October 24, 2009, HQ Church, Seoul Korea
Just a couple of weeks ago, the following video was sent by one of our elder members in the Korean congregation. She is one of the original 36 couples, and she told us she saw this incredible broadcast on CTS (Christian Television Station). It’s the largest Christian Television Evangelical station in Korea. It has over 10,000 subscribers nationally, and it has an international base of 24 hour broadcasting of Evangelical Christianity. And in there, there was a very interesting and fun piece on the Unification church. Let’s take a look at the video:
“Recently the Unification Church invested a large sum of money to purchase the Yongsan Community center. Voices of concern have been raised about the Unification Church’s recent steps to secure its domain through real estate purchases. This move by the Unification church to make large capital investments marks an increase in non-religious activities by the church which has led to concern and confusion among the Korean religious community. Large capital investments ranging from real estate, to education, sports, recreation and leisure facilities…diverse products, pharmaceuticals.”
Announcer: Today, Korea is becoming the holy homeland of the Unification Church. Let’s join Deokwon Kim to take a closer look. Good Afternoon Mr. Kim. Can you start by giving us a brief explanation of what kind of religious teaching the Unification Church follows?
Mr. KIM: “The Unification Church has long been proud of its economic strength. The Church’s power can be felt not only in the religious sphere, but also in the financial sector, the cultural sector and the media. The Church has branches in fifteen countries, including the United States, Japan and four million followers around the world.
Announcer: Let’s look at each area separately. It seems that the most visible work of the Church is in real estate sector and related fields.
Mr. KIM: The Unification Church is expanding its influence by making sizable investments in land and in real estate all around the country. Let’s take a look at the next video clip. The Unification Church recently purchased the Yongsan Community Center in Seoul. The purchase of the property which covers 4,900 square meters is said to have cost 70 million dollars (US). Plans are to develop the property into a shrine to world peace and unification, including worship facilities to accommodate 21,000 followers. The center will be used to offer praise and devotion with a variety of different styles of worship services. With the facilities of the Segye Ilbo located in the same neighborhood, there are concerns that the relocation of the headquarters of the Unification Church to the Yongsan area will give the church too much influence in the area. I remember these people saying a while ago that at some point, the time would come when Christians and the rest of the society will have no choice but to make use of the enterprises that they are operating.
Also, the Unification town that has been built at Cheong Pyeong is referred to by members of the Church as their original holy ground. The building site is huge, covering 26 million square meters and 320 million dollars have been spent developing it. The site already includes an international training center, a hospital, a middle school, a high school and a seminary as well as a museum and a senior citizen’s residential center and other facilities and is being organized and developed as a dedicated Unification Church residential community. In addition, the Church has revealed plans to develop an extensive beach resort area in Yeosu on Korea’s south coast. Work has also begun and rental contracts are being accepted for a business center in Yoido that is being constructed on a scale four times that of the 63 Building. We cannot help but be concerned with the Unification church reaching beyond Cheong Pyeong, Pyeongchang and Yeoso, and aggressively expanding their influence all across the country.
Announcer: As you can see from this scene, the Unification Church has tremendous financial resources. Therefore, whether we know it or not, their influence probably touches our lives in a number of ways.
Mr. KIM: That’s right. The Unification Church is particularly focused on the financial and political sectors. The Tongil group has 15 affiliated companies, and is ranked 70th among the nation’s businesses with annual sales of $830 million dollars. In addition, with the media and advertising impact of Segye Ilbo, Cheongshim International Academy middle and high school and the Sun Hwa Arts middle and high schools, and Kyungbok elementary school in the educational sector, and the Peace Cup International soccer tournament in the sports and leisure sector, the Church is spreading its influence in many diverse areas. Let’s discuss this further as we watch this next video segment.
Some believe that the Unification Church will hold the largest stake in the 2012 Expo in Yeosu. One reason is that the Unification Church’s Ilsung construction is working on a large scale development in Yeosu covering about 10 million square meters with an estimated construction cost of 1.2 billion dollars. Land prices in the area have already skyrocketed to twice what they were. Experts in the area estimate that by the time of the expo, the income from this investment will reach several billion dollars. It is said that the Unification Church plans are to invest this income in the political sector. In the last general elections, candidates entered the race for national Assembly seats in 240 districts under the Peace Unification Family party. They are able to work in all areas, including political campaigns and they have made large scale preparations to do so.
Announcer: As you can see in the video, the Unification Church is involved in a whole range of areas, including politics, economics, the media, cultural and sports. There must be some reason that the Unification Church is working in all of these diverse areas.
Mr. KIM: As a religion, the Unification Church has a clear reason for this kind of work. The Church can expand its missionary activities by accumulating financial resources. The Unification Church uses the income from its businesses and land investments to support its work to spread the Church’s ideology. They can be seen as stepping stones to help the church’s leader Sun Myung Moon complete his mission as the Lord of the Second Advent. In particular, this most recent real estate investment by Unification Church represents an extension on the Church’s holy ground. Let’s hear a few words from the administrative director of the Korean Christian Exchange Federation, who escaped after 31 years of working as a Unification Church minister.
The Unification Church teaches that Jesus was unable to complete his mission because he didn’t have a country that believed in him. Because of this the Unification Church is buying a lot of land to create God’s nation. They are working to develop land into a holy nation.
Announcer: In that case, it sounds like another effort to gain converts.
Mr. KIM: Yes, one method is by offering free travel opportunities. For example, tour groups are formed, who then visit Japan, the United States, China and other places with the Church covering the costs of the airfare and lodging the participants at a minimal cost. Following the trip, participants are sent promotional materials inviting them to participate in Church activities. Also, the Church offers to help find marriage partners for men searching for wives recommending that they join one of the Church’s mass weddings. They also operate video centers where they invite people to come and hear good messages without revealing that they are from the Unification Church. They also sponsor a lot of events like golf tournaments, fishing tournaments or marathons. Christians should not participate.
Announcer: The Unification Church seems to have a very diverse range of activities. In addition to Unification Church activities here in South Korea, aren’t they also involved in business ventures with the North?
Mr. KIM: Yes, in May 1987, the Unification Church organized a group called the Citizens Federation for North-South Unification. In January 1991, church’s leader Sun Myung Moon met North Korea’s President, the late Kim Il Sung, and signed an agreement to work toward North-South exchange, which led to the start of the church joint business ventures with the North. The Unification Church’s joint ventures with the North were revealed to be flourishing in a later period, following the financial assistance offered to the North by Korean society in the 1990’s. The Unification Church’s ventures in the North have been assessed as being more financially successful and on a larger scale than those of other South Korean organizations.
Announcer: If that is the case, we should take a look at what kind of ventures the Unification Church is conducting in North Korea. Let’s take a look at the video.
Mr. KIM: The center of the Unification Church’s North Korea ventures is the Pyeonghwa Motor Company which produces eight models of automobiles which are being sold in the North. There is also the Botong River Hotel and the World Peace Center in Pyeongyang, the one million square meter Peace Park and Family Church are also among the enterprises that the Unification Church is currently operating in North Korea.
Announcer: But I have heard that church leader Sun Myung Moon is getting to a very advanced age, and after the helicopter accident last year, I have also heard that he is passing on responsibility for the church to his successors.
Mr. KIM: Yes, I heard that recently there was a 90th birthday banquet for Rev. Moon. There is speculation about what direction the church, including Sun Myung Moon’s successors, would take if anything would happen to him. Recently, we have seen some of Sun Myung Moon’s children taking over in leadership positions. The responsibility for the religious and financial workings of the church has been handed over to Rev. Moon’s children. In particular, it is clear that Sun Myung Moon’s seventh son, Hyung Jin Moon is taking responsibility for the religious activity of the church. And other preparations, doctrinal and substantial, are being made to support this transition. Recently, Sun Myung Moon’s successor participated at his 90th birthday celebration and support staff needs are being assessed to strengthen his ongoing leadership abilities.
Announcer: So work is being done to move the task of succession along, and the Unification Church continues to expand. It seems like urgent measures are needed to block its expansion. Is there any action that can be seen in the religious community?
Mr. KIM : Yes, in 2003, the Korean Christians formed the Korean Federation to Oppose the Unification Church which is working to expose the evils and abuse in the Unification Church. This Unification Opposition Federation was founded by Jun Cheol Park, who escaped from the Unification Church in 2001. Currently, his wife, YeongSeon Lee, serves as the Federation’s administrative director, and is leading activities aimed at blocking the Unification Church’s efforts to expand. The Unification Opposition Federation provides churches throughout the country with information about the Unification Church’s heretical teachings. Activities have been organized to urge the discontinuance of the Peace Cup Soccer Tournament and to boycott the sales of Tongil group products. In addition, most recently the Unification Church’s plans in relation to the 2012 Yeosu Expo have been exposed. Another key focus of the group is the support, protection and re-education of those who have escaped from the Unification Church
Announcer: It sounds like the Unification Opposition Federation is doing some very important work. It seems like a good time to take a close look at the Unification Church which is moving forward through massive financial investment and at the massive scale of its operation.
Mr. KIM: One of the most disappointing things I discovered while researching for this story is that while the influence of the Unification Church continues to expand, the Unification Opposition Federation has been working under very poor conditions while tackling this large problem. One secretary and the Administrative Director, who is a working mother, are working in a space of barely 10 square meters. The Unification Opposition Federation has been working for five years now, facing severe financial difficulties and fierce resistance from the Unification Church in the form of lawsuits and legal maneuvers, making it difficult for the Federation to make progress in their work.
Announcer: They are doing such an important work, it’s a shame they are having such difficulties. Finally, what steps must our churches and followers take in order to reduce the risk of damage at the hands of the Unification Church?
Mr. KIM: The Unification Church is shrewdly imitating the Christians churches, following the pattern of a traditional Christian church. This means that the most important thing is to know about the Unification Church. In addition to education and media, religion and business, in our society at large there are more than 500 Unification Church products that can be found in our daily lives, including beverages and pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, I cannot list of them for you. I urge you to get assistance from the Korean Federation to Oppose the Unification Church which we mentioned earlier, you can get much more detailed information about the Unification Church. Also, they present lectures in churches about the Unification Church so that members of our congregations can gain a better understanding of the Unification Church’s heretical teachings and infiltration tactics.
Announcer: The Bible warns that false prophets will arise in the last days, and among the many heretical religions, the Unification Church with its strong financial influence has deeply infiltrated our daily lives. We must approach this mission with faith and wisdom. Thank you to Deokwon Kim for today’s report.
Let’s give it up for the CTS and the incredible advertising they did for the Unification Church.