- The Washington Times - Monday, September 3, 2012

1920

Jan. 6 — Born as Yong Myung, one of 13 children, to Kyung-yoo Moon and Kyung-gye Kim in Sangsa Ri village in Pyongan province, now part of North Korea. His family had been wealthy, educated farmers, but had fallen on hard times. Japan had annexed the country in 1910, and Moon elders participated in independence efforts.

1930

Joined the Presbyterian Church with his family and became increasingly devout. While mourning the death of two siblings, he perceived that God was “the grieving parent of a lost mankind.”


1935

April 17 — After praying near Mount Myodu, he said Jesus Christ appeared to him on Easter morning and asked him to “take on a special mission on Earth having to do with Heaven’s work.” Overwhelmed, the 15-year-old initially declined, but eventually pledged to do so at the cost of his life. For the next nine years, searched for answers through intense prayer, fasting and Bible studies.

1941

March — Traveled to Tokyo to attend a technical school at Waseda University. Became involved with Korean independence activities, even though this meant arrests and beatings by Japanese police.

1943

Sept. 30 — After graduation, booked passage to Korea on the Konron Maru ferry. However, felt strange leadenness in his feet and a strong premonition not to board the ferry, and went instead on a trip with friends. The Konron Maru was sunk by a U.S. submarine, with more than 500 people aboard.

1944

May 4 — Married Seon-Gil Choi, daughter of a prominent Christian family, in a match arranged with an aunt. Knowing his mission, he asked Miss Choi several times if she could bear a life with a man with a difficult mission, and she insisted she could.

October — Arrested by Japanese police, who demanded he reveal the names of his friends in Japan. When he refused, police officers tortured and beat him, even hanging him from the ceiling “like a slab of meat in a butcher shop.”

1945

Aug. 15 — Japan’s surrender frees Korea, but the country was divided at the 38th parallel, with North Korea led by atheistic communists.

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