The Founders

Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon

Reverend Sun Myung Moon is the founder and spiritual leader of the Unification Church and its institutional successor, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

Born into a farming family in 1920 in what is now North Korea, Reverend Moon became a Christian at age 10 at a time when occupying Japanese forces brutally persecuted Christians. He received a calling from Jesus in 1935 and subsequently pursued a course of prayer and study of Christian and other scriptures. During this period of spiritual search, he continued his secondary education in Korea and later studied electrical engineering in Japan.

He began his public ministry in Communist-occupied North Korea by sharing new insights into God’s Will and Jesus’ mission. Communist authorities imprisoned the young preacher in the late 1940s, severely tortured him, and sentenced him to the infamous Hungnam labour camp, where he remained until 1950, when authorities released him due to the advance of UN forces.

Reverend Moon founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC), which subsequently became known as the Unification Church, in 1954 in Seoul, Korea. His teachings, known as the Divine Principle, draw upon biblical truths and Eastern wisdom to present a comprehensive view of God’s ideal plan for humanity, the cause of sin, and the history of God’s work to restore the lost ideal.

Reverend Moon married Hak Ja Han in 1960 in the first of the sacred wedding ceremonies that have become the hallmark of the couple’s ministry. Unificationists believe Reverend and Mrs. Moon have succeeded in becoming the first True Parents, having established a God-centred family and lineage.

Reverend and Mrs. Moon came to the United States of America in 1971 to spread their optimistic vision and stimulated a period of rapid growth in the movement throughout the early 1970s. Central to this vision was the promise of an enhanced personal relationship with God through individual devotion, "blessed marriage," and intercultural families dedicated to bringing peace to the world.

For more than three decades Reverend Moon has been attracting collaborators through conferences that engage participants from all races, religions, and cultures. His ideas have captured the imagination of thousands of clerics, academics, and community activists, who form the core of the Universal Peace Federation founded by Reverend Moon in 2005 as his culminating and overarching peace organization.
Reverend and Mrs. Moon are the parents of 14 children and have more than 40 grandchildren. Their peace mission has been advanced prominently in recent years through the participation of three generations of their family in speaking tours across the world.

Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon

Hak Ja HanDr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the International President of the Women's Federation for World Peace, has dedicated her life to the quest for peace. Along with her husband, she has worked with heads of state, Nobel Peace Prize winners, religious leaders and internationally renowned artists.

Mrs. Moon is a devoted wife, the mother of 14 children and the grandmother of more than 40 grandchildren. She is known for her extraordinary compassion, capability, grace and charm. Above all, she is exemplary as a woman who has a created a God-centred marriage and family of three generations.

She was born in a village that is now in North Korea, on January 6 1943. Her mother, Mrs. Hong, was an earnest Christian and her father was a disciple of a famous preacher, Rev. Young Do Lee. The North Korean Communists persecuted their family, and in 1948, when Mrs. Moon was 5 years old, she and her mother were arrested by Communist police and jailed for 11 days.

After their release, Mrs. Moon, her mother and her grandmother fled their village in the middle of the night. They went to Taegu where they lived through the Korean War and where Mrs. Moon was raised in a religious environment.

The family later moved to Chuncheon, where Mrs. Moon's uncle was living, and she soon graduated from elementary school in that city. During this period, Mrs. Moon, along with her mother, joined the newly formed Unification Church. Five years after joining, on April 11, 1960, the young Mrs. Moon married the church's founder, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. She stands as co-founder of the Unification Church, equal in stature to her husband, and has played a crucial role in the developments of the Unification Movement where her compassionate friendship completes her husband's challenging vision.