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June 5 — Acting on what he called “God’s demand,” left behind his wife and son to “find the people of God who are in the North.”

Aug. 11 — Arrested by North Korean police for spying for South Korea, was held and beaten for months.

Oct. 31 — After a severe beating, tossed out of the prison into the snow and left for dead. Nursed back to health by followers. Resumed preaching in North Korea, but was viewed as a heretic and threat to Christians, who themselves were suffering communist harassment.


February — Arrested on complaints of “disruption of the social order” and sentenced to five years imprisonment.

May 20 — Entered Heungnam Special Labor Camp, where teams of men had to fill 700 bags a day with ammonium sulfate or be punished. Food was so scarce prisoners would take rice out of the mouths of dead men.


Oct. 14 — Released from Heungnam as guards fled advancing U.N. troops. Walked more than 100 miles to Pyongyang to find his followers.

Dec. 4 — As Chinese troops advanced to Pyongyang, began journey south with two followers, one of whom had a broken leg and had to be carried or pushed on a bike. Arrived in Busan refugee camp two months later.


September — Built first Unification Church out of stones, wood and discarded U.S. military ration cartons. Began writing “Divine Principle” in this hut.


November — Was reunited with wife, but she did not understand his long absence or his religious mission, and in 1958 she divorced him.


Story Continues →