The Founding

As the situation in Seoul began to stabilize, after the armistice agreement ending the Korean War was signed on 23rd July 1953, people began to move back to the capital. Seoul is located near the 38th parallel and had fallen several times during the war between North and South Korea.

Several members and their families also moved to Seoul. Sun Myung Moon himself went there on 17th September 1953 and began building a foundation. In the spring of 1954, a place to hold meetings was established, the so-called “House with Three Gates” (391 Bukhak-dong, Seongdong-gu). With this location as its address, the Unification Church was officially registered as the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity [HSA-UWC] on 1st May 1954.

Two days later, a sign with this ambitious name, in Chinese characters and in English, was hung beside the entrance of the House with Three Gates, which looked poor and consisted of two rooms and a small kitchen.

The Unification Church was for a long time an unofficial name, but was later used in several countries as our official name instead of the long HSA-UWC.

Father Moon hoped that this new movement would manage to unite all the different Christian denominations, and not become a separate denomination. The intention was never to create a new religion, but to create the Kingdom of Heaven on earth by first getting Christians from all possible denominations, and then believers from the various world religions, to join forces.

Hyo-won EuChang-hwan Lee, who had joined only a few months earlier, was appointed the first president of HSA-UWC. He was replaced by the more experienced Hyo-won Eu (1914-70) in August of the same year, when the movement was restructured.