Christians and other religions there. But True Father recognized that he could reach a global scale only if he brought this mission to the United States. There he established a seminary, and it is at that seminary and its multi-religious faculty that my outline will begin. 


September 20, 1975

Founding of Unification Theological Seminary with a multi-religious faculty

True Parents designed the school to achieve two purposes: One was to serve as a vehicle to unite the world’s religions; the other was to prepare young people to minister the Blessing and the life of blessed families, communities and nations. In 2001, on the occasion of his receiving an honorary doctorate from UTS, True Father stated that UTS should teach two things: One, world religions, and two, the change of blood lineage.

For these purposes, the students had many more classes about other religions than about Unificationism. The seminary conducted no Sunday worship beyond its daily 6 a.m. devotions. On Sundays, students attended other churches. The faculty was interreligious. Along with one eminent Unificationist scholar, Dr. Young Oon Kim, its consisted of a Jew, a Greek Orthodox, lay and ordained Catholics, and liberal and conservative Protestants. A capable administration, led by president Dr. David S. C. Kim and Dean Therese Stewart, led this faculty to surmount two decades of prejudicial treatment and achieve the school’s full accreditation.

In 1977, True Father and Dr. Kim inspired the seminary faculty to invite their colleagues for weekend gatherings discussing Divine Principle with the students. Weekend “theologians conferences” proceeded from 1977 through 1980. Students would present chapters of the Divine Principle, and the scholars would discuss it with them. It began with UTS professor Dr. Warren Lewis, his doctoral professor Dr. Herbert Richardson, several other of Dr. Richardson’s doctoral students, and a network of colleagues from schools of religion throughout the US and Canada. Another of Richardson’s students, Dr. Richard Quebedeaux, brought numerous evangelical leaders. In addition, Dr. Constantine Tsirpanlis brought the noted Orthodox scholars. An organization was born, the New Ecumenical Research Association (New ERA), facilitated by the UTS head librarian, John Maniatis. Within three years, New ERA included evangelicals, Latter Day Saints, charismatic Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, American Indians, indigenous African Christians and Buddhists.

These scholars came despite the persecution they faced for associating with our movement. New ERA and affiliated publishers produced conference proceedings and topical volumes, including Exploring Unification Theology, The Social Impact of New Religious Movements, The Family and the Unification Church, Religion in the Pacific Era and more.

Parallel to this, Unification Theological Seminary launched the Global Congress of World Religions (GCWR), which brought eminent scholars and religious leaders into the Unificationist ecumenical community, including Ninian Smart of the University of California, John Mbiti of Harvard University, Wellington Nyangoni of Brandeis University, Ismail R. al Faruqi from Temple University, Finley Peter Dunne of the Temple of Understanding, Marcus Braybrooke of the World Congress of Faiths, William Jones of the University of Florida and Zwi Werblosky of Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

True Parents’ vision was to move from professors to Christian clergy, from clergy to Christian denominations, and from Christian denominations to the world’s religions. That path was to be paved with True Parents’ endurance of tremendous injustice at the hands of the US government. 


October 22, 1981

Foley Square rally for religious liberties and minority rights

It is an irony of history that the interreligious work advanced when the United States government drove True Father into prison. The attack was mounted over a technical matter related to taxes. True Father declared that the prosecution resulted from religious and racial bigotry. At a rally on the day of his arraignment, he declared, “I would not be standing here today if my skin were white and my religion were Presbyterian.” He invested his energy to rally Americans around the cause of religious liberty and interracial harmony.

While Reverend Moon was mired in court proceedings and, finally, in prison for thirteen months, the New ERA’s ecumenical board of advisors worked with him to reach the world level. Dr. Frederick Sontag proposed gathering scholars of all religions to dialogue on their understanding of God. This took shape as the “Conference on God: The Contemporary Discussion,” known as the God Conference. Dr. Herbert Richardson proposed taking students from different religions by bus to each other’s religious sites. True Father loved the idea, but changed the transportation from bus to jumbo jet. This took shape as the “Youth Seminar on World Religions” (YSWR). The God Conference and YSWR opened gates to the world’s religions. In each country the YSWR visited, we made positive relationships with religious leaders.

As this was taking place, on June 26, 1984, True Father addressed the Senate Constitutional Subcommittee Hearing on Religious Liberty.

Without religious freedom, …God cannot fulfill His ideal. The nation’s founders understood that if you do not have religious freedom, you have no freedom at all. …Through projects such as the International Religious Foundation, the New Ecumenical Research Association and the conferences on “God: the Contemporary Discussion,” I have sought to bring teachers of all faiths together to better understand God and one another.[5]

The UTS ecumenical foundation contributed toward the gathering of amici briefs from some forty major denominations and organizations to the United States Supreme Court. Among them were the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Council of Churches, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The Spartacist League, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the states of Hawai’i, Oregon and Rhode Island.

The Supreme Court washed its hands, but nonetheless, a religious liberties and minority alliance movement coalesced as the Coalition for Religious Freedom (CRF) and Minority Alliance International (MAI). Tim LaHaye served as CRF Chairman, with Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, James Robison, D. James Kennedy and Rex Humbard serving as executive committee members. It included other notables: Joseph Lowry (head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference), Ralph Abernathy and James Bevel (close associates of Dr. Martin Luther King), Cecil Murray (pastor of a Los Angeles mega-church), best-selling author Hal Lindsey, Paul Crouch (head of Trinity Broadcasting Network), and Don Wildman (American Family Radio Network). These people were among the most eminent Christian leaders in America at the time.

Upon his release from Danbury, August 20, 1985, True Father convened the God and Freedom Banquet for 1,700 in Washington, DC. Again he emphasized the urgency of religions working together to save the world.

Our religion and our denominations have to exist for the Will of the almighty God, not just for the propagation of narrow views. God cannot reside within narrow views. God is nonsectarian and looks far beyond denominationalism. He is not confined within exclusivist dogmas. …America has to change. A new religious reformation has to take place. Christianity needs to transcend denominationalism and ascend to a higher dimension. We need to realize and consider seriously the mission of Christianity to lead a supra-denominational cultural revolution on a worldwide scale. …we need to make the determination to pursue the original path of Christianity.[6]

During this period, we moved from theologians to clergy, from Christianity to all religions, and from America to the world. The Council for the World’s Religions (CWR), which my colleague Dr. Frank Kaufmann co-directed with Dr. Francis Clark, a Roman Catholic theologian from England, was a third effort based upon professorial inspiration. The CWR was unique in sponsoring dialogues not between religions, but within religions. In 1985, the CWR conducted such conferences for Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Christians and Muslims. New ERA also sprouted conferences for clergy in Caribbean resort hotels, the Interdenominational Conferences for Clergy (ICC). These attracted large audiences by hosting debates between prominent liberal and conservative Christian voices.


November 15-21, 1985

The first Assembly of the World’s Religions

From 1983 through 1985, IRF conducted some 100 conferences worldwide. These culminated in the first Assembly of the World’s Religions in November, 1985. Bringing together 1,000 participants from around the world, the event combined art, music, dance, worship, discourse and dialogue. We occupied an entire hotel for one week. We hung religious artwork everywhere, banners in the lobby, religious music on the sound system, and videos from all religions on the in-house TV system. Every morning we had worship by every religion simultaneously, in different rooms.

The organizing committee had an interreligious balance, with Syed Ausef Ali, Ewert Cousins, Samuel Gakuhi Kibicho, Ursula King, Betty Rogers Rubenstein, Krishna Sivaraman, Doboom Tulku, Emilie Zum Brunn and Avtar Singh. Notable leaders in attendance were the world’s most eminent world religion scholars, Huston Smith and Ninian Smart.[7] True Father’s main address was entitled, “Dialogue and Alliance.” He stated,“ We cannot leave the messianic hope of an ideal world only as a vague dream …[we need] repentance and the renewal of true commitment… a religious and spiritual revolution.”

He called for the representatives of the world’s religions to respect each other and keep interreligious conflicts in check, develop a “cooperative community of religions,” and develop the Assembly into “an organization in which the major leadership of all religions participate.”[8]

The religious liberties energy moved into the CAUSA Ministerial Alliance (CMA). In the words of Dr. Michael Jenkins,

CMA was created to provide an atmosphere where all Christians can unite with Father’s ideals for America. Its purpose is not only to create an anti-communist directive among Christians, but more importantly to create a foundation of unity between Christianity and the Unification movement, whereby we can all work together to solve the problems of communism, immorality, and the breakdown of the family.”[9]

This effort united churches across racial and religious boundaries. As written by Rev. Dr. David Licorish, the editor and publisher of The Baptist magazine, “When the call of CAUSA comes, you’ve got to drop everything and come together. Don’t let anybody turn you around.”[10] 

In addition, from 1986 through 1988, True Father sponsored a series of week-long “Advanced ICCs” in Japan and Korea. American clergy studied the history and theology of Unificationism and visited historical sites central to True Parents’ course, including the Rock of Tears in Busan. A total of 7,000 clergy participated over the three years. It fulfilled True Father’s prophecy to the members gathered with him in his “church” of 1950-52, a cardboard shack near the Rock of Tears.


October 21, 1990

Summit of the Council for the World’s Religions, Cairo, Egypt

At this point, True Parents’ newly laid foundation with Muslim leaders bore fruit. When the first Gulf War began, Unificationists called the White House to find a peaceful solution by working with Muslim religious leadership. Our efforts were overtaken by events, but True Parents continued to work through religious channels to mitigate the damage. Coordinated by Dr. Kaufmann, the CWR held the Cairo conference on “Islam and the Establishment of World Peace” with nine Grand Muftis in attendance.

Father’s message was that Satan would try to destroy humankind’s future through racial and religious warfare, which is “even more fundamental and threatening than communism.” True Father praised the blessed Prophet as the one who taught that God “who has infinite compassion would not like to see even the littlest one perish.” Muhammad brought a “sweeping message of peace and brotherhood” and by enduring “aggression and injustice and thus, by conforming to God’s principle of indemnity” bringing “these mighty powers into complete surrender.”

So in this war, think not what is best for your nation, but what is best for the world. We must be the untiring voice calling for true love… the greatest imaginable tragedy would be for war to erupt between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East.[11]

The Muslim leaders present published a declaration, one step below a fatwa, that the war was secular and not religious. In sum, the White House rejected True Parents’ advocacy of a negotiated solution based upon the intervention of Middle-East religious leaders. Nonetheless, the conflict did not turn into a religious war. The Gulf War started January, 1991, with a coalition including Muslim nations defending Kuwait. True Father developed personal friendships with Grand Muftis of Syria and Yemen.

Friendship with Grand Muftis led IRFWP to hold a series of 40-day workshops for Muslims in our main New York City venue, the New Yorker Hotel. The nomenclature, “Father Moon,” instead of “Reverend Moon,” was initiated here, with True Father’s full support. From December 1, 1990 to April, 1992, Muslim groups attended this “Interreligious Leadership Seminar.” In addition to attending lectures, the groups visited our movement’s projects in Washington, DC, New Jersey and New York. True Parents hosted some if not all groups at their home, East Garden. Groups of around forty came from Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Sudan.


August 27, 1991

Inaugural Assembly of the Interreligious Federation for World Peace

Little Angels Performing Arts Center, Seoul, Korea        

True Father called religions to the mission of establishing world peace. He said that peace comes from living for others, but the democratic world is going the way of selfish individualism. Religions were founded by saints and prophets who showed the model of living for others, and today’s religious representatives have to teach this to “rulers and leaders.”[12] He castigated religious representatives for hypocrisy, teaching this but not practicing it. He called them to rediscover the original purity of faith, reform themselves, and relate harmoniously with each other, and then lead the world to do the same.


April 10, 1992

The marriage Blessing of 42 Muslim couples

The inauguration of the Women’s Federation for World Peace saw interreligious activism engraft into the movement for the marriage Blessing. True Father said,

It will not be long now before we see the unification of all the world’s major religions. Neither will it be long before the unification of the Korean Peninsula is accomplished. In fact, these two goals represent the reason that representatives of women from seventy countries around the world have gathered today…

…all religions have been prepared by God so that they may fulfill a female role, that is, the role of the bride, in the presence of the coming messiah.

…We live in the age when the Messiah returns as the True Parents of humankind, when North and South Korea are uniting through love and truth, and when all religions are to become one.[13]

At the same event, True Mother set the course toward the creation of true families:

Now is the time to attend the True Father, who has established the victorious tradition in world history, and the True Mother, the global representative of women, who has gained victory as the representative woman in history. By doing so, we must establish a true concept of manhood as well as the true concept of what it means to be a mother, a wife and a daughter. In the context of new families, we must set forth anew, toward a new society, nation and world.[14] 

Three months later, on August 25, 1992, leaders of all religions witnessed the Holy Marriage Blessing ceremony of 30,000 couples during the first World Culture and Sports Festival, Seoul, Korea. Three years later, on August 25, 1995, they witnessed a similar ceremony, with the couples in that venue representing 360,000 around the world. These events opened the gate to clergy giving the marriage Blessing to faithful couples of all religions throughout the world. Over a six-month period in 1996, the True Family Values curricula was taught to 5,000 Christian clergy and to a Muslim community, for the purpose of their understanding the marriage Blessing. In the midst of this course came the next landmark.


July 31, 1996

The founding of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification

True Father looked forward to this day for decades. In the early 1950s, he said,

I had no choice but to put up a sign with “church” on it, but I have always wondered when I will be able to take it down again. …In order to enable the country to live, I can take the Unification Church sign down.[15]

This, he finally fulfilled in 1996:

On the foundation of pure love education and the true family movement worldwide, I inaugurated the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification on July 31, 1996, in Washington, DC …On that day I officially announced the end of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. With the inauguration of the Family Federation, the providential age has begun in which families may receive salvation that transcends the boundaries of religion, nationality and race.[16]

On another occasion, he drove the point home: “I am not saying we should unite the world centering on the Unification Church. We should unite the world centering on God, the Creator of the universe, the subject partner and root of all.”[17]

The next year, the Blessing movement spread throughout the world. It was no longer required that one be a dedicated Unification Church member. Commitment to sexual purity and marital fidelity as an ideal that will unite all races, nations and religions, was considered sufficient for a couple’s marriage to be blessed.

Among the most striking advances took place in Indonesia. Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid, an Indonesian Muslim religious and political leader who served as President of Indonesia from 1999-2001, led the traditionalist Muslim association called Nahdlatul Ulama. He traveled with IRFWP staff from August 2 to October 31, 1997, to give the Blessing to the Muslim communities in five cities.


November 29, 1997

Leaders of all religions offer prayers in the RFK Stadium marriage Blessing

On August 28, 1995, speaking of the RFK Stadium Blessing that was to come two years later, True Father said:

Once we have completed the Blessing of 3.6 Million Couples, there will be no need for the Unification Church to hold any more Blessing ceremonies. Religion will disappear from the world. When you think of me, what preaching of mine comes to your mind? What am I trying to say now? It is that religion came into existence in order to discipline the body due to the Fall. Thus, all religions will disappear. What is it that you need to do? You need to form families and a nation through which you can attend God. That is the ideal of creation.

He meant that the purpose of religion as a “repair shop” is fulfilled when all harmonize with God and each other in families of true love. The spiritual life of course will continue, on a new level of liberation and complete release in communion with God.

Just prior to that event, on November 25, 1997, True Father spoke to the Interreligious Federation for World Peace Conference in the Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC, on “The True Family Movement to Save Humankind.” He said, “Esteemed religious leaders, the marriage Blessing is the most precious gift God has given to humankind. My wife and I invite each of you to participate in this historic event and hope that all of you will receive God’s Blessing.”


February 6, 1999 and May, 2000

Inauguration of the International Interreligious Federation for World Peace (IIFWP), and the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC)

On this foundation, two years later, True Father called for an interreligious upper house to guide the United Nations. At the Inaugural Assembly of the International Interreligious Federation for World Peace (IIFWP), he presented the vision:

Let us imagine the UN adopting a two-house structure. …a religious council or UN senate, consisting of distinguished religious leaders and leaders in fields pertaining more to the heart—for example, culture and education.

We should work together 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. …a council of religious leaders within the framework of the United Nations.[18]

Clergy from diverse faiths offered prayers for the couples gathered in 1997 for the marriage Blessing in RFK Stadium, Washington, DC. From there, the Blessing began expanding in the Muslim and Christian world.

True Parents continued their work to unite religions through true family values by establishing the American Clergy Leadership Conference.

ACLC started in May of 2000, when 120 clergy gathered to affirm the vision given by God to Father and Mother Moon to unify the Body of Christ. …We will establish a new interdenominational movement—The American Clergy Leadership Conference—to lift up the family as the first and most fundamental institution created by God and the cornerstone of His Kingdom here on Earth. Upon our return, we will gather the churches, mosques and temples as a network of support and protection for God’s ideal of the family.[19]


January 27, 2001

True Parents conduct the marriage Blessing in the UN

True Parents pushed forward their global ministry in the United Nations headquarters building in New York City. On January 27, 2001, they conducted an international marriage Blessing of 210 newly engaged couples in their traditional national garb. Later that day, the event continued inside the UN building with True Father’s speech, “Dialogue and Harmony among Civilizations.” He stated that religion needs to bring peace in the world, and the family needs to bring peace within and between religions.

Increasingly, we observe conflicts caused by disharmony or misunderstanding among religions, and their dangerous consequences. If religions do not place a high priority on interreligious dialogue and harmony, dialogue and harmony among civilizations will be impossible. Religions are the internal center of world civilizations, but the family is the basic foundation upon which even religions exist.[20]

Three days later, at the time of the founding of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO), True Father again called the UN to incorporate world religious leadership in its governing structure.

May the purpose of the UN be fulfilled. We need to have a General Assembly dedicated to an interreligious gathering. There needs to be a conference for all religions. Then we need to establish a united federation, holding an assembly for the organization that unites all religions. We need to connect all dimensions of leaders on all different levels. This organization needs a senate and embassies for ambassadors. To do that, we need to bring unity between spirit world and physical world. …The Secretary-General should pursue the interreligious, international activism of WANGO membership more aggressively.[21]

Six months later at the UN, True Father re-emphasized the “upper house” proposal:

I propose that each nation, in addition to its current ambassador, can send a religious ambassador to the United Nations to serve as a member of the religious assembly, or UN senate. The mission of the representatives to this UN senate requires that they have a genuinely ecumenical or interreligious consciousness and that they have the training and ability to teach a universal, trans-national ideal of peace. …The interreligious ambassador …should have a global consciousness and take responsibility to represent the United Nations’s global vision and agenda. …This will provide hope to the citizens of the world, and especially the youth. …Those selected as ecumenical and transnational ambassadors will also be able to help guide and supervise various UN-sponsored projects in health, education, welfare, and other fields.[22]

On December 21-23, 2001, the IIFWP supported the First Summit of World Muslim Leaders in Jakarta, Indonesia, with the title, “Islam and a Future World of Peace.” Coordinator Taj Hamad reported the following excerpts from the Summit’s “Jakarta Declaration”:

We affirm that Islam is a religion of peace and justice. From its core values emanates respect for life and human dignity which affects all ideals and actions that determine the Islamic way of life. These ideals guide the day-to-day life of the Muslim. …Our understanding of religion and spirituality is well defined in the Qur’an and the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). These resources are sufficient to resolve all challenges of this and every age, as well as all social circumstances. …The universality of the teachings of Islam affirms the sanctity of humankind, and thus enjoins us to enduring dialogue of faith and civilization.

The marriage Blessing movement for clergy moved forward with the 144,000 Clergy Couples Marriage Blessing, April 27, 2002. True Father prayed, “Heavenly Father, I truly give thanks that I am able to give the benefit of the Blessing, permitted by Heaven, to 144,000 chosen leaders from 189 countries, with oneness in heart, oneness in body and oneness in thought.”[23]

Dr. Hamad reported that the following day, a 3,000-couple Blessing took place, organized by former President Adurrahman Wahid. Four months later, on August 3-5, the Second Summit of World Muslim Leaders took place in London, England, attended by 48 individuals from 18 nations, including three peers from the House of Lords. And the next month saw another Interreligious Clergy Family Marriage Blessing, this one at the Manhattan Center in New York City. True Father saw this as lifting humankind beyond nation and religion:

All humanity has welcomed the age of the Blessing, in which we are able to accomplish familial love that goes beyond the nation and beyond the standard of religion, as the children of Cain and Abel for whom God has hoped.[24]

Building upon this momentum, the following March, True Parents extolled the necessity of exchange marriage Blessing to IIFWP participants:

The world of peace should go beyond borders. The world of peace will come to pass only when the sons and daughters of enemies marry each other. …If I wed Muslims and Jews in cross-cultural marriages, wars in the Middle East will disappear.[25]


May 18, 2003

Christians, Muslims and Jews unite to bury the cross

Unification Church historian Dr. Michael Mickler reported on the next major step in this path:

May 18, 2003 was a momentous day of the first Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI) Holy Land Peace Pilgrimage. U.S. clergy awoke early and left their hotel in busses at 5:30 a.m. to go to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It was fortunate they left at this time because at 6:00 a.m. a suicide bomber set off a blast two blocks from the hotel, killing seven people and injuring 22. All traffic was stopped and had the clergy left any later, they would not have been able to pass. From there, they offered a 30-minute service at the site of Golgotha and then traveled a mile or so to the Potter’s Field, also referred to as the Field of Blood, which, according to Matthew 27, the chief priests purchased with the 30 pieces of silver Judas got for betraying Jesus. Pastors lifted a wooden cross, about six feet high, as they marched down a winding road to the Potter’s Field. At the site, ministers placed the cross in a hole previously dug to its exact dimensions by Israeli FFWPU members. They placed a FFWPU flag, “dated and signed by representative leaders,” on top. The ceremony concluded with participants putting “soil on the cross one-by-one, repenting for the false faith” that was “preventing Christianity and Judaism from achieving reconciliation.”

On that foundation, the 135 U.S. clergy met with a similar number of Israeli rabbis as well as ten imams for a day-long “Conference for Jewish and Christian Reconciliation and Harmony.” The highlight of this was the Jerusalem Declaration in which the clergy and rabbis repented “for the dark parts of our past” and sought “a bright future together.” In reality, it was not easy to obtain the signatures. According to one report, “the main rabbi strongly rejected…signing his name.” In addition, “Some rabbis were upset that the declaration would even be considered.” However, in an unscripted moment, a key rabbi stated, “I will sign it if my Muslim brother will sign it with me.” A leading sheik marched forward and “the three brothers collapsed into an embrace.” One observer recounted, “This opened the floodgates and everyone rushed to the front to sign.”[26]

This was followed by ever more dramatic events. Beginning in May, the ACLC continued pilgrimages, with parallel organizations in Europe and elsewhere bringing large groups to Israel. They met diverse leaders, including Knesset members, and Women’s Federation members visited families in their homes throughout the country. The ACLC clergy had an audience at the Dome of the Rock, an unprecedented invitation for non-Muslims, and conducted 40 days of peace marches in Jerusalem. It culminated in the December 22, 2003 coronation of Jesus as the King of Kings of the First Israel, Jerusalem, Israel, by representatives of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Druze in Jerusalem’s Independence Park. ACLC leader Dr. Michael Jenkins summarized the event:

The  crowning of Jesus was done with prayer and a deep sense of historical meaning which has set the stage for an ongoing and continuously growing effort for interfaith dialogue in the Middle East. This has produced additional options that compliment and even go beyond the diplomatic efforts for peace of various governments. The interfaith effort touches people heart to heart for it is through the faith leaders that peace can reach into every community and family with a sense of God’s healing presence. There was an overwhelming feeling of relief and joy as the ceremony was completed. There was a sense of realization that for 2000 years Jesus’ own family has not formally welcomed him. This day changed that and the grief of Jesus was dissolved. All the historic internal conditions that blocked the path to peace were removed on that day. God is now free to bless all the Abrahamic faiths together as One Family Under God.[27]

The crowning of Jesus was the condition for clergy and political leaders of all races to present, over the next year, crowns to Jesus and True Parents’ second son, Heung-jin Moon, who gave his life as a sacrificial offering, and then to True Parents as King and Queen of Peace, in Washington, DC and in Seoul. True Father later stated that this was a condition for the interreligious realm to establish a dominion of love surpassing the political realm.[28] 


September 12, 2005

Founding of UPF, representing the Abel UN

With the United Nations not heeding True Father’s advocacy, True Parents founded the Universal Peace Federation to represent the Abel UN. In True Father’s inaugural speech, “God’s Ideal Family – the Model for World Peace,” he again extolled the marriage Blessing as a bridge across the troubled waters of religion, race and nation:

…The best way to receive the Holy Blessing is with someone from another race, nationality or religion. I call this an “exchange marriage.” This contributes to the enormous task of transcending the barriers of race, culture, ethnicity and religion and creating one family of humankind.

What method other than exchange marriage will empower Whites and Blacks, Jews and Muslims, Orientals and Westerners, and people of all races to live as one human family? The ideal family is the model for living together in peace. The ideal family is the nest where we live and learn to become one. There we have the foundation of love and respect between parents and children, shared trust and love between husband and wife, and mutual support among siblings. For this fundamental reason, you should receive the Holy Marriage Blessing from the True Parents and establish Heaven’s tradition of ideal families.[29]

True Parents launched a 120-nation speaking tour to establish the Universal Peace Federation worldwide. True Mother delivered the speech and ministered to clergy and members in most of those countries, with the tour concluding that December 27. This was followed by a “180-Nation Universal Peace Federation Speaking Tour to Return to the Original Fatherland and Hometown,” which took place from March 25 to December 31, 2006. It included the “Peace Message” delivered by True Parents, the three-generation True Family, and clergy of diverse religions. In each venue, the Word was spoken and the marriage Blessing was bestowed upon audiences of all religions. By this, the Holy Marriage Blessing served as an interreligious sacrament, received by couples of all religious backgrounds as the critical foundation for world peace.

The Peace Message speech declared,

I proposed that the Universal Peace Federation, in the position of the Abel UN, should be developed as a new international peace organization and that at the same time the United Nations, as a Cain-type institution, should be reformed by having a Peace Council—a legislative organization consisting of global religious leaders of the same rank as members of the current UN Security Council—established within it.

I am referring to the founding of a Peace Council that will …truly work for the welfare and peace of humanity from an interreligious and universal perspective. …To establish the kingdom of the peaceful, ideal world, we must transcend religious affiliation and nationality and remove all national boundaries and other barriers. I would like to reiterate that this is the only way humankind will be able to achieve the original ideal of creation. It is our destiny to fulfill this responsibility. By doing so, we will establish the original right of ownership lost by the fall of Adam and Eve.


June 13, 2006

True Parents’ coronation at the entrance ceremony to Cheon Jung Gung

On this day, True Parents entered a massive palace, built high on a mountainside northeast of Seoul. Representatives of all nations gathered to offer crowns, signifying that True Parents had established Heaven’s dominion of love encompassing all nations, races and religions.

True Parents called 2007 and 2008, “The Jubilee Years.” With their three-generation family and thousands of leaders of all religions, centering on Christianity, the Word of God’s love was given and marriage Blessing bestowed in all nations, to all races and religions.

In order to build “One Family under God” through the twin strategies of proclaiming God’s Word and conducting the Marriage Blessing, I completed three world speaking tours with my wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, our children and our grandchildren. In this way we were able to successfully have three generations fulfilling the Marriage Blessing ideal within one family. Afterwards, 120 Christian representatives in America as well as 1,200 religious leaders and 12,000 Ambassadors for Peace from across the world traveled consecutively throughout 190 nations, representing their own nation by spreading the Peace Messages of the True Parents and sharing the Marriage Blessing. This tour helped spread true family values as the universal values of humankind as we establish a new God-centered civilization.[30]

On this foundation, in January, 2009, in both Korea and New York, True Parents declared the “Coronation for the Realm of Liberation for God, the King of Kings.”

The Peace King Representatives and the “Parent UN” will be placed at the forefront of the efforts to completely eliminate the walls and barriers that surround this earth in multiple layers and to reinstate harmony and peace between political parties, religions, races, cultures and nations.[31]

In March of the following year, True Parents officiated memorial services for eminent global citizens of all religions in locations across the United States and Korea. The most auspicious of those locations was the United Nations headquarters in New York City. In total, True Parents gave the Word, representing birth and rebirth, the Holy Marriage Blessing, representing resurrection, and the funeral ceremony, called the “Seunghwa” (now, “Seonghwa”), representing eternal life, in the UN headquarters, the locus of this world’s global governance.

In their last speaking tour during True Father’s life on earth, True Parents invited people of all religions to “become the representatives and heirs of True Parents.” Then, in his final public act during his life on earth, True Father set in stone his call for interreligious leadership of the United Nations, led by women working together with Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.


July 16, 2012

Founding of the Abel Women’s UN

In his speech given at the founding of the Abel Women’s UN, True Father said:

I maintain that an Abel-type Interreligious and international peace council needs to be organized within the United Nations. I propose a reorganization of the UN into a bi-cameral system within the present UN General Assembly. The arena of individual nations with their competing interests can serve as the lower house, and the interreligious and international peace council consisting of global religious leaders can serve as the upper house.

Respected peace leaders, …I believe that a women’s peace movement based on non-governmental organizations needs to take root as a new system to resolve problems that arise in the field. One individual or one NGO alone cannot carry out this women’s peace movement; rather, it is only possible through a global organization exercising global solidarity. For this reason today’s inauguration of the Abel Women’s UN is absolutely necessary.

Here, True Father shared a theological view of the ideal relationship between man and woman:

Women are not here merely to help or to be protected by men; rather, they are independent individuals who as representatives of the feminine aspect of God’s nature are meant to make men more complete and manly. Centering on true love, women are men’s precious love partners. Men and women are absolutely equal in terms of value.

Men and women share equal power over and responsibility for the government and economy:

Men and women who unite through the true love inherent in the original ideal share the same position. Also, they attain the right to be with each other wherever they may be. Furthermore, they attain the ideal right of inheritance, where all their property belongs to each equally.

Fulfilling this responsibility calls men and women to establish relationships of true love based upon true family values:

Therefore, men and women do not need to confront or contend with each other, because they do not need to imitate the characteristics, dispositions or roles of the other or to covet those things and take them by force. Instead, by giving what they have to the other with true love and completing the other, they can become united as a greater whole and share in a relationship of joint ownership.

He declared this to be the next social revolution leading to a world of peace:

In the twenty-first century, women should play a major role in world history by serving, together with men, as one of the wheels of the engine pulling forward the construction of a peaceful world. Going beyond a century of power and technology, women will be the central axis in building a century characterized by its loving, peaceful culture, and their role will be more important than ever before.

He extolled True Mother as the exemplar of this ideal:

I sincerely ask you to choose True Mother’s path, the path of a true wife, the path of true daughter, and the path of a true woman leader who will build a unified world where freedom, peace, and happiness in its truest sense, overflow.[32]

Less than two months later, True Father passed into the spirit world. His July 16 speech was a prophetic call for True Parents’ work to continue seamlessly centering upon his wife, True Mother.


September 3, 2012

Holy Ascension of True Father

True Father’s final prayer called for Tribal Messiahs to represent the nations. Following this direction, True Mother has overseen the expansion of the Holy Marriage Blessing for world peace to couples of all religions, races and nations.

One component is presenting an outline of what the government of a world of peace would look like. True Father for decades had not defined carefully the nature of a restored nation. He had envisioned a heavenly constitution, and True Mother brought that into substantial form, at least on the level of a draft. True Father expressed his vision thusly:

Now the entire world needs to advance from living within the limitations of individuals and families, and move on to living in the new world of the True Parents’ UN. When this time arrives, heavenly law will emerge. We will enter the age of a heavenly constitution.[33]

The Cheon Il Guk Constitution draft builds upon the interreligious foundation that we have outlined:

The True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind …fulfilled the ideal of all religions, and settled and bequeathed the true love, true life and true lineage of God eternally throughout the cosmos.

This Constitution pursues a peaceful world …that transcends the barriers of religion, national borders, race, gender, and culture and aims for unanimity to foster the harmony of humankind.

Citizens of Cheon Il Guk shall be equal before the law and shall not be discriminated against based on considerations of gender, age, social status, disability, race, religion or nationality.[34]


July 15, 2016 and November 11, 2017

Peace Starts with Me, and the Global Rally for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula

“Peace Starts with Me,” True Mother’s Madison Square Garden rally, set a precedent of having an interreligious conference, including a holy water ceremony performed by leaders of all religions, precede her major speaking events. True Mother broke the barrier by filling the Garden as a woman speaker, showing that it can be done. The next year, the USA Family Federation president, Demian Dunkley, broke another barrier with the Long Island Coliseum event. It was not done on the order of True Mother—it was initiated by the American movement, and True Mother was invited to be the main speaker.

The Global Rally for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula, in Seoul’s World Cup Stadium, was entitled, “The Truth of History from the Viewpoint of Heaven’s Providence, and This Nation’s Mission.” It was an interreligious event in which global religious leaders gathered with True Mother to call for the Blessing movement as the foundation for the unification of Korea. This fulfilled True Father’s call to True Mother and the Women’s Federation for World Peace, issued in 1992:

It will not be long now before we see the unification of all the world’s major religions. Neither will it be long before the unification of the Korean Peninsula is accomplished. In fact, these two goals represent the reason that representatives of women from seventy countries around the world have gathered today.[35]

True Mother fulfilled True Father’s vision, as her words attest:

Today we have provided this event, which can deeply move Heaven at a time when this nation’s fate is at stake. Many religious leaders and members of the clergy, around four hundred, have come here from all continents, and the one hundred-member ACLC Choir came from America. I am truly very thankful for that.

Today, Christianity—all religions—must have a destination. What is that destination? There is only one conclusion. Beloved global citizens, beloved righteous people of this nation, we can no longer remain in the night. We must prepare to greet a new morning. Do you know what that new morning is? It is the marriage Blessing through True Parents. It is the true family movement.[36]

In her path toward the Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community, True Mother is moving forward on the True Parents’ half-century trajectory. She spoke of this in 2019.

I did not want HSA USA to identify itself as the Unification Church because our movement is not for just one nation. It’s for the entire world. What I’m saying is it is not limited to one religious organization. What I’m saying is it teaches everyone the way to become the sons and daughters of God. I finalized that decision after True Father died, because a new era had opened. …

It is comparable to a high school student moving on to college and then graduating. You shouldn’t stay a high school student. Our movement is for all people, not just for one religion. We needed to interface with the entire world, and people around the world are different with respect to religion, but we all have families. We all want peace. We all want freedom. The Unification Church was limited. I wanted it to expand or to grow. … 

The Creator God’s purpose of creation was to have a family movement. The reason fallen humanity was waiting for Jesus as the Savior, and also the reason fallen humanity is waiting for True Parents, is to be born again through True Family Values. …

In order to enter the kingdom of Heaven, a family has to be recognized and approved. Jesus could not establish a family. That’s why when he died on the cross, he said he was going to come again. My intention was to think big, in terms of the entire human race, not to be limited as a religious organization. That’s why Buddhists and Muslims who recognize that the teaching is correct can readily join the Family Federation. The True Parents are teaching the importance of the family. What the Family Federation does is call on everyone around the world to participate as a family and to be blessed.[37]


February, 2020

VISION 2020: Cheon Il Guk substantiated on an interreligious foundation

In 2017, True Mother established the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) and, in 2018, the International Association for Peace and Development (IAPD). The IAPD is the groundwork for the upper house of the Abel UN, and the IAPP for the lower house, in that both are constituted by elected or appointed leaders of significant constituencies.

Throughout 2018 and 2019, True Mother officiated Blessing ceremonies for world peace. These took place in Nepal and Cambodia, Senegal, South Africa and Niger, the Dominican Republic and Brazil, Albania and throughout Japan and Korea. The Blessing ceremonies were preceded by a gathering of leaders from all religions for fellowship and dialogue, and included prayers from all traditions and a ceremonial mingling of waters from the many into one. True Mother, together with national-level religious leaders, officiated the Holy Marriage Blessings.

The trajectory leading to Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community

We have seen how True Parents’ interfaith work evolved from weekend conferences bringing together students and professors, to theologians’ conferences, to conferences for Christian clergy, to conferences for clergy of all religions. This I would call a transition from Unificationists to all Christians, and from all Christians to all religions. Another transition was that which took place from interreligious dialogue, to the integration of interreligious with secular organizations. Another was from interreligious dialogue to shared worship, to the marriage Blessing of clergy, to the marriage Blessing of all couples. Another transition was from the marriage Blessings given to True Parents’ close disciples, to its bestowal on the level of religious groups and nations. It evolved from a religious ceremony into a religio/secular ceremony, what is called “civil religion.” The marriage Blessing itself is a transition from the spiritual salvation of the individual, based upon the unity of mind and body, to the physical salvation of the family, based upon the unity of husband and wife, parents and children.

The Unificationist organizational structure evolved from New ERA to the International Religious Foundation and Interreligious Federation for World Peace. The interreligious work then combined with NGOs to form the International and Interreligious Federation for World Peace and, finally, the Universal Peace Federation.

At the same time, the Unificationist religious structure transitioned from the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, to the Unification Church, to the Women’s Federation for World Peace that gave birth to the Family Federation for World Peace, and now to Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community. In 2019, True Mother summarized this evolution:

The Unification Church presently goes by a different name, Family Federation, a name it went by when Reverend Moon was alive. The name, Family Federation, came from the Creator God. It means that the Unification Church ascended to become the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. …

The responsibility of True Parents is to realize God’s dream. And the people who realize the wish of fallen humanity are the True Parents. Therefore, True Parents have founded various organizations to help in the salvation of fallen humanity. That is the meaning of a providential organization related to the Family Federation. In order to bring about the rebirth of humanity as God’s beloved sons and daughters, True Parents engage in these activities, whether church activities, or activities of other organizations engaged in the True Family Values movement, whether in politics or in religion.[38]

Underlying the interreligious work is the mission to liberate all men, women and families through the Holy Marriage Blessing. The marriage Blessing, in True Father’s eyes, is the most important and effective method to break down the barriers of race, religion and nationality:

The best way to receive the Holy Blessing is with someone from another race, nationality or religion. I call this an "exchange marriage.” This contributes to the enormous task of transcending the barriers of race, culture, ethnicity and religion and creating one family of humankind.[39]

What method other than exchange marriage will empower Whites and Blacks, Jews and Muslims, Orientals and Westerners, and people of all races to live as one human family? The ideal family is the model for living together in peace. The ideal family is the nest where we live and learn to become one. There we have the foundation of love and respect between parents and children, shared trust and love between husband and wife, and mutual support among siblings. For this fundamental reason, you should receive the Holy Marriage Blessing from the True Parents and establish Heaven’s tradition of ideal families.[40]

True Parents’ deepest desire is that of Heavenly Parent, and it is simple: parents want their children to be one with them and, based on that, to be one with each other. To becomes one family, the human race needs to have ultimate ancestors who are one body with our Creator. Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han, called by Jesus and led by the Holy Spirit, devoted, and are devoting, their blood, sweat and tears to fulfill this mission. True Father articulated it this way:

You need to educate everyone to understand that all human beings without exception are descended from the Fall, and that they have to change their blood lineage through receiving the Holy Marriage Blessing from the True Parents. You need to continue the work of engrafting people onto the True Olive Tree, by having them participate in the grace of intercultural marriage.[41]

True Mother is carrying on this mission.

Everyone must absolutely receive the Blessing. You must absolutely receive the Blessing to be a citizen of Cheon Il Guk. If you receive the Blessing, I can recognize you as a citizen. Countless nations around the world want to attend me, and they want to receive the Blessing. These are nations that know my will.[42]


[1] May 8, 2020, True Mother’s words at the 60th anniversary of True Parents’ Holy Wedding; Demian Dunkley’s report,

[2] From the official memo, May 14, 2020:

[3] August 24, 2021, Dr. Yun Young-ho, Ninth Anniversary of True Father’s Holy Ascension.

[4] June 1, 1977, Chambumo Gyeong, p. 1239.

[5] Pyeong Hwa Gyeong, pp. 387-9.

[6] Pyeong Hwa Gyeong, pp. 410-12.


[8] Pyeong Hwa Gyeong, pp. 415-418.

[9] Michael Jenkins,

[10] Laura Reinig,

[11] Pyeong Hwa Gyeong, p. 452.

[12] Pyeong Hwa Gyeong, pp. 457-8.

[13] April 10, 1992, “Congratulatory Address,”

[14] April 10, 1992, “The Unity of the World and Humankind’s Responsibility,”

[15] Todays World, “Global Mission’s Beginnings,” p. 11.

[16] Pyeong Hwa Gyeong, p. 266.

[17] Chambumo Gyeong, p. 271.

[18] February 6, 1999, “Let Us Open Wide the Era of World Peace,” in Pyeong Hwa Gyeong, pp. 1375-77.

[19] ACLC website,, and from the founding statement of purpose, at



[22] August 18, 2001, “Renewing the United Nations to Build Lasting Peace,” IIFWP Assembly 2001 Keynote Address, UN Headquarters, New York.

[23] Chambumo Gyeong, p. 1271.

[24] September 14, 2002, in Chambumo Gyeong, p. 1272.

[25] March 2, 2003, IIFWP International Leadership Seminar for Peace in the Middle East, Sheraton National Hotel, Arlington, VA, in Chambumo Gyeong, p. 1271.

[26] Dr. Michael Mickler,

[27] Dr. Michael Jenkins,

[28] February 4, 2004: Coronation of Jesus and Heung-jin Moon as the Kings of Peace of the Second Israel, at the Ambassadors for Peace Awards, Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, DC. March 23, 2004: Coronation of True Parents as the King and Queen of Peace of the Third Israel, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC—see Pyeong Hwa Gyeong, pp. 1-15. August 20, 2004: The crowning of True Parents as the King and Queen of Peace of the Fourth Israel, at the National Assembly Library in Seoul.


[30] September 23, 2007, “A Providential View of the Pacific Rim Era in Light of God’s Will: The United States and the Future Direction of the United Nations and the World,”


[32] July 16, 2012, “Inauguration of the Abel Women’s UN,”

[33] May 5, 2009, Chambumo Gyeong, p. 905.

[34] Cheon Il Guk Constitution (2014), Preamble and Article 26-1,

[35] True Father’s words, April 10, 1992 at the inauguration of the Women’s Federation for World Peace.

[36] 2017 Global Rally for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula, November 11, 2017, Seoul World Cup Stadium.

[37] Sanctuary Church deposition. These are True Mother’s words given as answers to a lawyer’s questions in a two-day deposition in relation to the HSA-UWC v. Sanctuary Church lawsuit, March 25-26, 2019, pp. 126-128. I have done editing for clarity.

[38] Sanctuary Church deposition, pp. 12, 14.



[41] June 13, 2006, “Cheon Il Guk is the Ideal Heavenly Kingdom’s Reign of Eternal Peace”

[42] Sanctuary Church deposition, p. 130.



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