North-Korean refugee became historic figure as one of the first 3 couples blessed in marriage
She was one of the three first couples who received the Marriage Blessing from Father and Mother Moon in 1960. Merely five days after the Holy Wedding of Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han on 11th April 1960, Dae-hwa Jeong was blessed in marriage to Yeong-hwi Kim (1928-) at a ceremony in Cheongpa in Seoul 16th April.
Jeong was born in what is now North Korea in 1933 during the Japanese occupation. After the liberation in 1945, she lived in gradually worsening conditions for her Christian family under the communist regime in North Korea. In her own words, “I know from my own experience how wrong communism is.”
In 1948, 15 years old, she fled with her family to South Korea, crossing the 38th parallel.
Six years later, at the end of 1954, she met the Unification Church while studying at Ehwa Women’s University, a Christian university in Seoul.
From the autumn of 1954, the number of members grew rapidly. This growth was noticed by Christian leaders in Seoul. They began to see the Unification Church as a competitor, to which they were afraid of losing members.
Together with Christian politicians, they began a campaign to get rid of the Unification Church. One of the measures was to stop the flow of students from two Christian universities, Ehwa and Yonsei, to Sun Myung Moon‘s movement. The university management feared that more and more people would join this new movement, and that the situation would get completely out of control.
The professors and students were told that they had to either choose to continue their work or studies or break all ties with the Unification Church. Five professors and 14 students at Ehwa Women’s University refused to bow to this most unjust intrusion into their religious lives. The professors were fired and the students expelled. Five of the students had only a month left until the final exam.
Even more students had become members, but when they now had the choice between their studies and the movement, they were forced by their parents to choose the studies. Yonsei University dismissed a professor and expelled two students. The only reason was that the professors and students had become members of the Unification Church.
Early member Jeong-weon Kang writes in her memoirs “The Path of Grace and Being Deeply Moved That God Wanted Me to Walk” (은혜 와 감격의 뜼길 – 2015),
“This was a time when Ehwa Women’s University, which was devastated during the Korean War, greatly depended on funds provided by the missionary boards of the Methodist Church in the United States and Canada, for its operations. They were concerned that if news of this incident reaches those boards, the funding will be stopped. Therefore, they told the students to stop going to that Seoul Church. […]
However, suddenly on 7th May , five students who had been to the church, were kicked out of their dormitories. […] Our students said, ‘This is a truth we would not exchange for the whole universe. We have learned something that we could not learn while we were studying at Ehwa Women’s University, and no matter what happens we will continue to attend this church. Give us a better truth than the one of the Unification Church.’” (p. 60).
And Dae-hwa Jeong was one of the 14 students expelled from Ehwa University on 11th May 1955, during the third year of her Home Economy studies.
Over the years, she and her husband Yeong-hwi Kim had many different responsibilities. Kim served as President of the Unification Church of South Korea from 1970. From 1981 until May 1986, they served as leaders of the Unification Movement of Europe. Since 1996, they were special envoys to the movement in the United Kingdom.
Kim was an eminent lecturer on the teachings of the Family Federation. His book “Divine Principle Study Guide” was published in two volumes, part 1 in 1973, part 2 in 1975. A 3-volume collection of speeches given by Kim in Europe was published by HSA-UWC in 1984-1986 titled “Guidance for Heavenly Tradition”.
Featured image above: Dae-hwa Jeong in the 1980s. Photo: FFWPU
“Historic Figure Left This World” – text: Knut Holdhus
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