Reviewed by Richard Urban
As A Peace Loving Global Citizen is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the life and heart of the man who Jesus asked to carry on His uncompleted mission.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon was born in Anju, in what is now North Korea in 1920, when Korea was under forced occupation by Japan. Rev. Moon explains that, above all else, the primary responsibility of a leader is to keep the peace. In fact, this is the lifelong goal of Rev. Moon. Rev. Moon recalls fondly being peacefully carried on his father’s back as a young child.
Rev. Moon’s great uncle Yoon Guk was a supporter of the Korean Independence movement, for which he was arrested and spent time in jail. We learn about Rev. Moon’s school days, his love of nature, and his fierce sense of righteousness.
We learn in detail about Rev. Moon’s encounter with Jesus on that fateful Easter Sunday morning while praying alone in the mountains. Over time, through an intense spiritual struggle to understand the nature of suffering in this world, Jesus revealed many secrets to him.
On God’s command Rev. Moon headed north into communist North Korea. Due to the opposition of Christian ministers, the communist authorities arrested and tortured Rev. Moon. Three months later he was transferred to Heungnam Prison special labor camp. There prisoners bagged ammonium nitrate fertilizer in deplorable conditions. Most prisoners died of exhaustion after six months, but Rev. Moon survived two years five months until United Nations troops liberated the prison camp.
After looking for his disciples and fleeing south across the 38th parallel to Busan, Rev. Moon built his first church of US Army ration boxes on the Beomnetgol hillside. There he wrote the first version of the Principle, the basic teachings of the Unification movement. He also witnessed to the first member to join in South Korea, Hyun Shil Kang. Many students from Ewha and Yonsei Christian Universities joined the Unification Movement, again causing those institutions to persecute and spread false rumors.
A missionary was sent to Japan in 1959, which was then still very much an enemy country of Korea. Later, in 1965 Rev. Moon visited all 48 contiguous states and set up Holy Grounds, traveling and sleeping in a small car.
We also learn about Hak Ja Han, Rev. Moon’s wife and the Women’s Federation for World Peace that she founded. Godly marriages, especially those bridging races, religions and nations are a signature of the Unification Movement. Rev. Moon also loves fishing and soccer. He met Mikhail Gorbachev in April 1990 and urged him to allow religious freed in the Soviet Union, as well as establish diplomatic relations with South Korea. President Gorbachev followed his advice. He also met Kim IL Sung, the very man who was in charge of his imprisonment at Heungnam Prison special labor camp.
Solving the problem of world hunger is also very close to Rev. Moon’s heart. And young people will benefit greatly from the section “New Vision for Youth”.
Rev. Moon published his autobiography in 2009. On September 3rd, 2012 he died and ascended to Spirit World. So where does that leave all of us? In a world torn by war and division, Rev. Moon’s message of not left wing or right wing but rather “Headwing” or Godism is desperately needed.
He gave us the truth, the formula, and most of all, the heart to build a world of peace. He leaves to us the great legacy that he has pioneered. But will we grab the batton and run, or rather just remain stuck in the same place? Understanding the life of this extraordinary man will be an essential launching place for our own journey as we work to establish a world of lasting peace centered on God.