The Unification Church Seeks Influence, Acceptance Among the Political (“Christian”) Right

Article ID: DM184 | By: CRI Statement

After newspapers across America last December revealed Unification Church attempts to infiltrate the political “Christian Right” through gifts to political action commit­tees and conservative Christian groups, the Moonies quieted their activities.

Now some Unification Church-watchers are concerned that the group is stepping-up another tactic which may result in political acceptance: infiltrat­ing independent charismatic ministries to gain favor in the bur­geoning charismatic movement as a whole.

“They’re out there winning friends and influencing people,” said a source at the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) who did not want to be named, adding that gaining acceptance in America is essen­tial to the church’s objective of having their leader Sun Myung Moon recognized as the second coming of Christ.

Last December’s articles, which appeared mostly in promi­nent Knight-Ridder newspa­pers, stated that in March 1987 Moon forged an alliance with the Christian Voice, the largest con­servative Christian lobby in America. They also reported that Moon has been funding anticom­munist guerrillas in Central Amer­ica, Afghanistan, and the Philip­pines, and that the Unification Church gave the late John T. Dolan, founder of the 300,000-member National Conserva­tive Political Action Commit­tee, a $775,000 gift. Former Trea­sury Secretary Robert Ander­son had also been paid $127,500 as a Unification Church consultant.

Recently the NAE warned its members to be wary of Unification Church attempts to infil­trate their ranks by joining with organizations that seem to have conservative goals. Moon-watch­ers say two points of Moonie infiltration into the Christian community have been over issues of religious freedom and anticom­munism.

In recent years certain Chris­tian leaders have been criticized for what some perceived as drawing too close to the Unifi­cation Church. Several years ago Tim LaHaye, Christian author and head of the American Coalition for Traditional Val­ues, came under fire for accept­ing a gift from Col. Bo Hi Pak, a former Korean intelligence offi­cer, president of the Washington Times newspaper, and Moon’s right-hand man. Since then, a number of pastors from a broad spectrum of denominations have received free trips from CAUSA, a Unification Church-funded anticommunism organization. Churchmen have also been speaking at CAUSA rallies (e.g., Jerry Fallwell spoke at a confer­ence in Miami last year which was co-sponsored by CAUSA).

Another group admitting Uni­fication Church funding is the American Freedom Coalition (AFC), publisher of the monthly Religious Freedom Alert, headed by Donald Sills as president and Robert Grant as chairman. Although LaHaye, Florida pastor D. James Kennedy, and others have left the AFC because of the Moon connection, others, such as Trinity Broadcasting Net­work’s Paul Crouch, Ben Armstrong of the National Religious Broadcasters, evangelists James Robison and Rex Humbard, and other prominent evangelicals have remained on AFC’s executive committee. (Although there is no known direct connection between CAUSA and AFC, Sills often speaks at CAUSA func­tions. CAUSA is headed by Phillip V. Sanchez, former U.S. Ambassador to Honduras and Columbia.)

In recent days Sills has been concentrating on attacking anti-cult organizations as a threat to religious freedom to audiences with a high percentage of charismatics. Sills (who visited Moon during his prison term) appeared May 3 on Crouch’s “Praise the Lord” show on TBN and denounced the secular Cult Awareness Network (CAN). From there Sills went on the AFC’s radio network hosted by Grant and sharply criticized CAN and cultwatchers in gener­al. (In recent months Sills has emerged as a public affairs spokesman for the Greater Grace World Outreach — formerly The Bible Speaks World Outreach, a controver­sial group a federal judge recent­ly ordered to return $6.6 million in contributions it swindled from a former member.)

But many agree that the church’s best attempt at influencing the political right is Bo Hi Pak’s Washington Times newspa­per, which is reportedly losing $200 million a year. Moon him­self is widely reported as saying he is having an influence on Pres­ident Reagan “through the Wash­ington Times”.

MENU