Where the Infinite Blessing of God Is
Christian history in Korea
Christianity first came to Korea more than 100 years ago. Most of the early missionaries came from Europe through China. Many were severely persecuted, and even beheaded, because they tried to abolish the ancient tradition of ancestor worship, which is common in the Orient.
The day that one’s ancestors departed is always celebrated in Korea, and most families spend a lot of money making elaborate offering tables for them. But the Christian ministers said that ancestor worship was like worshiping Satan and that you only needed to worship God and Jesus to get to heaven. That aroused tremendous hostility, which led to their execution. In Korea you can visit a historic mountain where many Catholic priests and Protestant missionaries were beheaded.
However, despite the persecution, Christianity started to take root among the people. At that time the Korean people were living under a severe feudal system. Only a very small percentage of the people were in the wealthy, ruling class, while the majority were miserably poor. Especially the children of the noblemen’s concubines were very much despised. Though they might have been talented, they had almost no chance of improving their social status. Generally, there was a lot of resentment, frustration, and despair among the majority of the people.
Christianity helped the common people grasp the idea that all men are equal under one Heavenly Father. This idea of equality encouraged them, and that’s one of the major reasons Christianity spread.
The Cain and Abel groups of Christians
Around 1905, at the beginning of the 40-year occupation of Korea by Japan, many of the most patriotic Koreans started to leave their homeland because they could not tolerate being under Japan’s domination. Those that remained were very desperate and had nothing to support them except their strong faith in God and Jesus. Therefore, during the occupation, Christianity began to spread even faster in Korea.
Father has explained that, because Adam was dominated by Eve in a non-principled way at the time of the fall, in the Last Days the same situation must reappear on a global level in order to indemnify the fallen act. Korea, as Adam, received the evil dominion of Japan, as Eve, for 40 years. This is not any coincidental situation; it’s a providential situation. Only after the 40-year period was over could Korea take proper dominion over the Eve country in order to prepare a foundation for True Father and the salvation of humankind.
Just prior to the end of World War II, the Japanese leaders, considering their hopeless military situation, realized that Japan was losing the war. Their only hope was to try to win by spiritual power. So they forced not only the Japanese people but all the people that Japan dominated, specifically the Koreans, to bow down to the Japanese emperor who was seen as a god to be worshiped. Korea is located west of Japan, so all Koreans had to bow toward the east, toward the residence of the imperial family in Tokyo. Every church and every house in Korea had to have a Shinto altar, where they were to bow down and worship.
For Christians, this was just unbearable; it was even harder than dying. They had only one God and one Jesus to serve and worship, and could not conceive of bowing down to any other authority. Japan was already the enemy in their heart, so how could they worship the imperial family-the god of Japan? Many devout Christians refused to obey. Therefore, great numbers of them were arrested and put into prison; very few of them survived. Some fled to Manchuria, China, or to the United States and kept up a movement for independence based on their Christian foundation. Father has said that the Christians who didn’t compromise and who persevered in their faith to the end-those who went to jailor went into exile-were clearly the Abel Christians.
However, there were other Christians who thought, “Since we cannot survive without compromising with Japanese policy, why don’t we just cooperate with what they say and bow to the east? This is just external ritual. Internally, God knows our heart.” This was the Cain group of Christians.
Kim Seong-do’s group
As you may have heard, some very important revelations came to the leader of one of the spiritual groups prepared from among the Abel-type Christians to pave the way for the Lord of the Second Coming. That devout and sacrificial leader, Kim Seong-do, was praying desperately one night, and Jesus revealed to her the answers to some of her most pressing questions: one, that the fruit Adam and Eve ate that caused them to fall was an illicit love relationship; second, that Jesus did not come to die, but was murdered against the will of God; and third, that Jesus will not come back to Israel but to the poor and miserable nation of Korea, and not on the clouds but as a human being born on earth.
When Kim Seong-do learned these things, she was convinced they were true, but when she tried to tell others, the Christian ministers said, “Where in the Bible are such things written? This is heresy! You must be possessed.” And she was severely persecuted.
When I joined the Unification Church, I was one of the five professors and fourteen students expelled from Ewha University. During our “trial” one of the deans summoned me and asked, ‘Aren’t you one of the ones who danced naked in the Unification Church?” I had no idea why the dean was asking such a question, because of course I had never heard or witnessed such a thing. Later I found out why they believed this rumor.
Because Kim Seong-do’s group prayed so deeply, devoutly, and unselfishly, many people in that group received that they were being restored to the position of Adam and Eve before the fall. Therefore, they felt totally purified, with no sin. They said, “We are like Adam and Eve, who were naked and unashamed!” So one time out of great joy they took off all their clothes and danced naked. This event spread all over Korea and, despite its very remote relationship to the Unification Church, it became one cause for the persecution of our church by other Christians.
Christianity after the war
Because the Cain group-the Christians who compromised with Japan did not go to jail and did not lose their property, they could afford to send their children to Japan or the United States to study. They were well-educated, and most of them survived. After the war ended, a military government was established by the United States. America needed assistance to adequately govern Korea, so they used those educated Korean Christians who had learned English abroad. Thus, because the Cain-type Christian groups were becoming influential through their activities in the government, Korea was driven more and more towards the Cain position. Actually, God had wanted the new Korean government to be based on the unity between Father and the Abel Christians; then the Korean government would truly represent Abel’s position. But, since the Abel Christians failed to unite with Father, this never came to pass.
I believe the reason other Christians continue to persecute the Unification Church is because most of them are the descendants of the Cain-type Christians. Most of them are not offering themselves purely for the sake of God and His will, but in a sense, are using God and their faith for their own selfish benefit. Unification theology has a lot of points that contradict this way. So even though there are a lot of revivals going on in Korean Christianity, there’s not much truly God-centered faith among Christians there. Their degree of purity and devotion for the sake of God’s will is nothing compared with the devotion of the members of the Unification Church.
At this occasion I’d like to confess that I do not come from a glorious, Abel-type background. My grandfather was a well-respected Presbyterian elder, and in the secular sense he was good Christian. He owned a lot of land and was very wealthy. At first he was strongly against the Japanese occupation, and he donated a lot to the resistance groups. But when the persecution increased, he finally gave in to the Japanese. He said, “We can’t just lose everything. We have to protect our family’s future.” So his four children got a very good education, and they all went to college. One became a prosecutor, one became a judge, and one became a medical doctor. Other people looked up to our family, saying, “What a blessed family they are, and what brilliant children!” But actually, from the viewpoint of God, my family fell into Cain’s territory, as opposed to those who kept a really genuine, pure heart and truly loved God to the end.
Meeting True Mother
So, coming from that family, I had an opportunity to receive a college education, and I gained a lot of knowledge. When I met True Mother for the first time, Mother was only 18 years old. I totally surrendered to her. She didn’t have any college education or secular experience, but her level of wisdom and love and the elevated atmosphere of purity surrounding her cannot be compared with anything you can learn from this world.
Mother’s mother was in the group that descended from Kim Seong-do. The members of this spiritual group had dedicated their entire lives to God, but most of them were killed. That suffering prepared the way for one woman to become the true mother of the universe. All these sacrifices were made so God could find a true daughter. Therefore, Mother’s wisdom and knowledge come directly from God. Even when she says simple things, they reflect the total image and wisdom of God. There’s a huge gap between where she came from and where I came from; therefore, I must humble myself and keep serving her to the end. This is a truly great opportunity and privilege that we have, to be able to serve True Mother.
Part 2 will be posted next week.