Name: Unification Church
Founded: 1954 in Seoul, South Korea
Founder: Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012)
Faith: The Unification Principles, a series of revelations Father Moon received from 1935 to 1944.
See: Brief about the teachings. See: In a nutshell
Goal: A Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, a harmonious world family, where everyone can experience peace, security, freedom and love.
Distribution: Largest in South Korea and Japan, but widespread throughout the free, democratic world. Representatives to 120 countries already in 1975
Europe: First representative here in 1965.
Discontinued: 1997. The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification took over many of the tasks of the Unifications Church.
Frequently asked questions: See: Faq
The Unification Church was founded by Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012) and a handful of followers in 1954 in Seoul as the “Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity”.
It was established based on Sun Myung Moon‘s vision of creating a big global family under God, where all people become like brothers and sisters in a world of freedom, peace, happiness and love.
The Unification Church was dissolved 43 years later, in 1997. The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification took over many of the Unification Church’s functions.
Father Moon first turned to the Christian world, which he believed should have a central role in the work to realize such a vision. Large parts of Christian teachings coincide with his own message. At that time, he explained what he was teaching, by frequent use of Bible quotations. Many Christians then also began to follow Father Moon.
The movement began to be called the “Unification Church”, which is far easier to say than the original long name. Sun Myung Moon himself also began to use this name, although he never intended to establish any church.
Those who opposed him, eventually began to call the movement a sect. However, a narrow-minded, introverted sect that believes it has a monopoly on the truth, is about as far from his vision as you can get.
Because the leaders of the Christian world in Korea were not open to his message and did not cooperate with him, he decided to create his own organization.
The Unification Church was the first of several organizations that came into being as the movement grew and became what we call the Unification Movement, of which the Unification Church was the central part.
However, the Unification Church was discontinued in 1997. Then Father Moon declared that it had served its purpose. He claimed that the age of the different religions was over, and that we therefore no longer needed a movement that had been founded for the unification of world christianity.
The required foundation had been laid for a much larger and universal movement more in line with his original vision. Therefore, from the end of the 90s, he started to set up many peace organizations. The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification took over many of the tasks of the Unification Church. In many countries, e.g. in the USA and Japan, people continued, often for purely practical reasons, to use the name Unification Church long after 1997.
The Family Federation sees the family as the key to world peace. If there is harmony in the family, there can also be harmony in society and the world in general.
So the name, and also the times we live in, have changed, but the goal is still the same: to create a big global family under God, where all people become like brothers and sisters in a world of freedom, peace, happiness and love.