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Grand Celebration of 70th Anniversary in Korea

70th anniversary

70th anniversary of the founding of the Family Federation 1st May 1954 celebrated in style

The 70th anniversary of the Family Federation was celebrated in grand style 6th June 2024 in the main hall of the movement’s training center in Gapyeong, South Korea. National Assembly members and religious leaders participated together with Mother Moon and leaders and members of the Family Federation of South Korea and Japan. Most anniversaries in South Korea are celebrated according to the Oriental lunar calendar. This year the movement’s founding date 1st May falls on 6th June.

Gwang-seok Song
Gwang-seok Song 7th June 2024. Screenshot

Gwang-seok Song, the head of the Family Federation of South Korea, presented on 7th June to leaders and members gathered in Gapyeong an overview of the anniversary celebration.

He described how from the small clay house in Beomnaegol (범내골) in the South Korean harbor city of Busan, to the tiny “House with three doors” in Bukhak-dong (북학동) in Seoul, and then to the larger Cheongpa-dong (청파동) original headquarters church, a miraculous development has taken place.

The Family Federation began in 1954 with the name Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. Despite fierce persecution and abundant hardships, members have continuously carried out work to spread the word globally, and as a result, 70 years later, according to President Gwang-seok Song it has developed into a global religion expanded to more than 200 countries around the world.

Mother Moon at 70th anniversary
Mother Moon speaking on 6th June 2024 in Gapyeong, South Korea. Photo: Screenshot from transmission by FFWPU

At the commemorative events 6th June, Mother Moon delivered an inspirational message. She expressed her gratitude for being able to celebrate the 70th anniversary together with everyone. Mother Moon spoke about our Heavenly Parent, who has waited for a long and arduous 6,000 years, and said she was deeply grateful to Heavenly Parent for allowing the work of the Family Federation to progress so that a temple dedicated to our Heavenly Parent will be completed next year.

She encouraged all members to fulfill their responsibilities and contribute to the great task of realizing a unified Korea and a unified world.

Soo-sung Lee
Soo-sung Lee (이수성), Prime Minister of South Korea 1995-1997. Screenshot from transmission by FFWPU

There were two congratulatory speeches, the first by Soo-sung Lee (이수성), who served as the President of Seoul National University before becoming the 29th Prime Minister of South Korea from 1995 to 1997. He is a respected elder in Korea, admired across academic and political fields. He sincerely expressed his respect for Father and Mother Moon.

Former Prime Minister Lee stated that since its founding in 1954, the Family Federation has promoted the values of true love and true families worldwide and has contributed to the development of a healthy society. He testified that Founders Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han have both been lifelong teachers of peace and love.

He also testified that True Parents have dedicated their lives to the salvation of humanity and the establishment of a world of lasting peace. He expressed his hope that the teachings and words inherited from the True Parents will blossom even more beautifully by the 100th anniversary.

Myeong-cheol Jo
Myeong-cheol Jo (조명철) 6th June 2024. Screenshot from transmission by FFWPU

The second congratulatory speaker was Myeong-cheol Jo (조명철), the former Governor of South Pyongan Province in North Korea, who defected to South Korea in 1994 and became a member of the national parliament there and a professor.

In his congratulatory address he expressed that he stood on the stage to repay the love he received from True Parents, confessing his gratitude to Mother Moon, who embraces all humanity with a mother’s love.

Jo shared that he had been deeply shocked when he heard the news that Father Moon had criticized the North Korean Juche ideology at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang in 1991. He testified about the remarkable life of the True Parents that he had directly experienced in North Korea.

No foreigner visiting the country had ever said that North Korea’s ideology and system were wrong. Jo had never seen a single person tell that to the elite and the president. There were so many politicians, so many business people, so many NGO leaders, religious leaders who came to Pyongyang. But each time they felt intimidated. Instead of telling the truth, they praised North Korea’s system.

However, Father Moon was different. He told President Kim Il-sung that the Juche ideology is misleading, that communism is wrong. The system that denies God is wrong. In front of the North Korean president, Father Moon spoke confidently and courageously. Jo described him as an incredible person.

He emphasized that the members of the Family Federation ought to follow the True Parents in paving the way for the reunification of North and South Korea, so that freedom and human rights would soon be guaranteed for the citizens in the North too.

Yeong-hwan Kim
Yeong-hwan Kim (김영환), joint vice-chairman of the Korean Christian Federation. Screenshot

The two speeches were preceded by greetings by religious leaders. Representing Christianity, Pastor Yeong-hwan Kim (김영환), joint vice-chairman of the Korean Christian Federation, delivered the benediction.

Bong-shin Do
Bong-shin Do (도봉신), Chief Executive of the Jogye Order. Screenshot

Following this, representing Korean Buddhism, Bong-shin Do (도봉신), Chief Executive of the Jogye Order and Supreme Leader of Geumgang [temple-stay meditation program in North Korea], offered a meaningful prayer that greatly honored the birth of Father and Mother Moon.

Then, representatives of Christianity, Buddhism, the Family Federation, and Cheondoism, a Korean religion, held a ceremony for unity, praying for religious harmony and the reunification of North and South Korea.

Gi-seong Lee
Gi-seong Lee of the Family Federation. Screenshot
Ceremony for unity
Religious leaders performing a ceremony for unity 6th June 2024. Screenshot

Next, Gi-seong Lee (이기성), head of the Family Federation’s main center for spiritual training, offered a memorial prayer to our Heavenly Parent. In his prayer, he expressed a strong wish to console the sorrowful heart of our Heavenly Parent, who has sought his lost children for 6,000 years.

Following this, Yong-cheon Song (송용천), international president of the Family Federation delivered a commemorative address.

In his address, he expressed a deep gratitude to Heavenly Parent and the True Parents for guiding the providence over the past 70 years. He also encouraged the leaders and blessed families in their dedication on the front lines of the providence.

Yong-cheon Song
Dr. Yong-cheon Song speaking at the 70th anniversary 6th June 2024. Screenshot from transmission by FFWPU

President Song emphasized how the True Parents had encouraged members to expand the work from the early days of the movement and succeeded to lay the foundation for a global base by sending missionaries to Japan and the USA despite the difficult circumstances in the years following the Korean War. Song conveyed his gratitude to the elder pastors and members who had dedicated their blood, sweat, and tears to make the current global foundation.

Following this, there was a time to watch congratulatory video messages from religious and political leaders from around the world.

A painting depicting Mother Moon in her early days in Cheongpa-dong in Seoul, was presented to her.

There were also performances by the Little Angels, a dance troupe of young girls, and a congratulatory song by tenor Cheol-ho Lim.

Founding May 1954
Members assembled when what is now called the Family Federation was founded 1st May 1954. Father Moon seated in front. Photo taken in Bukhak-dong, Seoul 3rd May 1954. Photo: FFWPU

Finally, everyone energetically sang the traditional Family Federation song “Unite into One,” for which Mother Moon had recently rewritten the lyrics.

The True Parents’ Award was presented to 22 pastors who were retiring after a lifetime of dedication in the ministry.

The True Parents’ Award and the Family Federation President’s Award were presented to seven individuals with 33 years of service and five individuals with 15 years of service.

A large choir consisting of members from the city of Cheonan performed two beautifully arranged songs.

Text: Knut Holdhus, written based on report by Gwang-seok Song, President of the Family Federation of South Korea, at a meeting for leaders and members gathered in Gapyeong, South Korea on 7th June 2024. Translated from Korean.

Featured image above: Mother Moon cutting the cake at the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the FFWPU in Gapyeong, South Korea on 6th June 2024. On the left Yeon-ah Moon, the daughter-in-law. Photo: Screenshot from transmission by FFWPU.

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