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Unification Church

Unification Church

A religious movement founded in 1954 in Korea by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a South Korean engineer. His family had converted to the Presbyterian Church, and in 1935 he had a vision of Jesus, who reportedly told him to complete Jesus' unfinished work. He began to collect followers as early as 1944 into the Broad Sea Church. In 1946 he began a six-year stint in a North Korean prison camp. After his release, he made his way to Pusan, South Korea, where he eventually founded his church. Its basic teachings were written down in the Divine Principle, first published in 1957.

The first missionaries of the church were sent to Japan, where they had their greatest success. Members moved to the United States in 1959, and the first centers were begun in Eugene, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. Moon moved to the United States in 1971. Soon established were a headquarters in Manhattan, a seminary in Barrytown, New York, and Moon's residence in Irvington, New York.

Unification thought is based on a unique understanding of the concepts of Creation, the Fall, and Restoration. The principle of Creation asserts that God created the world and by that act became known. The world, reflecting God's nature, has two expressions, as Sung Sang (internal, invisible) and Hyung Sang (external, visible). It also is expressed as male and female. In the first set of expressions, one sees the relationship of spiritual and material; the second reveals what is traditionally known as yin and yang, the masculine and feminine. God created out of his inner nature, his heart of love. The purpose of creation is to experience the joy that comes from loving.

The Fall came about from Adam and Eve's failure to realize God's purpose in creation. The Fall placed Satan in control of creation. God has been trying to restore his primal intention ever since. The Bible is an account of God's various restoration attempts.

The principle of Restoration delineates the conditions necessary for the reestablishment of God's intention. The plan involves both God's sending of one sinless man and the response of a free and responsible humankind. The Messiah was to be born as a substantial, physical being, an example of the ideal person. He was also to take a bride and realize the ideal family and thus become the True Parent. Through the True Parent, God will implant love in the hearts of all who follow him. He will also show them how to accomplish the true purpose in life.

Throughout the 1970s the Unification Church (full name: The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity) became one of the more controversial of the new religions. Because of its intense indoctrination, it was labeled a "cult" by many parents of the primarily youthful converts. Many were offended by the church's policy concerning sex and marriage. New members spent at least seven years in celibacy, after which Moon selected a spouse for them. Most marriage partners were drawn from a different country or race. Following their engagement, couples were married in mass weddings, the most recent of which occurred in 1995.

The church spawned a number of organizations, some evangelistic arms and others designed to carry out social policies. The church also made friends with many scholars and intellectuals. Most of the church's programs are now organized into two structures, the International Cultural Foundation and the International Religious Foundation. The former has sponsored possibly the most successful program involving nonchurch members, the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences.

The church has spread internationally and is active in over 150 countries. It has approximately five thousand members in the United States but counts members in the hundreds of thousands worldwide. Address: HSA-UWC, 4 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036. Website: http://www.unification.org/.

Sources:

Barker, Eileen. The Making of a Moonie. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984.

Biermans, John T. The Odyssey of New Religious Movements. New York: Edwin Mellon, 1986.

Divine Principle. New York: Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, 1973.

Outline of the Principle, Level 4. New York: Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, 1980.

The Unification Church. http://www.unification.org/. March 8, 2000.

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Unification Church

Unification Church, church founded (1954) in South Korea by Sun Myung Moon; officially the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification for World Christianity. Moon moved to the United States in 1971. He and his wife, Hak Ja Han, are seen by followers as "True Parents." He claimed to have communicated with Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the Buddha in his spiritual search, and declared himself (2004) the "Messiah." In church doctrine, marriage was a key part of achieving salvation. Moon matched his followers with mates and performed mass weddings, the church's most important ritual. The couples were then expected to produce sinless children. The church's headquarters are located in New York City. In 1995 the church reported 50,000 U.S. followers, 3 million worldwide, but historians of religion estimated a much lower number of members.

See studies by D. Bromley and A. D. Shupe, Jr. (1979) and E. Barker (1984).

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"Unification Church." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Unification Church

Unification Church International religious movement founded (1954) in South Korea by Sun Myung Moon. Its adherents are popularly known as Moonies. The movement's teachings are based on Moon's book Divine Principle (1952), which interprets the Bible. The movement aims to re-establish God's rule on Earth through the restoration of the family. The Unification Church is famous for its mass weddings and has been accused of cult-like practices, such as brainwashing.

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Unification Church

Unification Church an evangelistic religious and political organization founded in 1954 in Korea by Sun Myung Moon.

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"Unification Church." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Unification Church:

Unification Church: see MOON, SUN MYUNG.

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"Unification Church:." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/unification-church